Traveling to meet a Minor/ Internet Sting in Orlando
Contained in Florida Statute Section 847.0135, the Computer Pornography and Child Exploitation Prevention Act makes traveling to meet a minor a felony offense. Offenders will be punished harshly if convicted, which is why it is critical to consult with an experienced Orlando sex crime defense attorney who is knowledgeable and skilled in the areas of Internet sex crimes involving minors. At Adams & Luka, we are dedicated to providing exceptional legal guidance and support to our client, always focusing on the best possible outcome.
Use of the Internet to chat with a minor under the age of 18 for the purpose of making plans to travel and meet the minor for sexual activity is unlawful in the state of Florida. Considering that sting operations are frequently set up by police in order to catch offenders, it is often difficult to discern who is doing the "enticing," the suspected offender or the police officer. Police will set up phony ID's in chat rooms for the purpose of sending out enticing or solicitous messages, acting as a minor child. This can result in an innocent individual committing a crime he or she would never have committed under normal circumstances.
If you have been arrested for traveling to meet a minor or are under investigation, we cannot stress enough how important it is to discuss your situation with a qualified Orlando traveling to meet a minor attorney right away.Defenses to Traveling to Meet a Minor Charges in Florida
There are various defense strategies that may prove effective in defending against this charge, depending on the facts of your particular case. We will work with you personally to develop a viable defense and help prevent a conviction and the resulting criminal penalties. A few examples of defenses that have proven effective in these situations include:
- Entrapment - entrapment often occurs when police establish sting operations and entice an individual who is otherwise law-abiding to commit a crime.
- Motions to suppress evidence - evidence may have been gathered in violation of your Fourth Amendment Rights.
- Lack of intent - it must be proven by the state that you traveled to a destination solely for the purpose of engaging in sexual activity with a minor. If this element cannot be proven, an individual cannot be found guilty.
In developing a solid defense strategy, we will investigate whether police used language in a sting operation that may be considered entrapment, the initial contact made with the minor online (whether it was solicitous in nature), how old the person in the chat room claimed to be, and more. Polygraph tests and the fact that an alleged offender has no criminal history or past sexual offenses may also work to your advantage.Criminal Penalties for Traveling to Meet a Minor in Orlando & Central Florida
Individuals who are found guilty of this crime will face harsh punishment. As mentioned earlier, traveling to meet a minor is a second degree felony offense. If convicted, penalties include:
- A maximum of 15 years in prison
- Fine of up to $10,000
- Registration as a sex offender upon release from prison
Additionally, Florida has a statutory minimum sentence of 21 months in prison for this offense, unless there are mitigating factors or a legitimate reason why the sentence should be reduced (downward departure from sentencing guidelines).Contact Adams & Luka Now
As trusted Orlando traveling to meet a minor defense lawyers, we understand the serious consequences of a conviction. We fight vigorously on behalf of every client we represent in an effort to protect your legal rights and freedom. If you have been charged or are being investigated, we urge you to contact us immediately at (407) 872-0307 or (352) 787-2101 so that work can begin on your case.