Most people use a computer every single day. We are often within an arm’s reach of a device that allows us to chat, text, browse the Internet, check email and catch up on Facebook, Snapchat and other social media.
Considering how prevalent technology and digital communication is in our daily lives, people don’t always appreciate the fact that each interaction we have online could potentially lead to criminal charges if it is against the law. For example, you may interact with dozens of people on a regular basis. But if one of those people is a minor, you could wind up accused of not just one criminal offense, but multiple offenses.
Using a computer or other similar device to contact minors with the intent of engaging in illegal conduct is strictly prohibited by Florida laws. This means that even if you do not complete an unlawful act with a minor, the fact that you used a computer in an effort to engage or attempt to engage in illegal acts can be grounds for criminal charges.
Further, in accordance with Florida laws, a person may be charged with separate offenses for every instance of unlawful contact alleged. What this means is that even if you only made contact with one minor, you could be charged with separate offenses for every device used to try and solicit, entice or lure a minor or a minor’s parent or guardian.
Sexual offenses involving minors are considered among the most heinous by people in and outside of the justice system, which is why it is not unusual for prosecutors to pursue as many charges as possible. Not only do multiple charges increase the chances of a person being guilty of at least one of them, they can also result in harsher penalties.
The consequences of a single charge related to online solicitation of a minor are bad enough; when there are multiple charges and counts, the consequences can be even worse. However, with the help of an attorney, you may be able to seek a reduction or even dismissal of at least some charges in order to minimize the sentences you could be facing.