State v. J.C.; Case No. 2008-CF-1493 (St Lucie County)
Arresting Agency: St. Lucie County Sheriffs Office.
Case Summary: Our client was online with an undercover detective from the St. Lucie County Sheriffs Department. The detective pretended to be a fifteen-year-old girl. Our client was twenty-two years old. After having some racy discussions online with the detective, the detective invited our client to call “her” to engage in phone sex. A young sounding female detective pretended to be this fifteen-year-old girl and our client ended up requesting that the “girl” masturbate to his commands. The police arrested our client for soliciting a sex act from a minor and charged him with a crime that would usually involve prison time and mandatory sex offender registration if convicted as charged. After lengthy discussions with our client with respect to our chances of success in front of a jury, it was decided that we would initiate negotiations with the detective who made the arrest and the prosecutor in an attempt to “charge bargain”, so that we might be able to avoid status as a convicted felon and as sex offender.
Result: After intensive negotiations with the State, our client ended up entering a no contest plea to a charge of Interference with Custody, a charge that is not categorized as a sex offense. Adjudication of Guilt was withheld, meaning the client is not a convicted felon. The client got five years probation, with automatic early termination of probation after thirty months if all the conditions of probation are satisfied. Most importantly, the client did not have to serve any time in jail, did not have to deal with sex offender probation and did not have to register as a sex offender.
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Brian Mallonee is a Criminal Defense Lawyer Serving St Lucie, Indian River, Martin, and Okeechobee Counties