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Albert M. Quirantes | Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer Office

Sex Trafficking of a Minor in Florida and Project Safe Childhood

Sex trafficking is a serious offense in Florida. If you are being investigated or have been charged and are awaiting trial, you should immediately seek the help of a criminal defense attorney like Albert Quirantes Esq. who is experienced in helping defendants get a just outcome at a trial.

Recently in South Florida, a man and woman were jointly accused of being involved in four counts of the sex trafficking of two girls who were considered minors. They were arrested after police had been alerted to the scene by the motel owner where the sexual encounters took place.

Police discovered that the man had paid $200 to have sex with both underage females and arranged the transaction with the woman.

The defendants pled guilty, and their sentences will soon be decided by a federal judge. Both could face any of the following sentences:

• up to life in prison & after release;

• lifetime supervised release;

• payment of restitution to the victims.

This is just one of many cases of child trafficking that has been prioritized under the countrywide initiative called, “Project Safe Childhood”. The project is being led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), which is dedicating federal, state and local resources to better seek out, apprehend and prosecute anyone who is caught exploiting children whether it is online via the internet or in person.

When someone is arrested for any alleged offense, whether it's sex trafficking of minors, sexual battery or rape, often the circumstances are obscured by the eagerness of law enforcement to arrest and charge when the evidence hasn’t been thoroughly investigated.

Even then, defendants often feel forced into pleading guilty because they think this admission will end up with a lighter sentence. Many don’t explore all of their available defenses by hiring a knowledgeable and experienced sex crimes criminal defense attorney from the moment they sense there is an investigation coming.

False Allegations in Florida

False allegations of someone having unlawful sex with a minor are becoming more common in Florida with the main reasons being:

• manipulation of a child by an angry parent;

• the accuser is suffering from a mental illness.

If you have been accused of having sex with a minor and you believe you are innocent you should contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer today and discuss your options. This could mean the difference between your freedom or having to serve prison time, and receiving probation or fines.

If you are convicted in Florida state court, Unlawful Sexual Activity with a Minor is a Second Degree Felony which attracts a punishment of up to 15 years in prison, 15 years of sex offender probation, and a fine of $10,000.

However, under Florida’s Criminal Punishment Code, Unlawful Sexual Activity with a Minor attracts a Level 6 offense severity ranking and a judge is required to sentence a person convicted of Unlawful Sexual Activity with Minors to the bottom of the recommended sentencing guidelines sentence under the Florida criminal punishment code, of 5½ years in prison if the defendant has not been convicted of any offenses before. This is an even better reason to talk to a criminal defense lawyer before your court case is heard.

It’s not just the physical and social inconvenience of ending up in prison for a long time but once released, your name will be registered under the sexual offender registration laws in Florida and throughout the country for the rest of your life. You’re ability to live in many places would be limited, and you must register with the sheriff's office in any county that you intend to live in thereafter.

It is absolutely essential to hire the right criminal defense attorney to defend you against a sex trafficking charge. In Miami, contact a criminal defense lawyer with over 35 years of experience, Albert Quirantes, Esq. 305-644-1800. He will do all he can to have your sex related criminal charges thrown out. “Albert Quirantes Esq., Criminal, DUI and Ticket Lawyers”, a Miami Criminal Defense Law Firm.


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