Articles Posted in Computer Sex Crimes

People accused of sex crimes will, at times, determine that it is best to enter a guilty plea in hopes of receiving a reduced sentence. In some cases, though, the courts will enter a greater sentence than the defendants anticipate. In such instances, the defendant may be able to appeal the sentence issued, but if they cannot demonstrate that the court committed an error, their appeal will likely be denied, as shown in a recent Florida case. If you are accused of a sex crime, it is prudent to consult a Clearwater sex crime lawyer regarding your rights.

Factual and Procedural Background

It is alleged that the defendant was charged with using a minor to produce child pornography, distributing child pornography, and possessing child pornography. The charges stemmed from an incident in October 2021, in which an online FBI employee received messages containing child pornography from an individual later identified as the defendant. Subsequent investigations revealed the defendant involvement in the production, distribution, and possession of child pornography, including images and videos of his daughter.

Reportedly, a search of the defendant’s residence uncovered evidence supporting the charges. The defendant pled guilty to all counts without objection and faced an advisory guidelines sentence of life imprisonment. At sentencing, the defendant did not contest the PSR’s recommendation. The district court considered various factors, including the defendant’s military service, and sentenced him to 840 months. He then appealed.

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It is well-known that there is a constitutional prohibition against double jeopardy, which is the term used for being tried or convicted more than once for the same criminal offense. This does not mean that a person cannot face multiple criminal charges for criminal conduct in a single criminal episode, however, as recently discussed by a Florida appellate court, in a case in which the defendant was convicted of both attempted lewd battery and unlawfully traveling to meet a minor. If you are a Clearwater resident faced with charges of a sex crime involving a minor or any other sex crime it is essential to retain an assertive Clearwater sex crime defense attorney to fight to protect your liberties.

Facts and Procedural Background

Allegedly, in June 2016, the defendant communicated online with an undercover police officer who was posing as a fourteen-year-old girl. During their conversations, the defendant offered to pay the girl money for sexual activity and arranged to meet the girl at her house. On the way to the agreed upon location, which the defendant believed to be the girl’s home, the defendant reportedly stopped to get cash and buy condoms. When he arrived at the home, he was arrested. He was subsequently charged with unlawful travel and attempted lewd battery.

It is reported the defendant moved to dismiss the attempted lewd battery charge, on double jeopardy grounds. The court ruled that although both crimes arose out of the same conduct, and a single criminal episode, it found that each charge required elements of proof that the other did not. The trial court denied the defendant’s motion and he pleaded no contest to the charges. He then appealed from the final judgment. Continue Reading ›

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