Unlawful Use of Two-Way Communications Device

Under Section 934.215, Fla. Stat., the crime of unlawfully using a two-way communication device requires proof that the device was used to facilitate or further the commission of a felony.

The term “two-way communications device” includes any portable two-way wireless communication device such as a cell phone.

Many of these cases involve sexually motivated crimes, especially during a sting operation when an undercover officer will use a computer, tablet, or cell phone to communicate with a suspect about where to meet. When the suspect shows up at the meeting location with that device, the undercover officer will seize it.

Because of the difficulty in proving those underlying crimes, officers in elaborate sting operations might add this particular charge because it might be easier to prove at trial.

Crimes charged under Section 934.215, Fla. Stat., are set as third-degree felonies punishable by up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine. The crime of using a two-way device for communications to facilitate a crime is classified as a Level 4 offense for purposes of the severity ranking on the scoresheet.

Attorney for Communications Device Crimes in Tampa, FL

If you were charged with using a communication device to facilitate the commission of a felony offense, including a sex crime, contact the experienced attorneys at Sammis Law Firm. Related charges might include:

Our main office is located in downtown Tampa, FL. We also have a second office in New Port Richey, FL. Our criminal defense attorneys represent clients on various sex crimes in Tampa, FL, and the surrounding areas throughout Tampa Bay.

Contact us to learn more about the charges pending against you, the typical penalties for that offense, and ways to aggressively fight the charges.

Call 813-250-0500.

Elements of Crimes for Using a Two-Way Device

The standard jury instructions for the UNLAWFUL USE OF A TWO-WAY COMMUNICATIONS DEVICE are found in Chapter 29.26. The standard jury instructions were adopted in 2017.

Those standard jury instructions for crimes charged under § 934.215, Fla. Stat., provide that to prove the crime of Unlawful Use of a Two-Way Communications Device, the State must prove the following two elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. The defendant possessed and actually used a two-way communications device; and
  2. The defendant used the device for the purpose of facilitating or furthering the commission of a felony.

As explained by the standard jury instructions, if there is a dispute about whether the defendant was facilitating or furthering the commission of a felony as opposed to a misdemeanor, the court might consider instructing jurors on the elements of the felony.

The Court might also instruct the jury that the term “two-way communications device” includes but is not limited to a portable two-way wireless device. As of November 2016, there was no legal definition in the statutes or case law for the phrase “two-way communications device.” 

Two-way communication devices might include computers, tablets, cell phones, and smartphones, used to communicate a meeting place to commit the crime or make other arraignments.

Additional Resources

Lewd or Lascivious Exhibition over a Computer – Attorneys explain charges related to using a computer to commit crimes against children involving lewd or lascivious exhibition charged under Section 847.0135(5), Fla. Stat. Find out more about crimes involving the use of a computer or communications made electronically through the phone, email, social media, or the internet.

This article was last updated on Tuesday, October 10, 2023.