Traveling to Meet a Minor


SHORSTEIN, LASNETSKI, & GIHON
helps people defend against
Traveling to Meet a Minor
allegations.
Traveling to Meet a Minor allegations usually arise when law enforcement conducts a sting, where a law enforcement officer poses as a child online and arranges to meet with an adult for sexual intercourse.  Many of these cases involve recorded surveillance, text messages, cell phone records, emails and more corroborating evidence. These are difficult cases that require experienced counsel.  If you, or a loved one, has been accused or charged with Traveling to Meet a Minor, call the experienced Jacksonville criminal defense lawyers of SLG Law now to discuss your case.  

What is Traveling to Meet a Minor?

Traveling to Meet a Minor is defined in Florida Statute Section 847.0135(4)(a).  To prove Traveling to Meet a Minor, the State must prove:
  • You used a
    • computer on-line service, or
    • internet service, or
    • local bulletin board service, or
    • device capable of electronic data storage or transmission
to
    • seduce, or
    • solicit, or
    • lure, or
    • entice, or
    • attempt to seduce, or
    • attempt to solicit, or
    • attempt to lure, or
    • attempt to entice,
a child or person believed by you to be a child to engage in an unlawful sexual act, and
  • you then traveled, attempted to travel, caused another to travel, or attempted to cause another to travel within Florida or to Florida for the purpose of the unlawful sexual act with a child or person believed by you to be a child.

What if the person I was talking to online  was a police officer and there was no child?

Because the statute only requires the State to prove that you believed the person was a child, it doesn't matter how old the actual person is that you are communicating with. If you travel to meet a law enforcement officer, who you believed was a child, for sexual purposes, you would be in violation of this statute.
 
It is completely legal for a police officer to pretend to be a child and engage in discussion with you about meeting up for sexual contact.  However, if they go too far, they may open the door for an entrapment defense.  Entrapment defenses rarely are successful and a viable entrapment defense would usually require especially egregious conduct on the part of the law enforcement officer and multiple refusals by you. 

Who is a "child?"

A "child" is any person , whose identity is known or unknown, less than 18 years of age.

What is the potential sentence for Traveling to Meet a  Minor?

The potential sentence for Traveling to Meet a Minor is very severe.  Many judges sentence people to several years in prison for a first time offense with no prior record.  Traveling to Meet a Minor is a Second Degree Felony, punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

What are the possible defenses to Traveling to Meet a Minor?

The most common defense to Traveling to Meet a Minor is that the person did not travel to meet the minor for the purpose of an unlawful sexual activity.  Each case is different and the context of the evidence that the State has is very important.  What statements does law enforcement have that you made?  Do they have text messages?  Did they find evidence on you when you were arrested?  Alcohol? Contraceptives?  We also look at law enforcement conduct and tactics.  In cases where the evidence is overwhelming, we would  mitigate the case with evidence of your lack of criminal history, psycho-sexual evaluations that show you are not a danger, and much more.  Call us to find out what we can do for you based on particular case.

If you or a loved one has been arrested for or accused of
Traveling to Meet a Minor,

Call Shorstein, Lasnetski & Gihon Now!
Jacksonville Criminal Defense Attorneys

904-642-3332 (Jacksonville)

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