An arrest for traveling to meet a minor in St. Petersburg can have a negative and far-reaching effect on your entire life. You may face either state or federal charges, depending upon the situation. If you reside in Florida, call a sex crime defense attorney at Goldman Wetzel for a free legal consultation about your case: 727-828-3900.
What is “traveling to meet a minor”?
Fla. Stat. § 847.0135(4) defines the offense as traveling, attempting to travel, or causing another to travel any distance to engage in unlawful sexual conduct with a child after using an online service or electronic device to seduce, solicit, lure, or entice the child to engage in the activity.
You might still face charges even if the person was not a child, but you believed him or her to be a child. The state also considers enticing a parent to consent to allow a child to engage in this act as traveling to meet a minor.
Note: No actual sexual conduct needs to have occurred in order to face these charges; merely traveling to meet with a minor is enough to warrant charges. It is unlawful to travel any distance within, from, or to Florida for the purpose of participating in sexual conduct with a minor.
What penalties do I face for traveling to meet a minor?
The exact penalties you face for traveling to meet a minor depend upon whether you face charges at the state or federal level.
State penalties – The state of Florida considers this offense a second-degree felony. Penalties are up to 15 years imprisonment and a $10,000 fine.
Federal penalties – If you face federal charges, you face up to life in prison.
- According to U.S. Code § 2422(b), any adult who “knowingly persuades, induces, entices, or coerces” a child under the age of 18 to travel to engage in sexual activity can face 10 years to life in prison.
- According to U.S. Code § 2423(a), any adult who travels with the purpose of engaging in sexual conduct with a child under the age of 18 can face 10 years to life in prison.
The above penalties are just part of what you face if charged with a sex crime against a minor. If convicted, you will have to register as a sexual offender, something that can affect your life forever. Plus, the effects on your reputation are not easy to undo. You could face the loss of your career, damage to your marriage and relationships, and community ostracization.
Let the criminal defense attorneys at Goldman Wetzel investigate your case and build your defense to fight the allegations. We can represent you in state or federal court. Contact us today at 727-828-3900 to get the defense you need.