Tampa Solicitation of a Minor Defense Lawyer

Sex Crimes Attorney Representing Tampa

The sex crime of solicitation of sex with a minor can be extremely hard to fight. You will be up against not only the full weight of the legal system but facing tremendous battles on social and personal fronts. The public and the courts judge these offenses quite harshly and is very much inclined to prosecute them to the utmost. To keep out of prison and avoid being labeled a sexual offender or predator you are going to need the best possible Tampa sex crimes defense attorney that you can.

Keep in mind that the crime of solicitation occurs by the asking for sex, the suggestion of performing sexual actions or any such communication to lure, entice or invite a minor into some form of sexual activity. An actual meeting, physical contact or the performance of a sexual act does not need to take place. This means even sexually explicit text messages to a minor can be solicitation and can be prosecuted as a third-degree felony. If you actually travel any distance to meet the minor then the crime is treated as a second-degree felony and you could be looking at up to 15 years in prison.

Attorney Timothy Hessinger has 15 years of experience in the State Attorney's Office prosecuting such crimes. In fact, Mr. Hessinger wrote the manual that is currently used by prosecutors for sex crimes involving children. In his service as a prosecutor he worked on a daily basis with such agencies as: Help a Child, Inc., the Department of Children and Families (DCF) and the Child Protective Investigation Division of the Sheriff's Office (CPID). We understand how to build defenses that best counter the charges brought without creating sympathy or damage by appearing to attack the child.

Online Solicitation of a Minor

The computer and internet may seem to offer an anonymous platform from which to solicit sex but as multiple arrests and prosecutions have demonstrated there is no protection from the law. The crime of online solicitation of a minor occurs when an individual over the age of 18 uses the internet to solicit or lure a minor, someone under 18, to commit a sexual act.

The definition of "solicit" is to "ask for or try to obtain something from someone." In this case that "something" is a sexual act and the "someone" is a minor or quite importantly someone that the individual believes is a minor.

It is not required that an actual meeting, physical contact or a sexual act took place but merely the solicitation is adequate for charges of a sex crime.

Often the charges of online solicitation are brought after an individual has unknowingly solicited an undercover agent posing as a minor. While this has been held up in courts and the legislature as valid and not a deceptive practice or entrapment it still can be challenged and is often founded on shaky or suspect facts or evidence. A review of the facts of the case by a Tampa sex crimes defense lawyer is well advised.

Our team at The Law Office of Timothy Hessinger is highly familiar with crimes of this nature and can readily deliver an assessment of the case, as well as an evaluation of where we feel your strongest defense will lie.

Potential Consequences of a Conviction

There are many areas of gray in this particular type of crime. Often the charges can be based upon a series of internet conversations that were not necessarily meant to be what was understood and later brought as accusations. But the consequences are not light.

  • Even when no meeting occurred and nothing of a physical nature took place this crime is still dealt with as a third-degree felony
  • Courts can decide to treat each and every instance of solicitation as a separate count
  • If you traveled to make that contact then the crime becomes a second-degree felony and you can be sentenced for up to 15 years in prison

Act Early, Act Fast

If you have been charged with an act of soliciting a minor it is critical that you act fast. The longer a time period between arrest and the actual start of a defense attack the lower your chances are of getting a case dismissed, getting charges reduced and avoiding a courtroom trial.

The need to act rapidly is critical. We know from our experience as both a prosecutor and defense attorney that our early intervention can have a positive impact on the outcome of your case. We take proactive, pre-filing steps towards the following:

  • Getting the charges dropped entirely
  • Working to get the charges altered or reduced to prevent a sex offender designation
  • Negotiating to avoid a felony charge and record

If you are up against charges of this nature then you must act quickly and contact a Tampa solicitation of a minor defense attorney without delay. The sooner you act, the better your chances are that we can intervene and get charges dismissed or reduced.

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