Traveling to meet a minor with intentions of engaging in any type of sexual activity is a serious accusation, especially if you crossed state lines to get there. This could make it a federal offense. If police arrested you or you face charges for traveling to meet a minor or related crime in Tampa, FL, the criminal defense lawyers from Goldman Wetzel are here to help.
A traveling to meet a minor lawyer in Tampa, FL can protect your rights and help you fight to clear your name or seek a more favorable outcome in your case. Call us at (888) 727-4652 today to discuss your case with a member of our team or for immediate help.
Were You Caught in a Sting Operation for Traveling to Meet a Minor?
Because of the way Florida Statutes Section 847.0135(4) handles the crime of traveling to meet a minor, police can run sting operations to try to catch offenders who lure minors into these situations. Unfortunately, though, sometimes these operations also ensnare those who have no ill intentions toward the youngster.
The law makes it illegal for:
- Someone age 18 or older;
- To travel any distance;
- To meet a minor or someone they believe is a minor;
- For sex or to engage in another sexual activity.
When law enforcement organizations conduct these sting operations, they will often use computers, emails, texting, or social media to meet and converse with suspects first before they attempt to engage them in a face-to-face meeting. In some cases, we may be able to show this is entrapment or violated your rights in another way, or that you had no ill intentions toward the minor.
You Want to Avoid a Conviction for Traveling to Meet a Minor If Possible
If at all possible, you want to avoid getting convicted of a traveling to meet a minor charge. State or federal prosecutors will likely charge you with a second-degree felony if they proceed with your case. The sentence associated with this type of charge includes significant time behind bars, large fines, and other penalties.
To convict you of this type of crime, the prosecution — a U.S. Attorney if you are in federal court — will need to present evidence to prove:
- You willingly and intentionally traveled to meet a minor or someone you believed to be a minor for the purposes of sexual activity or another illegal act; and
- The victim was under the age of 18, or you believed they were under the age of 18; and
- You lured the minor into engaging in a sexual relationship with you or another adult
If they can meet this burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt and the jury convicts you or you plead guilty to this second-degree felony, your sentence may include:
- A maximum of 15 years in a state or federal prison
- Significant fines
- Registering with the Florida sex offender registry
When your arrest did not stem from a sting operation, and the police accuse you of actually meeting a child or teen for sex or of requesting and receiving inappropriate images of the minor, you may face other charges as well. Some of the most common include:
- Child pornography
- Statutory rape
- Sexual assault
As you can imagine, things can go from bad to worse quickly if the prosecution keeps filing charges against you. You need a team of aggressive Tampa criminal defense attorneys on your side. Call Goldman Wetzel today at (888) 727-4652.
The Goldman Wetzel Criminal Defense Attorneys Will Fight Your Tampa Charges
When Goldman Wetzel takes on your Tampa traveling to meet a minor case, we go to work on it as soon as possible. This allows us to use our varied career experience — Summer Goldman in the State Attorney’s office, and Maribeth Wetzel as a career criminal defense attorney — to see all aspects of your case and build a stronger argument for a more favorable outcome.
Our preferred approach for these cases is to go to work on them as early as possible. We may be able to prevent them from filing charges against you if we go to work as soon as you learn of the allegations or quickly after your arrest. A traveling to meet a minor lawyer in Tampa, FL will look into your case and try to identify something that could clear your name, including:
- An alibi
- Another party who committed the crime
- Other evidence that police identified the wrong person
- Evidence of entrapment
If one of our traveling to meet a minor lawyers in Tampa, FL is successful at this point, we may be able to prevent them from ever filing charges against you or get the charges you face reduced. If we cannot clear your name and they file charges against you, we are already well into our investigation to understand as much as possible about the circumstances of the alleged crime and your arrest.
Some common defense strategies we employ to pursue a more favorable outcome in a Tampa traveling to meet a minor case include:
- Presenting evidence to reduce the severity of the charges you face
- Presenting evidence police violated your rights when collecting evidence against you or in other parts of the case, resulting in the judge throwing out evidence
- Negotiating a plea deal for a reduced charge and lesser penalties
- Presenting the facts of the case in court and fighting for an acquittal
- Negotiating a probated sentence
If you face arrest or charges for traveling to meet a minor in Tampa, the Goldman Wetzel lawyers can help. Call today at (888) 727-4652 to learn more.
Talk to Traveling to Meet a Minor Lawyers in Tampa, FL Today
With a possible prison sentence of up to 15 years, you do not want to leave it up to chance whether you get a traveling to meet a minor conviction in Florida or Federal Court. You want an understanding and compassionate attorney who will also take aggressive action in the courtroom and against prosecutors.
Goldman Wetzel will fight for a more favorable outcome in your case. Call us today at (888) 727-4652.