Chicago Traveling to Meet a Minor Lawyers

Facing Charges for Traveling to Meet a Minor? Here’s What You Need to Know But, you’ve found yourself in a precarious legal situation. Allegations of traveling to meet a minor for sexual purposes are incredibly serious, with life-altering consequences if convicted. Take a deep breath, this isn’t the end – but you absolutely need to get ahead of this right away.At Spodek Law Group, we understand how daunting these charges feel. Our criminal defense attorneys have successfully defended numerous clients…

Facing Charges for Traveling to Meet a Minor? Here’s What You Need to Know

But, you’ve found yourself in a precarious legal situation. Allegations of traveling to meet a minor for sexual purposes are incredibly serious, with life-altering consequences if convicted. Take a deep breath, this isn’t the end – but you absolutely need to get ahead of this right away.At Spodek Law Group, we understand how daunting these charges feel. Our criminal defense attorneys have successfully defended numerous clients against accusations like yours. We’ll guide you through this stressful process, but you need to act quickly. Every decision from this point forward will impact the outcome.

The Charges and Potential Penalties

The charges you’re likely facing are a violation of 720 ILCS 5/11-26, the Illinois law prohibiting traveling to meet a minor. Specifically:

  • Traveling to meet someone under 17 years old, or someone you believed to be underage
  • With the intent of engaging in any sex act constituting a felony

This is a Class 3 felony in Illinois. Potential penalties include:

  • 2-5 years in prison
  • Fines up to $25,000
  • Mandatory registration as a sex offender

But, the penalties get even harsher if the minor was under 15, or if the intended sex act was aggravated criminal sexual abuse. Then it becomes a Class 2 felony with 3-7 years potential prison time.These are just the state charges. Federal charges for attempted sexual exploitation of a minor could also apply, carrying 10+ year sentences.The bottom line? You’re facing the possibility of many years behind bars and a permanent criminal record that will follow you forever. Leaving this unaddressed is not an option.

Understanding How These Cases Typically Unfold

In many traveling to meet a minor cases, law enforcement relies on sting operations. An undercover officer poses as an underage individual online, often on dating apps or websites.If you engaged with this fictional “minor” and made plans to meet up for sexual activity, you were likely arrested upon arriving at the agreed location. All your online communications and text messages have been carefully documented as evidence against you.Even if no actual minor was ever involved, the intent to commit the crime is enough for charges. Prosecutors will use your own words and actions as proof you believed you were speaking to a child with the purpose of sexual contact.This is an extremely aggressive prosecutorial tactic designed to secure easy convictions. But an experienced defense lawyer can still poke holes in the state‘s case against you.

Building a Solid Defense Strategy

No two cases are exactly alike, but some potential defense strategies we might employ include:

If law enforcement went too far in luring or inducing you into committing a crime you wouldn‘t have otherwise, this could constitute entrapment. We‘ll scrutinize their tactics.

Mistaken Identity/Authentication Issues
Were you positively identified as the person communicating? If not, we can challenge the authentication of the online evidence against you.

Freedom of Speech Arguments
Depending on the specific facts, we may be able to argue your online communications were merely fantasy speech protected by the First Amendment.

Lack of Criminal Intent
If we can cast doubt on your intentions or belief that you were communicating with a real minor, this could defeat the intent requirement.

Suppression of Evidence
We’ll analyze whether any of the state’s evidence was obtained through illegal searches, unmirandized statements, or other constitutional violations which could get it suppressed.

Plea Negotiations
In some cases, the best path may be negotiating with prosecutors to reduce charges or sentencing exposure through a plea bargain.The key is having an attorney who can thoroughly investigate all circumstances, identify all possible defenses, and apply decades of legal expertise to your case. Don‘t assume you have no options – even cases that seem open-and-shut can have a path forward in the right hands.

Why You Need to Hire a Top Criminal Defense Lawyer – Today

There’s one reason you’re on this website: you’re looking for an elite criminal defense law firm. We‘re focused on providing the highest level of customer service, and case results for our clients. Our New York criminal defense lawyers are focused on servicing a very curated clientele, that expects high class service and exceptional understanding of the law.Most law firms implement a cookie cutter strategy in order to fight your case, and save their own time. They don‘t look carefully at your situation – they simply want to move on to the next case. At Spodek Law Group, we leave no stone unturned. We do everything possible to win. Everything we do is focused on getting you results.

We understand the difficult and challenges of going through a case.If you‘re accused of a crime, schedule a consultation with our criminal attorneys today.

Our NYC criminal defense attorneys will defend you vigorously. When you hire a criminal defense attorney, he, or she, becomes your voice and advocate as you navigate the criminal justice system.Sometimes prosecutors will only be fair if you respond with force to them. Without an attorney advising you, you might accidentally plead guilty when you could‘ve won the case. The only way to truly know is to hire a private criminal defense attorney.At Spodek Law Group – we pride ourselves on taking a hands-on approach. It means researching the exact situation surrounding your case, and putting in the leg work to be familiar with every single intimate detail.

Our firm has excellent work ethics, and we constantly hold firm meetings in order to discuss and address all of our cases. In the event of an emergency – we have a full team of lawyers available to help you.Regardless of how tough your situation is – we are here to help you. Our criminal defense lawyers work hard to have a solution for you, irrespective of the situation you find yourself in. Many clients are often embarrassed by their situation, and don’t speak openly about their alleged issue. We encourage open dialogue, and recommend full transparency – so we can give you the best possible legal advice.

Potential Defenses in Depth

Let’s examine some of the key potential defense strategies in more detail:

For entrapment to apply, the defendant must show they were induced to commit the crime by law enforcement and had no predisposition to commit it otherwise. Mere soliciting, advertising or initiating conversation is not enough for entrapment.But if investigators became overly insistent, aggressive, harassing, or made repeated appeals over time to overcome your reluctance, this could cross the line into improper inducement. We‘ll carefully review the tactics used.

Authentication of Evidence
All evidence needs to be properly authenticated to be admissible. For online communications, this means proving you were the actual person behind the account or device in question. If there are authentication issues, we can seek to exclude that evidence.

Freedom of Speech
While not a blanket defense, the First Amendment does protect some categories of speech related to sex from criminalization, such as mere advocacy or fantasy role-playing. The specific facts and context matter greatly here.

Lack of Intent
The statute requires intent to commit a felony sex act with someone you believed to be a minor. If we can undermine either the intent element or your perceived belief about their age, this defeats the charges.

Suppression Issues
Fourth Amendment search and seizure violations, Fifth Amendment Miranda violations, and other constitutional infringements on your rights could result in key evidence being suppressed and unusable against you.

Plea Negotiations
In some cases, the best resolution may be negotiating a plea bargain to non-sex offense charges, probation instead of jail time, or reduced sentencing exposure. We’ll advise if this is a wise course compared to taking the case to trial.The right defense strategy depends entirely on your specific situation and the facts of the case. This is why it’s critical to have an experienced attorney carefully evaluate every angle.

What to Expect From the Criminal Justice Process

Being charged is only the beginning. Here’s a general overview of what you can expect from the criminal process in Illinois:

Arrest and Bail
You’ll be arrested, booked, and brought before a judge for a bail hearing within 48 hours. We‘ll argue for you to be released on bail or recognizance bond.

This is where you’ll enter a plea of guilty or not guilty. We’ll always plead not guilty initially to keep options open.

Both sides exchange evidence like police reports, witness statements, and other documentation.

Preliminary Hearing
The prosecution must show probable cause that a crime was committed to proceed to trial.

Pre-Trial Motions
We’ll file motions as needed, such as to suppress evidence or dismiss charges if appropriate.

Plea Negotiations
Plea bargaining may be ongoing throughout this process if that appears the best path.

If no plea deal, the case will go to a jury trial where we’ll present our defense case.

If convicted, a separate sentencing hearing will determine your penalties within the prescribed range.

We can appeal an unsatisfactory outcome by showing legal errors were made.This process takes time, with many opportunities to negotiate a positive resolution if handled properly by an experienced defense firm like ours. But you need that process started immediately.

Why You Shouldn’t Delay – Time is Critical

The sooner we can begin investigating your case and crafting a defense strategy, the better your chances will be. Certain defenses and evidence become unavailable or unusable if too much time passes.Law enforcement has already been building their case against you. You need that same head start in protecting your rights and freedom.Additionally, the longer you wait, the higher the temptation to make self-incriminating statements or take actions that could damage your defense. Having counsel advising you immediately prevents those costly mistakes.Perhaps most importantly, the trauma and uncertainty of these charges are incredibly emotionally taxing. The sooner you have a legal advocate actively working on resolving this stressful situation, the sooner you can regain some peace of mind. Don’t gamble with your future and liberty. If you‘re facing charges for traveling to meet a minor, taking immediate action with an elite criminal defense firm is an absolute must.

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