Fort Myers Sex Crime Defense Lawyers
In Fort Myers, Florida, offenses that involve sexual conduct fall under the broad term of “sex crimes,” which involves charges of child pornography, solicitation, sexual assault, and more.
Child Pornography Attorneys in Fort Myers
Florida law prohibits a wide range of conduct in connection with child pornography, including possession, distribution, manufacturing, production, and transmission. In fact, it is not uncommon for defendants to face many of these charges for the same incident. For instance, a person may be charged with the production of child pornography and with inducing the sexual performance of a child. However, before a person can be convicted of any of these offenses, prosecutors must demonstrate that the images in the individual’s possession satisfy the definition of child pornography and that the defendant had the requisite intent to commit the offense.
Possession of Child Pornography in Fort Myers
Child pornography in Florida refers to any image that depicts a minor engaged in sexual activity. This image can be printed or digital, and it can be either a single image or a film. Under Florida law, a minor is considered to be anyone under the age of 18 at the time the filming or photography took place. Florida law bars Florida residents from containing any images that include minors engaging in sexual conduct such as:
- Deviate, Actual, or Simulated Sexual Intercourse
- Sadomasochistic Abuse
Possession of these materials can result in severe legal consequences. If you’ve been charged with possession of child pornography in Fort Myers, it’s in your best interest to seek out experienced legal help to defend you against these charges.
Fort Myers Child Exploitation Crimes
Child exploitation crimes in Florida occur when an act is gone against a child for the sole purpose of gratifying someone else. These crimes cover a wide spectrum of acts and behaviors some of which include:
- Child pornography
- Child prostitution
- Distribution of child pornography
- Child trafficking
- Child sex trafficking
- Child sex tourism
- Coercing children online for sexual activities
Solicitation Crime Lawyers in Fort Myers
Another commonly charged sex crime is the solicitation of a prostitute. Those who are accused of this offense can be convicted even if the person solicited was not actually a prostitute, but an undercover police officer. It is not uncommon for these situations to also involve charges of soliciting a minor, especially if the transaction took place over the internet, as law enforcement officers often conduct internet stings to apprehend those involved in computer sex crimes.
Unfortunately, defendants who are charged with this offense cannot argue that they did not know that the other party was a minor. It is possible, however, to argue that no actual offer was made or that the defendant was entrapped by police officers.
Fort Myers Child Molestation Lawyers
In Florida, a person can be convicted of child molestation under Fla. Stat. 800.04 if there is evidence that he or she committed a lewd or lascivious act on a minor. In fact, a person can be convicted of this offense even if he or she never actually touched the child but was in his or her presence when the act was committed.
However, defendants can avoid conviction if they can prove that the act does not qualify as lewd or lascivious because it was not done to gratify sexual desire or incite lust.
Sexual Assault Lawyers in Fort Myers
Unlike many other states, Florida does not have a statute that specifically addresses sexual assault. Instead, a person who is accused of sexually assaulting another person is charged under the state’s sexual battery law contained in Fla. Stat. 794.011, which prohibits non-consensual contact between someone’s sexual organ or another object and another person’s mouth, vagina, or anus.
Like other crimes, defendants who are accused of this offense have the right to raise a defense, which could include arguing that the alleged victim voluntarily and knowingly consented to the sexual activity or that they were falsely accused. However, they are prohibited from raising defenses that involve references to the victim’s promiscuity.
Lewd and Lascivious Crime Attorneys in Fort Myers
In Florida, lewd and lascivious conduct is understood to be any action that incites lust or sexual desire. Because this type of conduct is so broadly defined, a variety of different actions can be charged under the state’s lewd and lascivious statutes, including:
- Lewd or lascivious exhibition, which involves intentionally masturbating, exposing the genitals, or committing a sexual act in the presence of a minor;
- Lewd or lascivious conduct, which occurs when a person intentionally touches a minor in a lewd manner;
- Lewd or lascivious battery, which involves engaging in sexual activity with a minor;
- Lewd or lascivious molestation, which involves the intentional touching of the genitals, buttocks, or breast of a minor;
- Lewd or lascivious behavior; and
- Lascivious acts.
Like other offenses involving minors, defendants are not permitted to argue that an alleged victim consented to the activity, although they can provide evidence that their intent was not lascivious in nature.
Sexual Battery Lawyers in Fort Myers
In Florida, sexual battery is defined as the oral, vaginal, or anal union with or penetration by someone else’s sexual organ or another object. Those who are wrongly accused can argue that the other party knowingly and voluntarily consented to the sexual activity. Furthermore, acts done for a bona fide medical purpose are not considered to be sexual battery.
Penalties for Sexual Battery
Those convicted of sexual battery charges in Fort Myers may be fined or incarcerated and be required to register as a sex offender, a classification that restricts where one can work and live. If the following circumstances are involved in the case, the prison sentences can be extended significantly:
- The victim is a minor
- Multiple perpetrators were involved
- Force was used or threatened
- The offender has previous sex crime charges or convictions
- The victim died as a result of the battery
In these circumstances, the evidence and case against you could have life-long consequences that forever stain your reputation and could potentially lead to decades inside a prison. With the right sexual battery attorneys in the Fort Myers at your side, you can ensure your side is represented and given a fair trial in court.
Indecent Exposure / Exposure of Sexual Organ Lawyers in Fort Myers
Before a person can be convicted of indecent exposure, prosecutors must prove that the accused intentionally exposed him or herself in a public place or on private property in close proximity to others and that he or she did so with lewd intent. Proving that intent was lacking is often a person’s strongest defense, especially if no one witnessed the act.
Voyeurism Lawyers in Fort Myers
Voyeurism involves secretly viewing another person without their knowledge in a public or private space where they had a reasonable expectation of privacy. Like other Florida sex crimes, a person can only be convicted of this offense if he or she had a lewd or lascivious intent at the time of the viewing.
Fort Myers Prostitution Lawyer
Florida Prostitution Cases
Under Chapter 796 of the Florida Statutes, prostitution is the act of giving or receiving the body for sexual activity in exchange for money. Prostitution is outlawed in Fort Myers and across the state and a wide variety of behaviors and actions are covered under Florida prostitution laws. Some sub-categories of prostitution include:
- Buying or selling minors into prostitution
- Securing a minor for prostitution
- Encouraging another person to join prostitution
- Developing financial supports from prostitution
- Providing a space for prostitution by leasing or renting
- Attempting to or succeeding in petitioning a prostitute
- Owning or operating a location for use in prostitution
- Providing transport to a prostitution location
Deriving Support from Prostitution
Florida law prohibits the act of prostitution and others from engaging those operating as prostitutes. Under Florida State Statute 796.05, an individual can also be charged for deriving support from prostitution if the situation fulfills three criteria:
- Another person is engaged in the prostitution services
- The accused did or reasonably should have had knowledge about this person’s engagement in prostitution
- The accused shared in the earnings from these illegal activities.
Penalties for Deriving Support from Prostitution
If you have been accused of or charged with deriving support from prostitution in Fort Myers, the consequences for a conviction are serious. The consequences depend on the individual circumstances of your case but can include:
- A felony charge of the third degree
- A maximum prison sentence of 5 years
- Fines up to $5,000
- If the accused has a history of violent crimes or repeat felony convictions, jail time and penalties may be increased
- If a minor was engaged in the prostitution, penalties and charges can be subsequently increased.
Procuring a Minor for Prostitution in Fort Myers
Those who have engaged minors in prostitution face some of the harshest and most severe penalties under Florida law. The state approaches these cases with the intent to ensure they do not continue to happen and their legal teams will often pursue the maximum penalties and fines permissible under Florida law.
If you’re accused of or charged with procuring a minor for prostitution, you may face serious penalties including:
- Second-degree felony conviction
- Maximum 15-year prison sentence
- Maximum fine of $10,000
- If the accused is a repeat or violent offender, these penalties may be increased
In addition to the fines and jail sentence, those convicted of procuring a minor for prostitution can face a lifetime of consequences and may find their lives destroyed. The right Fort Myers legal team can help you avoid these serious consequences and protect your reputation
Fort Myers Rape Attorney
Penalties and Sentences for Rape Crimes
In Florida, someone convicted of a rape crime faces several different penalties depending on the type of rape committed and certain characteristics of the victim. An experienced Fort Myers rape crime attorney will understand these differences and will help defend you against these penalties.
Penalties for Sexual Battery
- When committed upon a child under the age of twelve by an adult, sexual battery convictions can be punished with the death penalty or life in prison without the chance of parole. If the accused was under 18 years of age at the time of the act, the death penalty is removed and the crime is instead considered a life felony.
- If a deadly weapon was used against a minor twelve years of age or younger, the crime can be increased to a life felony
- If the rape crime was committed upon a minor of twelve years of age or younger, the minimum punishment is a second-degree felony with a potential prison sentence of 15 years.
- If convicted, the accused must register as a sex offender with the National Sex Offender Registry
Rape Accusation Defenses
Due to the stigma surrounding rape accusations and convictions, defending yourself against these charges can prove to be difficult. To successfully defend yourself, you must prove that the victim voluntarily consented to the act. The defendant’s Fort Myers rape attorney will enter in their not guilty plea as they work to build their client’s defense and prove to the court that the behavior was consensual. Adding to the difficulty, the defendant is prohibited under Florida law from discussing the victim’s past sexual activities or experiences as a form of defense.
Date Rape in Fort Myers
Serious consequences can be applied to those convicted of date rape in Fort Myers. Some of the punishment for those convicted can include imprisonment and fines, but these accusations can also wreak havoc on your reputation and your social standing in your community. If you’ve been accused, it’s essential that you immediately begin building your defense with a qualified and experienced date rape attorney.
Those convicted of date rape face a variety of penalties including large fines and lengthy prison sentences. In addition to these punishments, those convicted must register with Florida’s sex offender registry which places strong restrictions on where you can live and what kind of jobs you can do. This registration also allows Florida citizens to track your movements and current location.
If the victim was under twelve years old at the time of the act, these penalties are made even more severe and the charge is increased to a first-degree felony. First-degree felony convictions in Florida carry with them the possibility of a life sentence.
If drugs were used during the date rape, if the victim was mentally or physically disabled, or if violence or a weapon was used in the act, the consequences can also be greatly increased and have permanent, life-changing effects.
Fort Myers Sex Crime Attorney
If you’ve been accused of a sex crime in Fort Myers or the surrounding communities, it’s in your best interest to hire an experienced legal team to defend you against these accusations. You should never be convicted of a crime you did not commit and we will stand by you to ensure your side of the story is heard in court. With over 150 years of combined experience, our attorneys are ready to defend you. Contact Musca Law today!