Florida State LinesSexual tourism is a federal offense that can be enforced by Department of Justice Officers, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and other federal agents. Since the law considers sexual tourism a form of human trafficking, it will take an experienced Florida sex crime attorney to avoid several years’ imprisonment.

What Is Sexual Tourism?

Sexual tourism involves transporting minors across state or international borders to engage them in prostitution. Any of the following may result in a charge of sexual tourism:

  • Engaging in illicit sexual conduct in a foreign place
  • Traveling in foreign commerce for illicit sexual conduct
  • Traveling over state or national borders to engage in sexual activity with minors
  • Arranging or enabling a person to have sex with a minor outside of the country's boundaries
  • Knowingly procuring a location or providing a means of travel for a person to participate in sexual contact with a minor
  • Engaging in commercial sex acts (prostitution)

Potential Penalties for Sexual Tourism

Depending on the specifics of the case, you may face:

  • A minimum of five years in prison for a first offense
  • A maximum of 30 years in prison for cases involving minors
  • A mandatory punishment of life in prison for repeat offenders of sexual tourism
  • Fines of tens of thousands of dollars
  • Permanent registration as a sex offender on the Florida Sexual Offenders and Predators System for the remainder of your life

There Are Special Defenses Available to You

Defendants accused of sexual tourism with a minor have a unique defense open to them under federal law. If they can demonstrate a reasonable belief that the person with whom they were engaging in the commercial sex act was over 18 years old, penalties may be reduced. However, it will take clear and convincing evidence for the judge to rule in your favor.

The board-certified criminal trial attorneys at Flaherty and Merrifield offer free consultations and convenient payment plans to give all defendants their best chance at justice. Call (850) 403-6835 today or fill out our contact form to learn more.


Brandy Merrifield
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Florida Criminal Defense Attorney
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