Investigating and prosecuting a sex-related offense is complex legal process in the State of Florida. Many sex crimes cases do not have enough physical evidence to bring a case against a defendant. However, many prosecutors will bring a sex crime case to trial despite a lack of sufficient physical evidence. This is because many prosecutors have a strong bias toward those presumed to have committed a sexual assault. In some cases, law enforcement will carry out a hurried probe of an alleged sex crime to avoid holding the case open. When law enforcement rushes an investigation, mistakes happen. In some cases, the wrong person is arrested and charged with a sex crime.
One common problem that can complicate a sex crime investigation is delayed disclosure. Delayed disclosure is a common issue in a sex crime case. In some sex crimes cases the accused and the accuser know each other. Delayed disclosure occurs when the victim tells another person what happened to him or her months or years after the incident transpired. Since prosecutors tend to believe sex crime victims are always telling the truth, but this is not always true. In fact, many people can have imperfect memories, prejudices towards some people, or keep grudges, and could make false accusations. Therefore, the victim´s account of what occurred to them must be extensively cross-examined. If you or a loved one are accused of a sex crime in Florida, you need to perform an intensive and extensive investigation the allegations and evidence prior to start of the criminal trial. An experienced criminal defense lawyer will aid the accused in cross-examining each and every government witness.
Facing accusations of sexual abuse can have severe consequences in the accused´s life and could also affect their family life, employment status, and reputation in the community. Even when the accused is acquitted of perpetrating a sex crime, the mere allegations and publicity could have a life-long negative affect on the accused’s reputation.
Florida Undercover Sex Sting Operations
Florida Law enforcement often conducts undercover sting operations in order to infiltrate groups involved with prostitution rings, human trafficking, and other street-level sex crimes. There are numerous methods in which Florida law enforcement can administer sex sting operations. Police frequently pretend to be minor children and chat with adults online. As part of the undercover computer sex crimes sting operation, a female police officer will often be disguised as an underage child in order to lure online predators. Moreover, law officers may disguise themselves as prostitutes and run fake online advertisements selling sexual acts or digital assets such as images or videos to lure people into crimes such as soliciting a prostitute or distributing child pornography.
Individuals who are caught in a “sting” operation might be able to defend themselves by raining the affirmative defense, also known as entrapment. Entrapment infringes on the accused´s right to due process rights. According to Florida Statutes Section 777.201, entrapment includes several key elements.
“[a] law enforcement officer, a person engaged in cooperation with a law enforcement officer, or a person acting as an agent of a law enforcement officer perpetrates an entrapment if, for the purpose of obtaining evidence of the commission of a crime, he or she induces or encourages and, as a direct result, causes another person to engage in conduct constituting such crime by employing methods of persuasion or inducement which create a significant risk that such crime will be committed by a person other than one who is ready to commit it.”
The defendant, who is fighting criminal accusations, has the burden of proving that he or she simply committed the criminal offense he or she is charged with as a result of the police officers' attempts to entrap them. Criminal justice courts may be required to acquit the defendant should the defendant prove "entrapment by a preponderance of the evidence." Whether it is a judge or jury, whoever is the trier of fact is responsible for deciding the issue.
A defendant who is facing accusations that they engaged in sex solicitation has a defense of withdrawal, otherwise known as renunciation. Pursuant to Florida Statutes Section 777.04(5)(a)-(c), renunciation transpires whenever a defendant failed to try to commit the criminal offense, prevents themselves from acting out the crime, after soliciting someone to commit a criminal offense influences the individual not to commit the crime, or subsequent to conspiring with one or more individuals to perform a crime, convinced those individuals not to commit the crime or stopped the offense from occurring. To meet the requirements for this defense, the individual must have completely and voluntarily withdrawn from any criminal activity.
To satisfy the elements for this defense strategy, the defendant must have entirely and deliberately withdrawn from any criminal activity.
Musca Law: Aggressively Protecting the Rights of the People
If you, a friend, or a member of your family is facing sex-related criminal charges in the State of Florida, you need a dynamic legal advocate on your side to protect your legal rights. Our Florida sex crimes defense lawyers have over 150 years of combined expertise. Our criminal justice attorneys understand how to represent defendants facing tough charges. When the unthinkable occurs, and you or your loved one are facing severe criminal allegations, be sure to contact the hardworking criminal defense law firm of Musca Law.
Our law firm’s defense law firm has received many awards and accolades, such as The National Trial Lawyers – Top 100 Trial Lawyers, and the 2012 Florida Super Lawyers® for criminal defense. Musca Law also has received a perfect 10.0 Superb Avvo rating. Our firm understands how to protect your legal rights and your future. Our attorneys are hardworking, trustworthy, and relentless when it comes to defending our clients. Our experienced criminal defense lawyers work hard to exploit the weaknesses in the government prosecution’s case. We strive to develop a winning, strategic defense for each of our clients. Our firm´s record of success both inside and outside of the courtroom speaks for itself.