Prohibited Computer Usage as Related to Criminal Offenses

The Florida Legislature states that Prohibited Computer Usage is committed when any person who knowingly uses a computer online service, Internet service, local bulletin board service, or any other device capable of electronic data storage or transmission to:

  • Seduce, solicit, lure, or entice, or attempt to seduce, solicit, lure, or entice, a child or another person believed by the person to be a child, or to otherwise engage in any unlawful sexual conduct with a child or with another person believed to be a child;
  • Solicit, lure or entice, or attempt to solicit, lure, or entice a parent, legal guardian, or custodian of a child or a person believed to be a parent, legal guardian, to custodian of a child to consent to the participation of such child

Separate uses of computer online services, Internet services, local bulletin board services, or any other device capable of electronic data storage transmission wherein an offense is committed, may be charged as a separate offense. 

PENALTY

A Prohibited Computer Usage charge is considered a third degree felony in the state of Florida, and if convicted, one can face up to five (5) years' imprisonment. In certain cases, enhancements may be applicable, causing the charge to become a second degree felony. In such cases, if convicted, one can face up to fifteen (15) years' imprisonment.

Defenses

There are defenses to a Prohibited Computer Usage charge, including the following:

  1. Defendant unknowingly used a device to contact the victim
  2. Victim was not a child or a person believed by the defendant to be a child
  3. Defendant unknowingly used a device to contact a parent, legal guardian, or any person believed by the defendant to be a parent or legal guardian of a child

Get the Right Defense with a FREE Case Review

Being accused of a crime related to Prohibited Computer Usage does not necessarily mean you are guilty of said crime.

There are many factual and legal issues that must be investigated and evaluated. Because of the complexities and penalties associated with a Prohibited Computer Usage charge, it is imperative that you speak with an experienced criminal trial lawyer right away.

If you or someone you know has been accused of a Prohibited Computer Usage charge in the Pinellas County or surrounding areas, it is very important that you contact an experience criminal defense attorney immediately. Our team of attorneys, investigators and experts are highly experienced in defending computer related crimes and will begin building your defense today.

Contact us for a free analysis of your case at our local office located in Clearwater, Florida. Contact Powers Sellers & Finkelstein, PLC today at 727-531-2926 to learn about your legal options if you have been accused of Prohibited Computer Usage. Start building your defense immediately!

References:

Florida Statute §847.0135

Florida Statute §775.082, §775.083, & §775.084

Florida Standard Jury Instructions Criminal Cases 11.17

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