According to Florida authorities, a 5-day sting operation has led to the arrests of 23 men. The suspects are accused of traveling to a Florida location — a decoy home manned by undercover officer — with the expectation that they were going to have sex with a child.

According to authorities, officers went online and posed as children or guardians of children. After establishing contact, officers were able to lure the suspects to the decoy house, which was wired with surveillance cameras. The local Sherriff’s Office recently released video footage showing several suspects approaching the Florida decoy home.

Charges involving a sex crime such as traveling to meet a minor have to be defended aggressively, and require a top-notch criminal defense attorney, for several reasons. The legal consequences of a conviction, in terms of prison time and placement on a sex offender registry, can follow a person for the rest of his or her life.

In addition to the criminal consequences, the damage to the personal and professional areas of a person’s life can be equally devastating. Even if found innocent, a suspect is not guaranteed his or her former job back. Relationships also commonly suffer after a person has defended against such a charge, having a long-lasting impact on a person’s interactions with friends and love ones.

The public’s view of the defendant is also influenced in most cases. Due to the sensationalism of sex crime charges, they are dutifully covered by the media. Consequently, residents in Texas and all across the nation are aware of current criminal defense cases that are in the public eye. This can often cause defendants to pay for their crimes for the rest of their lives.

Source: Huffington Post, “Child Sex Sting Operation: Video Shows Suspects Busted By Officers At Florida ‘Decoy House,’” Oct. 18, 2012