Recently, the law firm of Taracks & Associates has had several cases where a client was charged under a recently passed law that prohibits "traveling to meet a minor for unlawful sex." Typically, this crime is charged after an agent posing online as a child arranges to meet the accused for sex.
Under Florida Statute 847.0135, the crime of Traveling to Meet a Minor occurs when a person:
1.Uses an on-line service, internet service, or electronic device to seduce, solicit, lure, or entice a person believed to be a minor child to engage in an unlawful sexual conduct; and
2. Travels any distance within Florida, from Florida, or to Florida for the purpose of engaging in sexual conduct with the child.
The crime of Traveling to Meet a Minor is classified as a second degree felony and is classified as a Level 7 offense severity ranking under Florida's Criminal Punishment Code. If one is convicted of Traveling to Meet a Minor, the Court can impose up to fifteen (15) years in prison; up to fifteen (15) years of sex offender probation; and up to a $10,000 fine plus court costs.
In 2012, our firm handled a case where a Hillsborough County medical student was charged with traveling to meet a minor after an officer posing online as an adult mother asked our client to meet at a hotel room where the two would engage in sex with the mother's 14 year old daughter present. The officer alluded several times to our client also having sex with the 14 year old. Our client was arrested upon arriving at the hotel and charged with traveling to meet a minor, amongst other crimes.
Our firm raised several possible defenses to the State Attorney's Office and convinced the prosecution to completely drop the felony sex crime charges and reduce everything to one misdemeanor count of disorderly conduct. We then negotiated a plea deal where our client received no conviction on any charge.
Obviously, when you are facing charges like this everything is on the line. Your reputation has been smeared and you are facing serious prison time. It is important that you have an experienced advocate on your side. At Taracks & Associates we have three former prosecutors on staff who have handled cases like yours recently. Call us today at 813-281-2897 for a free, confidential consultation with an experienced criminal defense lawyer.
Taracks & Associates – The Advocate For You.