Lindsey & Ferry P.A. Central Florida Criminal Defense Lawyers
CALL OR EMAIL US TODAY - available 24/7

407-278-7692 | 877-301-2280

Email Icon[email protected]

Internet sex crime penalties may be harsher than actual assaults

Today’s story raises the question of whether some ideas might be better left in the realm of criminal justice theory, rather than applied in actual practice.

Readers of this blog know that Internet sex crimes can implicate serious penalties, including fines and long sentences. The offense of traveling to meet a minor generally includes actual travel, after unlawful Internet communications with a child under the age of 18. However, online communications -- without more -- may also constitute a sex crime, generally called enticing a minor.

A recent article observes that many jurisdictions impose harsher penalties for online sexual communications with a minor, compared to the sentence that may result from actual sexual assault of a minor. The author used a recent arrest of a 55-year-old man as context.

The man had been communicating with an undercover agent, posing as a 15-year-old boy, in response to an ad on Craigslist. The communication consisted of texts, emails and photographs exchanged over a three-day period. The exchange ended in plans to meet at a local drug store. When the man arrived, local police arrested him and charged with a felony sex crime. If convicted, the crime carries a five-year minimum sentence.

Yet if the man had actually had followed through on his plans and engaged in sex with the boy, the accompanying charge would not have a mandatory minimum sentence. A sex crimes attorney might use this very discrepancy in sentencing while negotiating with prosecutors. However, many law officials uphold the sentencing enhancement for computer-based sex crimes, believing them to require more calculation than in-person solicitation.

Source: jsonline.com, “Should penalty for enticing a minor be harsher than for actual assault?” Bruce Vielmetti, Oct. 13, 2013

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Attorney Warren Lindsey has been awarded the following credentials:

Our other attorneys and our firm have been awarded the following credentials:

  • Rising stars | Matthew P. Ferry |SuperLawyers
  •  | MICHAEL BARBER |SuperLawyers
  • Orlando County Bar Association
  • The Law office of Warren W.Lindsey P.A 2015 Listed In Best Lawyers Linking Lawyers and clients worldwide

1150 Louisiana Avenue, Suite 2
Winter Park, FL 32789

Toll Free: 877-301-2280
Phone: 407-278-7692
Fax: 407-599-2207
Winter Park Law Office Map

Mailing address:
P.O. Box 505
Winter Park, FL 32790-0505

Toll Free: 877-301-2280
Phone: 407-278-7692