A Hendry County Police Officer responded to a Youth Center in reference to an alleged sex crime. The officer met with a counselor, who had received a complaint relative to another counselor, who had been making inappropriate sexual statements to a minor. In addition to the inappropriate comments, it had been alleged that our client offered the minor $50.00 if he would go into the restroom and remove his pants. This was immediately reported to another counselor, where the police then conducted numerous interviews. After the completion of all interviews, it had been believed, that probable cause existed and was made for procuring a child under the age of 18 years of age for prostitution, lewd or lascivious conduct offender and two counts of victim witness tampering.
Witness Tampering Charges in Florida
Under Florida law, tampering with a witness is a third-degree felony that can be penalized with up to five years in prison. A fine of up to $5,000 can also be imposed. An offender commits this crime when a witness:
- Decides to withhold their testimony from a proceeding
- Destroys, alters, or conceals an item with the intention of destroying so it can not be used in a proceeding
- Lies because the offender convinced them to do so
- Does not show up for a proceeding
Lewd and Lascivious Conduct Charges
Lewd and Lascivious Conduct Charges occur when an individual touches a child under the age of 16 in an intentional manner that is lewd or lascivious. The individual could also solicit someone under the age of 16 to commit lewd or lascivious acts (acts that are wicked, unchaste, or sensual).
Penalties for lewd and lascivious conduct will depend upon the age of the offender. If the offender was 18 or older, it will be charged as a second-degree felony. This will result in 15 years of prison time, 15 years of sex offender probation, and a fine of $10,000.
If the person that committed the crime was under the age of 18, it will be considered a third-degree felony. This is penalized by up to 5 years in prison, 5 years of sex offender probation, and a $5,000 fine.
If you have been charged with a criminal act, such as lewd or lascivious conduct or witness tampering charges, it is in your best interest to obtain the legal services of a lawyer. An experienced lawyer will be able to negotiate with the prosecution to have your charges lowered or dropped completely. Call Musca Law to speak with us today. Our law firm has over 150 years of combined experience. We offer a free initial consultation and are available 24 hours per day, 7 days a week.
RESULT: After diligent negotiation with the State, we were able to have both the Witness Tampering and the Lewd and Lascivious Conduct Charges dropped. Client Avoids Conviction and Sex Offender Status!