Traveling to meet a minor for sexual activity is a serious crime in Pinellas County, FL. If police accused you, arrested you, or charged you with this crime, the Goldman Wetzel team is standing by to review your case. There is no reason you need to try to fight these accusations alone. Let us develop a strong defense strategy, take aggressive action, and fight for a more favorable outcome in your case.
Call us today at 727-828-3900 to discuss your case with a traveling to meet a minor lawyer in Pinellas County, FL.
Traveling to Meet a Minor Is Illegal Under Florida Law and Federal Law
In Florida, Section 847.0135(4) outlines the laws that make it illegal for an adult to travel any distance to meet a minor for sex or sexual activity. In these cases, a minor includes any children under the age of 18 as well as anyone the accused believes is under the age of 18.
This last caveat allows police to run sting operations and attempt to lure offenders into meeting with them with the intention of having sex with a minor. In most cases, traveling to meet a minor includes using a computer or other technology to meet and engage the minor before inviting them to meet.
To prove someone committed a crime when traveling to meet a minor, the prosecutor’s office must present evidence to show:
- The accused willingly and knowingly traveled to meet a minor with the intention of committing an illegal act, usually some type of sexual contact
- The victim was under the age of 18, or the accused had reason to believe the victim was under the age of 18
- The accused solicited the minor or attempted to lure the minor, into engaging in a relationship of a sexual nature with an adult
A Conviction for Traveling to Meet a Minor Can Bring Serious Consequences
If the state or federal prosecutors can build a strong enough case to convict you of traveling to meet a minor for sexual activity, you could face significant impacts to your everyday life. This is a second-degree felony charge. While a conviction for traveling to meet a minor within Pinellas County is bad enough, you could face federal charges if you crossed into Alabama or Georgia or otherwise left the state.
A sentence for a second-degree felony in Florida may include:
- Up to 15 years in a state prison
- Significant fines
- Inclusion on the state’s sex offender registry
A conviction in federal court could mean time behind bars in federal prison.
In some cases, there are additional charges on top of traveling to meet a minor. This usually occurs if the prosecutors claim you met the child or teen face-to-face for sexual activity or if you exchanged pictures or videos with the minor. Additional charges and convictions you could face include:
- Child pornography
- Statutory rape
- Sexual assault
The Two Goldman Wetzel Criminal Defense Attorneys Handle Every Case as a Team
The two criminal defense lawyers from Goldman Wetzel, Summer Goldman and Maribeth Wetzel, take a unique approach to defend the accused. They handle every case together, working as a team. When you hire one of them to work your case, you get both. This offers several advantages beyond having twice the support. Primarily, this approach allows them to see both sides of a case.
- Goldman previously worked for the State Attorney’s office and can explain the prosecutor’s point of view in these cases
- Wetzel is a career criminal defense attorney who can develop strong defense strategies for her clients
Together, the lawyers from Goldman Wetzel can provide every client with both aggressive representation and compassionate guidance no matter where they are in the criminal justice process.
Goldman Wetzel Will Fight for a More Favorable Outcome in Your Case
The attorneys from Goldman Wetzel prefer to get started on a case as early as possible. We recommend calling us at the first sign of trouble by dialing 727-828-3900. You can reach out to us if federal agents want to question you, if local police issue a warrant for your arrest, if you get taken to jail, or when you learn they plan to charge you with a crime.
If we get started on these cases soon enough, we may be able to uncover evidence of your innocence and take it to the prosecution. This could result in them never filing charges against you. This means there is no arrest record or criminal record related to the alleged crime. It is as if they never investigate you.
If we cannot prevent them from filing charges, a traveling to meet a minor lawyer in Pinellas County, FL may still get a more favorable outcome in your case by:
- Presenting evidence early on that prompts them to drop the charges against you
- Working with prosecutors to reduce the severity of the charges you face
- Negotiating a plea deal with prosecutors for a lesser charge
- Arguing the facts of the case in court and fighting for a not guilty verdict
- Requesting a probated sentence in exchange for a guilty plea
At Goldman Wetzel, we understand that many innocent people get wrapped up in police stings aimed at catching people traveling to meet a minor. These stings often entrap individuals who never had any intentions of committing a crime. If your arrest came as a result of a sting operation, we may be able to prove the police violated your rights. Call us today at 727-828-3900 to get started.
Talk to a Criminal Defense Attorney Today About Your Pinellas County, FL Case
If you face accusations, arrest, or charges that you traveled to meet a minor in Pinellas County, FL, the Goldman Wetzel team of criminal defense attorneys can help. We do not believe you should have to go through this alone. Reach out to us as early in the process as possible and let us employ a strong defense strategy to fight for a more favorable outcome in your case.
You can reach us at 727-828-3900. We offer free case reviews, or a traveling to meet a minor lawyer in Pinellas County, FL can go to work representing you and protecting your rights right away.