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Traveling to Meet a Minor

Child pornography laws are constantly growing and evolving. As technology advances and access to others increases, so do the ways in which one could violate the law. While the First Amendment protects some obscene material, it does not protect all obscene material, and child pornography is not protected. Lawmakers are coming up with new ways to hold those who produce, possess, or disseminated child pornography accountable.

The Florida Supreme Court manages the standard jury instructions for all of the Florida courts. The Florida Jury Instruction for Traveling to Meet a Minor for Unlawful Sexual Conduct was adopted in 2009 and has since been amended twice in 2013 and 2016.

Attorney for Traveling to Meet a Minor in Pensacola, Florida

Traveling to meet a minor for unlawful sexual conduct may potentially raise other criminal questions. Questions about potential kidnapping or battery may also arise. Crimes like those under Fla. Stat. § 847.0135 have serious state and federal consequences. Talking to an experienced criminal defense attorney could be the difference between serving years in state or federal prison and much less serious consequences.

 John Terrezza’s office is located in Escambia County, on West Gregory St. in Downtown Pensacola, less than one mile from the Escambia County Courthouse and the Federal Courthouse. He also represents clients in Milton in Santa Rosa County, FL.

Call (850) 764-5291 for to schedule an in-person explanation of child pornography charges.


Elements of Traveling to Meet with a Minor

To prove that a person unlawfully traveled to meet a minor in violation of §847.0135(4), the prosecution must show, beyond a reasonable doubt, the following:

  1. the defendant knowingly used a computer service, local bulletin board (such as a message board), internet device, or any device capable of transmitting electronic data storage;
  2. the defendant did so with the intent to entice, lure, seduce, or attempt such acts to engage in unlawful sexual conduct;
  3.  the defendant then traveled, attempted to travel, or caused another to travel or attempt to travel within the State of Florida, to this state, or from this state for the purpose of unlawful sexual conduct with a child or a person that the defendant believed to be a child.

Section § 847.0135(4) also applies to a defendant traveling to meet a parent or legal guardian of a minor child to solicit, lure, or entice the parent or legal guardian into the child's participation in unlawful sexual conduct.


Penalties for Violating § 847.0135(4)

If found guilty then the defendant is charged with a second-degree felony, punishable by up to fifteen (15) years in prison and up to $10,000 fines.

If the defendant was an authority figure of a student at a school where the defendant worked, and the child went to school, then he or she may be subject to an enhanced sentence. Violations under § 847.0135(4) are reclassified as first-degree felonies, punishable by up to thirty (30) years in prison and up to $10,000 fines.

Soliciting a child or a person believed by the defendant to be a child for unlawful sexual conduct using computer services or devices (§ 847.0135(3)) is a lesser-included offense of traveling to meet a minor.

Additional Resources

Fla. Stat. §847.0135(4) –Visit Online Sunshine the official website of the Florida Legislature for the full statutory language of the traveling to meet a minor offense.


Finding an Attorney for Traveling to Meet a Minor Crimes in Escambia County, Florida

Traveling to meet a minor for unlawful sexual conduct is a serious offense that could have federal or state consequences. It may be difficult to find an attorney who is comfortable practicing in federal and state court for these types of cases involving crimes against children. Attorney John Terrezza is well versed in different types of child pornography cases. He takes cases in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida in the Pensacola Division.

The United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida, Pensacola Division is located in the Winston E. Arnow Federal Building on 100 N. Palafox St.

If you or someone you know has been charged with traveling to meet a minor in Escambia County in Pensacola or in Santa Rosa County in Milton, then call attorney John Terrezza for more information about how to prepare the best defense.

Call (850) 764-5291

This article was last updated on Wednesday, February 8, 2017.

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