Solicitation of a Child
Solicitation of a child, officially known as soliciting a child for unlawful sexual conduct by using a computer, is intended to protect children from preying adults on the Internet.
Solicitation of a child is a serious sex crime that can affect you for the rest of your life if convicted. Such a conviction carries a negative stigma that can follow you wherever you go and jeopardize your job, family, and reputation.
Attorney for Solicitation of a Child in Treasure Coast, FL
Solicitation of a child is a crime that is taken seriously in Florida, so it is imperative that you have a proven defense team on your side. Meltzer & Bell is experienced with sex crimes on the Treasure Coast and our attorneys will fight to ensure the best possible outcome is achieved for your situation.
Call Meltzer & Bell today at (772) 291-2534 or submit your information in the online form to set up a free case consultation. We defend clients of sex crimes in counties along the Treasure Coast that include Martin and Saint Lucie.
Overview of Solicitation of a Child in Treasure Coast, FL
How does Florida Define Solicitation of a Child?
Solicitation of a child involves the use of the Internet. Under section 847.0135 of the Florida Statute, solicitation of a child is defined as any person who knowingly uses the Internet to seduce, solicit, lure, entice or attempt to seduce, lure or entice a child to engage in unlawful sexual conduct.
This also includes seducing, luring or enticing the parent or legal guardian of a minor to allow their child to participate in unlawful sexual conduct.
The statute also defines specific acts on the computer that are prohibited against a minor. These lewd or lascivious transmissions include:
- Intentionally exposing one’s genitals in a lewd or lascivious manner
- Intentionally masturbating
- Intentionally committing any other sexual act that does not involve actual physical or sexual contact with the victim, including, but not limited to sexual bestiality, sadomasochistic abuse or any act involving sexual activity.
It is prohibited for any of the mentioned sexual acts to take place live over an online service such a video chat service or local bulletin board service where it is known, or there is reason to believe the service is being viewed by a child who is younger than 16.
It is also illegal under Florida law for anyone to travel or attempts to travel to meet with a minor to engage in illegal sexual conduct after using the Internet or another device.
Even if the defendant solicits an adult whom they believe is a minor, it is still considered solicitation of a child and they will still be charged accordingly.
Possible Penalties for Solicitation of a Child
Certain factors will determine the extent of the penalties for solicitation of a child. For instance, seducing, soliciting or enticing a minor or their legal guardian to consent to unlawful sexual conduct is classified as a second-degree felony that is punishable by up to 15 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.
Additionally, if the defendant uses multiple devices or Internet services to solicit or contact the minor or their parents, each one will be a separate criminal offense.
If the alleged offender is over 18 and found guilty of lewd or lascivious exhibition using a computer, they could be charged with a second-degree felony that entails 15 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines. If the alleged offender is under 18 years old, they could face a third-degree felony that is punishable by up to five years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines.
Traveling to meet a minor with the intention of engaging in illegal sexual conduct is classified as a second-degree felony that is punishable by up to 15 years of imprisonment and up to $10,000 in fines.
Because solicitation of a child is considered a sexual offense, the defendant will typically be required to register as a sex offender. Failing to do so can result in additional felony offenses. When you register, you will lose civil rights that include the right to vote, hold public office and own a firearm. You may also lose the freedom of where to live and work.
Additional Resources for Solicitation of a Child in Treasure Coast, FL
Computer Pornography and Child Exploitation Prevention Act | Florida Statute Section 847.0135 – Read the Florida Statute that governs solicitation of a child in the state. The statute defines what is considered solicitation of a child as well as penalties. The statute can be read on Online Sunshine, the official website for the Florida legislature.
Lewd or Lascivious Offense Against Person Under 16 | Florida Statute Section 800.04 – Follow this link to read through the state statute that lays the grounds for lewd or lascivious act committed upon or in the presence of a child under 16 years old. The statue also defines penalties for such offenses.
Defense Lawyer for Solicitation of a child in Treasure Coast, FL
If you are being investigated for solicitation of a child in the Treasure Coast area, it is imperative that you contact an experienced defense attorney at Meltzer & Bell. Our attorneys will fight to protect your rights and achieve the best possible outcome for your situation.
We assist clients in counties along the Treasure Coast that include Martin and Saint Lucie. Call Meltzer & Bell today at (772) 291-2534 or submit your information in the online form to set up a free case consultation.