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Fort Lauderdale Sex Crime Defense Lawyers

Our Fort Lauderdale sex crime defense lawyers are always standing by to represent you and your interests in a court of law. Like most states, Florida categorizes offenses of a sexual nature as “sex crimes.” All offenses that fall under this category are considered serious, making it especially important for those who have been charged with a sex crime, to retain an experienced Fort Lauderdale sex crime defense attorney who can help ensure that their rights and interests are protected.

Fort Lauderdale Child Pornography Lawyers

Some of the most commonly charged sex offenses involve allegations of the possession, manufacture, or distribution of child pornography, which is defined under Fla. Stat. 847.001(3) as any image depicting a minor engaged in sexual conduct. These types of images are distinguishable from child erotica, which are defined as photographs that contain depictions of nude or partially nude minors who are posed in a manner that doesn’t qualify as sexual conduct. The possession of child erotica is not unlawful, so it is critical for those who have been charged with this offense to have a clear understanding of the state’s child pornography-related definitions.

Before being convicted of possessing child pornography, prosecutors must not only prove that the images qualify as child pornography, but that the defendant viewed more than one image and also saved the images to a cache file or knew that they would automatically be saved. If this burden is met, a defendant faces third-degree felony penalties for every image recovered from his or her possession. This means that a person could end up being sentenced to 25 years in prison for the possession of five photos, as the maximum sentence per charge is five years imprisonment.

It is also not uncommon for those who have been charged with possessing child pornography to face charges of transmitting, distributing, or manufacturing pornographic images, all of which are third-degree felonies. Sharing images or videos with someone else, on the other hand, is considered a second-degree felony while promoting or producing child pornography is a first-degree felony. Defendants accused of this offense should also be wary of federal charges of possessing child pornography, which can be levied if the images moved across state lines or were created using materials or equipment that were transported across state lines. This includes images sent electronically via email or website.

Proving that a computer virus caused the images to be downloaded onto a computer, or that a computer was accessed by multiple people could help an accused escape conviction, as could providing proof that he or she did not know what the images contained.

Fort Lauderdale Sexual Battery and Assault Attorney

Both sexual battery and sexual assault fall under the same broad statute found at Fla. Stat. 794.011, which prohibits non-consensual oral, vaginal, or anal penetration with the use of a sexual organ or other object. How this offense is charged depends on a number of factors, including:
  • The age of the alleged victim;
  • Whether or not the victim suffered from a mental defect;
  • Whether the victim was drugged;
  • Whether the defendant threatened to use force or violence against the victim or a third party;
  • Whether the victim was physically helpless;
  • Whether a weapon or force was used during the offense; and
  • Whether the offender was a police officer or someone else in a position of authority.
For instance, if the victim was over the age of 12 years old, the offense will usually be charged as a second-degree felony, while the use of force or a weapon can increase the charge to a life felony. Finally, when a victim is a minor under the age of 12 years old, a defendant convicted of sexual assault could face capital felony charges, meaning that he or she could be subject to the death penalty. Regardless of the age of the victim, a defendant charged with sexual battery can face a mandatory minimum of 25 years imprisonment under Fla. Stat. 794.0115 if he or she is convicted and:
  • Caused a serious personal injury to the victim;
  • Used or threatened to use a deadly weapon during the commission of the offense;
  • Committed the offense against more than one person; or
  • Had previously been convicted of a sex crime or a felony.
In these types of cases, providing proof of an accuser’s consent to the activity is crucial to establishing a defendant’s innocence. However, to exculpate someone, this consent must be knowing and voluntary, meaning that it cannot be coerced. Furthermore, this defense cannot be raised if the victim was a minor. This is true even if the defendant was purposely misled about the minor’s age.

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