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 you face very serious penalties, you will be ostracized by society for the mere accusation of a sex crime. Further, the State Attorney’s Office will show no remorse if the allegations are that you 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. The Mayberry Law Firm has specific experience handling all types of sex crime allegations. Every lawyer in our firm has enjoyed great success in mitigating the damage created by this kind of allegation and have negotiated plea deals allowing our clients to avoid the stigma of a sex offender registration 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.What is the Crime of Traveling to Meet a Minor in Florida?
Florida Statutes § 847.0135(4) governs the crime of traveling to meet a child for a sexual encounter. The definition, in simple terms, is when someone travels 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 it illegal to travel 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 and a $10,000 fine. Additionally, traveling to meet a minor is a registerable sex offense in Florida, meaning you will be subject to sex offender registration for the rest of your life.How Do Police Investigate Crimes of Traveling to Meet a Minor?
Allegations of traveling to meet a minor almost always come up in the wake of a sting. The very popular Dateline NBC series “To Catch a Predator” is the most common and best example of this kind of “investigation.” Generally, a police officer poses as a minor curiously surfing an internet chat room. An individual will contact 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 for solicitation of a minor charges and traveling to meet a minor. The mere act of traveling to the destination triggers the second-degree felony. In other words, you don’t ever need to see the minor face-to-face to commit the offense.Are You Facing Sex Crimes Allegations in Tampa?
If you were currently arrested and charged with traveling to meet a minor or any other Florida sex crime, it is imperative that you reach out to an experienced Tampa criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. At the Mayberry Law Firm, our criminal attorneys don’t pass judgment, and do our best to let our clients know they are not alone as we move through this process together. We recognize that the stakes are exceptionally high and will do everything possible to ensure that your case ends in the best possible result. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation with Attorney Mayberry, give us a call at 813-444-7435 or contact us online through our form.