Add Kania to the list of cases where individuals convicted of online solicitation offenses had their “associated” charges dismissed on double jeopardy grounds.
Last week, the 2nd DCA threw out the “unlawful use of a two-way communications device” conviction of a defendant who was also convicted of traveling to meet a minor in 2012, finding that it was part of the same conduct and to be convicted of both would violate Double Jeopardy.
The court’s opinion mentioned that the lower court already recognized that it could not charge him with both traveling to meet a minor and use of a computer to solicit (because of Shelley), but here the Court further prevented the “use of a two-way communications device”.
In lay terms; prosecutors have been tacking on multiple criminal offenses arising from the same course of conduct. Caught in a sting? That’s one crime for online solicitation, one crime for traveling to meet, one crime for use of a two-way communication device, etc… Courts are catching on that if it’s all arising from the same course of conduct it can’t be three separate crimes, otherwise it’s double jeopardy.
If you are facing charges, make sure your attorney is aware of these decisions. If you are currently serving a sentence speak to your attorney (FAC is not a law firm, don’t ask us about your case) to see whether you would be entitled to any post-conviction relief.