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My son (22) was arrested (first time ever) for trying to meet

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My son (22) was arrested (first time ever) for trying to meet with an underage female. It was actually a sting. This was a Craigslist ad looking for a 3rd person.The undercover detective posted as a "stepfather" of a younger female (14) that he was already doing things to. My son never texted, talked, sent pics, or even met with any minor, only to the initiator on the first correspondence. The age was mentioned after that. He did cross state lines (into Georgia) to meet though, and they arrested him outside the door of the motel room. The FBI said to me they would not prosecute federally. He has a $50k bond. They are saying the charges are "sexual exploitation of children, computer porn, and criminal attempt". What are we looking at as far as the possible sentence, and based upon the facts, are these charges possible if there was no "victim" or any attempt made?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  LawHelpNow replied 5 years ago.

Thanks so much for choosing this forum to pose your important legal question. I will do my best to give you some honest and accurate guidance as I answer your question.


  1. I am a licensed attorney with criminal law experience. I will be glad to try and answer your question. I hope that the following information will be helpful to you, but please just write back if you have any follow-up questions or need clarification on anything after reviewing the following information.
  2. First of all, please allow me to say I am genuinely sorry for these painful circumstances. It is obvious that you care for your son, and he is fortunate to have you in his corner. Accordingly, it gives me no pleasure to be the bearer of some discouraging news. While I am sure the following is not what you were hoping to read, this is a correct statement of the currently existing law. Georgia is just about the toughest jurisdiction in this regard. Based on what you have described, there would be no basis for the second charge (child pornography), unless additional facts come to light. The first and third charges (sexual exploitation and criminal attempt), however, are cause for serious concern. More specifically, under Georgia law, the offense essentially took place the moment your son left his home and got into his vehicle to make the drive. I realize it may well seem incredible, but the fact that your son was actually communicating with an undercover detective, never consummated a sexual act with a child, etc. do not provide meritorious defenses against these particular charges. I have provided (below) some related provisions from the Official Code of Georgia Annotated. What is most imperative at this juncture is that your son remains absolutely silent, avoid self-incrimination, and confer with a criminal defense attorney just as soon as possible. If unable to afford to retain a private lawyer, he should request the appointment of legal counsel. State Bar of Georgia
  3. I hope that makes sense, but please do not hesitate to write back if needed. I shall be signing off soon to attend to some other professional obligations. Please rest assured, however, that I will be sure to check for any updated posts from you when I return to this online forum. I hope all works out.


I hope that this information has been helpful to you. If we can be of any further assistance please free to use our service again. Best wishes for a successful outcome.


If my answer has been helpful to you, please click "ACCEPT" so that I may be paid. This is the only way that I will receive compensation for the work performed. Please consider clicking "BONUS" as a nice way of saying "thanks" for a job well done. Clicking "FEEDBACK" to leave your positive comments is always greatly appreciated.


The information provided is general in nature only and should not be construed as legal advice. By using this forum, you acknowledge that no attorney-client relationship has been created between you and Benjamin M. Burt, Jr., Esq. You should always consult with a lawyer in your state.


O.C.G.A. § 16-12-100 (2010): Sexual Exploitation of Children


O.C.G.A. § 16-4-3 (2010): Criminal Attempt

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Are these misdemeanors, and what are the possible sentences for such convictions?
Expert:  LawHelpNow replied 5 years ago.

Hello again,


Thanks for writing back -- good to hear from you.


I will be glad to comment further -- please see below.


I do ask that you kindly press "Accept" to process my answer.


Assuming convictions, here are the classifications and penalty ranges:


  1. Sexual Exploitation of Children: Felony; Imprisonment of five to 20 years and fine of up to $100,000.00.
  2. Criminal Attempt: Felony; Imprisonment of one to 10 years, fine up to $50,000, or both.

I hope that helps a bit more and that things work out for your son.


Take care and thanks again for choosing JustAnswer®!


[Please click "Accept" -- this is the only way I get paid for my work and services provided.]

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