Between September of 2018 and April of 2019, a man allegedly contacted children to engage in explicit sexual conduct. Investigators say that he used coercion to make them expose or fondle themselves on their computers or cell phones.
On top of being charged with soliciting a minor for unlawful sexual activity via computer and lewd and lascivious molestation, he has also been accused of unlawful use of a two-way communication device. But what exactly is that crime?
Using a Two-Way Communication Device to Commit a Felony
Under Florida Statutes § 934.215, it is illegal for a person to use a two-way communication device to further the commission of any felony.
That means a person is committing an offense if they use a:
- Amateur radio, or
- Any other device capable of sending messages to another device
The man in the story mentioned at the beginning of this blog had used his cell phone to entice children to engage in sexual conduct, which is a third-degree felony offense, and is why he was charged with this crime as well as the others.
Although this blog began with a case about sex crimes, the law prohibiting using a two-way communication device to commit a felony is not limited to those types of offenses. It states that sending messages to facilitate or further any type of felony is an offense. That means if a person uses their phone to commit a crime such as murder or burglary, they'll be charged with this offense.
What Are the Penalties for Using a Two-Way Communication Device?
Although it might not seem like unlawful use of a two-way communication device is a serious offense – a person is just using their cell phone or their computer – it is a severe crime that carries with it harsh penalties. It is charged as a third-degree felony.
If the man mentioned earlier is convicted of this offense, he could be facing up to 5 years in prison. In addition to incarceration, he could also be fined up to $5,000.
As written, the law applies only to using a two-way communication device to commit a felony. If one is used to facilitating a misdemeanor, a person would not be charged under this statute.
Schedule a Free Initial Case Review with the Law Office of Armando J. Hernandez, P.A.
Being accused of unlawful use of a two-way communication device or any other offense should not be taken lightly. A conviction could have serious ramifications for the rest of your life. If you have been charged with this crime, get started on building an effective criminal defense strategy to fight the allegations by calling the Law Office of Armando J. Hernandez, P.A. today. We will be committed to working toward a favorable outcome on your behalf.
For experienced legal representation with a Miami criminal defense attorney, call us at (305) 400-0074 or contact us online today.