Polk County Solicitation of a Minor Lawyer

The state of Florida takes a particularly harsh approach to prosecuting people accused of sexual misconduct with minors, even compared to other nearby states. However, the actual text of the laws addressing solicitation of sexual services from a minor can be somewhat confusing and indirect. This is especially true if you have no prior criminal charges on your record and are facing the full force of the justice system for the first time.

Whether this is your initial criminal charge or not, an allegation that you solicited sex from a minor is not something you should try to resolve without a skilled sex crimes defense attorney on your side. By working with a Polk County solicitation of a minor lawyer from the Umansky Law Firm, you have a far better chance of achieving the best resolution possible to your case.

How Does State Law Define “Solicitation of a Minor?”

Depending on the circumstances, you can be arrested and charged under one of two different statutes for soliciting sexual services or conduct from a minor. The more straightforward definition of this offense is codified in Florida Statutes § 847.0135, which makes it a third-degree felony to use a computer or any other communication service to “seduce, solicit, lure, or entice” a child under 16 or someone believed to be a child under 16 into engaging in unlawful sexual conduct. This section also addresses and prohibits soliciting a child’s parent, guardian, or custodian into consenting to the child engaging in unlawful sexual conduct.

Soliciting sex from a minor under other circumstances may be treated as a form of “lewd and lascivious conduct” under FL. Stat. § 800.04. Depending on whether the defendant is under or over the age of 18 when the solicitation occurs, this offense may be treated as either a third-degree felony or a second-degree felony. A Polk County attorney who handles cases concerning the procurement of a child can explain this in more detail.

Possible Consequences Upon Conviction

If solicitation of a minor is prosecuted as a third-degree felony, the maximum sanctions a person could face in the event of a conviction would be five years in state prison and a $5,000 maximum fine. If their offense is categorized as a second-degree felony, the maximum applicable sanctions would rise to 15 years of imprisonment and a $10,000 fine.

In both scenarios, the conviction would require the person to register as a sex offender in a publicly viewable registry. That mandate remains in effect the entire time they continue to reside in Florida. Under certain circumstances, an individual may be eligible to petition for removal from this registration 20 years after their conviction, provided they meet a few additional criteria.

Building a Strong Defense Against Solicitation of a Minor Charges

Someone unaware that they were soliciting “lewd and lascivious conduct” from a minor cannot use that lack of knowledge as a defense against criminal charges for that conduct. That is true even if the minor deliberately misrepresented their age. Additionally, courts can prosecute and convict someone for soliciting sex from a minor under either of the aforementioned statutes regardless of whether the solicited sexual conduct actually occurred or not.

For these reasons, most defense strategies revolve around proving that the defendant did not actually “solicit” sex as defined by state law, or that they were “entrapped” by law enforcement officers going beyond their legal authority. A lawyer can review the best path forward for fighting a solicitation of a minor charge in Polk County during a private initial meeting.

Consider Working With a Polk County Attorney When Accused of Soliciting a Minor

An accusation that you tried to seduce, entice, or pay a person under 16 years old to engage in sexual conduct can change the course of your life even if it does not result in a conviction. Given how severe the repercussions of a guilty plea can be, you should think twice before trying to handle this allegation alone, or with only a public defender on your side.

You have dedicated, custom-tailored assistance available to you from a Polk County solicitation of a minor lawyer who knows how to fight effectively against these charges. Call the Umansky Law Firm today to learn more.

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    Polk County Solicitation of a Minor Lawyer