When you have been accused of committing the crime of solicitation of a minor, you are at risk of being convicted and subjected to harsh criminal penalties. The law in this state is tough on all types of sex crime, and this is especially true in cases where the safety and well-being of children is threatened. Solicitation of a minor is a felony criminal offense, carrying harsh penalties that can have a devastating impact on your life.
If you are convicted of soliciting a minor over the internet for the purposes of engaging in unlawful sexual conduct, you can be convicted of a third-degree felony and sentenced to up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine. In the event that you are accused of misrepresenting your age, such as by claiming that you are younger than 18 years old, the charge can be increased to a felony of the second degree, which carries a $10,000 fine and a prison sentence of up to 15 years. In cases where the defendant is accused of travelling to meet the minor in order to carry out the unlawful sexual conduct, the charge is a second-degree felony, punished as described above.
Fighting charges of solicitation of minor can be exceedingly difficult, as the case is often based on evidence secured in an extensive investigation conducted by law enforcement officers. An arrest for this internet sex crime is frequently made after a sting operation in which the investigators used a police officer or other operative to pose as a minor in online chat rooms in order to entice the suspect into perpetrating the crime. Indeed, law enforcement agencies will often set such a trap with the goal of catching anyone who might take the bait. This is a far different approach than most criminal investigations, where the police will not take action until the crime has been committed.
Florida state law specifically states, however, that the fact that the arrest was made using such tactics is not a valid defense to the prosecution. In order to maximize your chances of success in fight the charges you face, you must hire a West Palm Beach sex crime attorney as early as possible. Contact the Law Offices of Richard Tendler now for a confidential consultation and to begin the defense process.