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Soliciting a Minor over Social Media in Florida

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Soliciting A Minor Over Social Media In Florida

In the 21st century just about everything can be accomplished over the internet, including soliciting a minor. In Florida, the Computer Pornography and Child Exploitation Prevention Act, or CPCEPA, addresses the use of social media and “chat rooms” to solicit minors for sex.  If you have been charged with a violation of the CPCEPA you are facing serious charges that carry with them harsh penalties for a conviction. Only an experienced Florida criminal defense attorney can review the facts and circumstances surrounding your arrest and provide you with personalized advice; however, familiarizing yourself with the charges you face can only help in the long run.

Florida Statute 847.0135(3) makes it a crime to use a computer, or other electronic devices to solicit a minor and reads in pertinent part, as follows:

Any person who knowingly uses a computer online service, Internet service, local bulletin board service, or any other device capable of electronic data storage or transmission to:

(a) Seduce, solicit, lure, or entice, or attempt to seduce, solicit, lure, or entice, a child or another person believed by the person to be a child, to commit any illegal act described in chapter 794, chapter 800, or chapter 827, or to otherwise engage in any unlawful sexual conduct with a child or with another person believed by the person to be a child; or

(b) Solicit, lure, or entice, or attempt to solicit, lure, or entice a parent, legal guardian, or custodian of a child or a person believed to be a parent, legal guardian, or custodian of a child to consent to the participation of such child in any act described in chapter 794, chapter 800, or chapter 827, or to otherwise engage in any sexual conduct,

commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084. Any person who, in violating this subsection, misrepresents his or her age, commits a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084. Each separate use of a computer online service, Internet service, local bulletin board service, or any other device capable of electronic data storage or transmission wherein an offense described in this section is committed may be charged as a separate offense.

The crime of Soliciting a Minor for Unlawful Sexual Conduct by Using a Computer is a third-degree felony in the State of Florida and carries with it a mandatory term of imprisonment of 21 months in prison if convicted. The maximum term of imprisonment, if convicted, is five years. You could also receive up to five years of sex offender probation, up to a $5,000 fine, and will be required to register as a sex offender for life. To make matters worse, you can be charged separately for each and every instance in which a computer or other electronic device was used to solicit a minor. If the judge sentences you to consecutive sentences instead of concurrent, the maximum sentence can grow rapidly.

If you have been charged with Soliciting a Minor for Unlawful Sexual Conduct by Using a Computer, or any other violations of the CPCEPA it is crucial that you consult with an experienced Florida criminal defense attorney immediately by calling the experienced attorneys at PSF FIRM today at 727-531-2926  for your free consultation.

 

Powers Sellers & Finkelstein

Powers Sellers & Finkelstein

Powers Sellers & Finkelstein in Clearwater are experienced Criminal Defense Attorneys with a personal approach. Our Defense Team has over 30 years of Litigation Experience in Florida. We have defended thousands of cases – we know the system.

About PSF Firm

Powers Sellers & Finklestein is a law firm that is managed by Amanda Powers Sellers and Jenna Finkelstein, who are both highly experienced and respected Clearwater lawyers specializing in criminal defense.

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