Both Florida law and federal laws consider traveling to meet a minor for the purpose of sexual activity a serious criminal offense. It is illegal to travel any distance for this purpose, whether that is inside Sarasota County or across state lines. If police or agents from another agency accuse you of traveling to meet a minor, you will want aggressive advocates on your side.
Our traveling to meet a minor lawyers in Sarasota, FL from Goldman Wetzel will take on this type of case, fighting to protect your rights in a state or federal courtroom and actively pursuing a more favorable outcome in your case. Call us at 941-405-5193 today to learn more or for immediate representation.
Traveling to Meet a Minor in Sarasota, FL Is a Serious Allegation
Florida Statute § 847.0135(4) defines “traveling to meet a minor” as occurring any time an adult age 18 or older:
- Travels any distance; and
- Does so for the purpose of sex or another sexual activity; and
- The other person is a minor under the age of 18 or anyone they believe may be under the age of 18.
Often, these cases hinge on evidence that the person accused of traveling to meet a minor solicited the minor, or otherwise tried to lure them into having a sexual relationship. This may include emails, social media messages and posts, texts, and other written correspondence, inappropriate images, and recorded telephone conversations.
The law provides for the arrest of anyone who believes they are pursuing a relationship of a sexual nature with a minor, allowing many police departments to run sting operations to this end. Police officers or other agents may use computers, chats, and social media to meet and engage with those soliciting for minors online. However, this type of sting may sometimes capture and entrap those who have no ill intentions toward the minor at all.
A Conviction Could Mean Years Behind Bars
Traveling to meet a minor for the purposes of sexual activity is generally a second-degree felony offense. If convicted, you can expect the following penalties:
- Up to 15 years in prison
- Significant fines
- Mandatory inclusion on the state’s sex offender registry
This offense can be a state or a federal crime. If they try and convict you at the state level, you will likely serve your sentence in a state jail. However, if you traveled from Georgia, Alabama, or another state to meet a minor in Sarasota, you committed a federal offense. This could mean a decade or more behind bars in a federal prison.
Depending on the facts of your case, you could also face additional charges and convictions for related crimes. Child pornography charges, for example, are possible even if you never actually met the minor in person. Other charges could include:
- Statutory rape
- Sexual assault
The best way to prevent serving time behind bars is to avoid facing charges in a traveling to meet a minor case. Even if police arrested or accused you of a crime, we might still be able to clear your name before they file charges. If they already filed charges against you, we will aggressively defend you and advocate for your best interests every step of the way. Call us today at 941-405-5193.
Act Quickly and Let Goldman Wetzel Get Started on Your Case Today
At Goldman Wetzel, we like to get started building your defense as early in the process as possible. Reach out to our team by calling 941-405-5193 at the first sign you may face charges. Often, our clients enlist our help after being named a suspect, being questioned by police, or immediately after their arrest.
Calling us for help in any of these circumstances allows us to look into the allegations and evidence against you and try to show you could not have committed the crime or there are other major questions the prosecution must resolve before charging you.
If we can produce an alibi, for example, to show that police arrested the wrong person for the crime, we may be able to stop the accusations and prevent them from ever charging you with a crime.
We Can Develop a Strong Defense Strategy to Fight the Charges Against You
If you already face charges or we cannot stop them from prosecuting you in this case, the two principal attorneys from Goldman Wetzel will work together to defend you. We work together on every case. This allows us to use our unique individual experiences — Summer Goldman in the prosecutor’s office and Maribeth Wetzel as a career criminal defense attorney — to your advantage.
Our traveling to meet a minor lawyers in Sarasota will review the circumstances that led to the allegations and your arrest and review the evidence the prosecution has against you. We will develop an aggressive strategy to defend you from the accusations. This may include:
- Presenting evidence that shows you could not have committed the crime
- Proving police entrapped you or illegally collected key evidence
- Negotiating a plea deal for a less severe charge or penalty
- Taking your case to court and presenting a strong argument for acquittal
- Working with the judge to get a probated sentence
Call 941-405-5193 today to get started.
Talk to Our Traveling to Meet a Minor Criminal Defense Lawyers in Sarasota, FL
At Goldman Wetzel, we know how stressful and overwhelming it can be to learn the police believe you attempted to solicit a minor for sex and traveled to meet them. A traveling to meet a minor lawyer in Sarasota, FL can help you navigate the criminal justice system and fight any allegations and charges you face. We serve clients in not only Sarasota, but also Bradenton, Pinellas County, St. Petersburg, Tampa, and Manatee County.
Call us today at 941-405-5193 to learn more.