Traveling to Meet a Minor
Traveling to meet a minor is one of the most fiercely prosecuted sex crimes in Florida. Like a sexual battery or lewd and lascivious behavior, not only will the individual being charged face very serious penalties, they will be ostracized by society as a whole for the accusation of a sex crime. The State Attorney’s Office will show no remorse to one alleged to have contacted a minor for sex and then proactively traveled to complete the encounter. If you have been accused of traveling to have a sexual encounter with a minor you must contact an experienced sex crimes attorney immediately to seek legal counsel. Each lawyer at The Mayberry Law Firm is experienced in handling sex crime allegations. Every lawyer in our firm has enjoyed great success in mitigating the damage created by this kind of allegation and have often negotiated plea deals allowing our clients to avoid the stigma of a sex offender status that will haunt them for the rest of their life. Our attorneys are adept at attacking the credibility of the State’s witnesses and evidence as a whole in order to represent our clients to the fullest of our ability.
Florida Statute 847.0135(4) governs the crime of traveling to meet a child for a sexual encounter. The definition, in simple terms, is when an individual travels any distance to engage in illegal sexual conduct with a child or one the individual thought was a child after using a computer to seduce that child. This statute also makes illegal, traveling to participate in sexual conduct with a child after propositioning the guardian of that child to allow the sexual conduct. Either one of these acts is considered a second degree felony in Florida, punishable by up to 15 years in the Florida Department of Corrections, a $10,000 fine, and registration as a sex offender for life.
This crime is almost always charged pursuant to a significant sex crimes sting in a locale. The very popular Dateline NBC series “To Catch a Predator” is the most common and best example of this kind of conduct. Generally a police officer poses as a minor curiously surfing an internet chat room. An individual will make contact with the officer posing as a child and will then solicit a sexual encounter. Ultimately an offer is made for the individual to travel to the minor’s home for a sexual rendezvous. By this time the individual has very likely already committed the third degree felony of solicitation of a minor when they make the request for the sexual encounter at the officer posing as a child’s home. Eventually an agreement is made and the individual travels the distance to the home where they believe the encounter is to take place. When they arrive, the police take them down, arrest them, and book them on both solicitation of a minor charges and traveling to meet a minor charges. The mere act of traveling to the destination triggers the second degree felony.
The Mayberry Law Firm has an attorney on staff 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, ready to take your phone call and help you through these horrible allegations. Our criminal attorneys don’t pass judgment, and do our best to let our clients know they are not alone as we progress through this case together. Give us a call at 813-444-7435 or contact us online through our form.