Lewd Exhibition Over the Computer
The internet is commonplace now for people to shop, socialize, or to inform themselves of what’s going on around the world. Unfortunately, it’s also been used as a tool to collect evidence and prosecute people for crimes. The state of Florida considers it illegal to perform various acts online in any form such as lewd exhibition over the computer.
Lewd and lascivious acts are illegal sexual crimes that involve children 16 and under. Intentionally masturbating, exposing genitals and other various sexual conduct to a minor can land you with criminal charges. This includes watching a minor act lewdly online or on your electronic device. Mutual consent or being unaware of the alleged victim’s age isn’t enough of a defense in a lewd exhibition charge. If you’ve been arrested for an internet sex crime, we recommend you contact an experienced attorney at Meltzer & Bell.
Attorney for Lewd Exhibition Over the Computer in Fort Lauderdale, FL
Understanding the full ramifications of your charge is key to having it reduced or dismissed. If you or someone you know has been charged with a lewd and lascivious crime, then it’s important you gain experienced legal representation. Our attorneys understand how to defend those with lewd and lascivious charges. Let us help you by calling Meltzer & Bell.
Contact us now at (954) 765-6585 to set up your first consultation for free. We can provide you with different We accept clients throughout the greater Fort Lauderdale area such as Pembroke Pines, Miramar, Davie and Coral Springs.
Overview of Lewd Exhibition Over the Computer in FL
- What Does Florida Law Consider to Be Lewd Exhibition Online?
- Penalties for Lewd Exhibition Online
- Owner of Computer Services Liable
- Additional Resources
What Does Florida law Consider to be Lewd Exhibition Online?
Sex crimes where a minor under the age of 16 is involved are referred to as lewd and lascivious acts. If you watch a minor in a sexual manner online, then you can also be charged with lewd exhibition over the computer. Florida law states certain computer transmissions are included.
It’s illegal in Florida to watch a child live under the age of 16 perform any of the following actions or do any of the following actions online where a minor under the age of 16 can watch.
- Intentionally masturbate;
- Intentionally expose genitalia in a lewd or lascivious manner;
- Intentionally commit any other sexual action that doesn’t involve physical or sexual contact with the victim but is still sexual in nature such as sadomasochistic abuse, sexual bestiality, or any other simulation of sexual activity
Stating that the victim wasn’t a child, but an undercover law enforcement officer is not an admissible defense in court. In addition, mutual consent isn’t considered a viable defense for the crime of lewd exhibition over the computer.
Penalties for Lewd Exhibition Over the Computer
The consequences for lewd exhibition over the computer are incredibly serious and depend on your age. If you were less than 18 years old during the offense, then you’ll be charged with a third-degree felony. The statutory penalties for a third-degree felony include:
- Up to 5 years in prison; and
- A fine of up to $5,000
However, if you were over 18 years old during the offense your charges will be enhanced. You will instead face a first-degree felony, which is punishable by:
- Up to 15 years in prison; and
- A fine of up to $10,000
As an additional condition to your sentencing, the judge may court order you to register as a sex offender. Depending on your case, you could be required to register as a sex offender for years. Being labeled as a sex offender can greatly impact your ability to obtain employment, housing and can hurt your personal relationships.
Owners of Computer Services Liable for Crime
You can be charged with a crime for simply allowing someone to lewdly exhibit themselves or a minor online. Florida statutes claim it is illegal for owners of a computer online service, internet service, or local bulletin board to permit a user to commit lewd exhibition over the computer. As a result, you can be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor.
The penalties for a first-degree misdemeanor include:
- Up to one year in jail; and
- A fine of up to $2,000
Enough is Enough – Visit the official website for Enough is Enough, a non-profit and non-partisan organization that is dedicated to making the internet safer for children and their families. Access their site to read their research, resources and how to take action.
Florida’s Laws on Lewd Exhibition Online – Visit the official website for the Florida Statutes to read more on internet sex crimes involving minors in Florida. Access the site to read the penalties for traveling to meet a minor, transmitting child pornography and other related crimes.
Sex Crimes Attorney for Lewd Exhibition Online in Broward County, FL
If you or someone you know has been charged with lewd exhibition over the computer, then it’s vital you get in contact with an attorney. Sex crimes involving children have lifelong consequences, so you must act quickly. For a qualified and passionate attorney, we recommend you contact the office of Meltzer & Bell.
Our attorneys at Meltzer & Bell have years of sex crimes experience we can use for you. Contact us now at (954) 765-6585 and we will set up your first consultation free. We accept clients in the Fort Lauderdale area including Pembroke Pines, Davie, Pompano Beach and Miramar.
This article was last updated on September 4, 2019.