If you have been charged with a sex crime involving a minor, there is no doubt that you are in some serious trouble. Law enforcement agencies and prosecutors are often quite aggressive when it comes to protecting young people from becoming victims of child pornography, abuse or sexual assault, and any person accused of engaging in these unlawful behaviors can be looking at a lifetime of consequences if convicted.
Depending on the details of an individual case, a person could be facing several charges stemming from a single alleged exchange, relationship or act. It is not unusual for multiple charges to be filed in these situations, as stacking charges could increase the likelihood that a person will plead guilty or be convicted on at least one or a few of the charges. Each charge must be taken very seriously.
During the course of an investigation, authorities may identify a number of reasons to add on or enhance charges. For example, let's consider a person accused of having sex with a minor. Multiple charges will typically be filed if:
- The accused used a computer to engage or attempt to engage in the illegal acts
- The accused traveled anywhere in or outside of Florida to meet a minor for sexual purposes
- A child is taken from one place to another without parental consent
- A person sent, created or received illicit images of minors
- There have been repeat offenses
Unlawful exchanges with minors typically happen or begin on the Internet, which can also affect charges. Online, it can be easier to lie about a person's age, misinterpret or read messages out of context, and track down illegal behaviors and communications that a person may have thought were erased.
Working through the details of a case and scrutinizing each accusation can be crucial for any person facing charges. Having the help of a knowledgeable attorney can be essential for people facing accusations of a sex crime.