Sex crime laws in Gainesville, Florida, range in severity from misdemeanors to felonies, although all are punishable by jail time, fines, and in some cases, registration on the national sex offender list. Because these types of crimes are so varied, it is critical for those who have been accused of a sex crime to have a thorough understanding of their specific charges.
Child Pornography Lawyers in Gainesville, Florida
Child pornography is defined in Florida as any image that depicts a minor engaged in sexual conduct. Sexual conduct is further defined as including a range of activity, including actual or simulated sexual intercourse, masturbation, sexual abuse, and sexual touching. Even if an image falls under the definition of child pornography, a person can only be convicted of possessing it if prosecutors can prove that he or she intentionally viewed the images and took steps to save, download, or share them.
It is also not uncommon for someone accused of committing a single child pornography-related offense to be charged with other similar crimes. For instance, someone who is accused of sending a prohibited image to another person could also be charged with transmission, distribution, and promotion of child pornography, in addition to possession. In fact, those who are found in possession of three or more copies of a single image are presumed to be involved in the promotion of child pornography and could even be accused of manufacturing, producing, or using a minor in a sexual performance. A lack of knowledge as to the content of an image is often a wrongly accused defendant’s best course of action, especially if he or she uses a shared computer or purchased a previously used device.
Gainesville Solicitation Attorneys
Gainesville, Florida, has long criminalized prostitution, which means that both sex workers and those who solicit them face criminal penalties if convicted. To obtain a conviction against someone for soliciting a prostitute, prosecutors are only required to prove that he or she offered to exchange something of value for another party’s sexual services. This is true even if no money was exchanged or if one or both parties never intended to go through with the transaction.
Solicitation is usually charged as a misdemeanor for first offenders, although an exception is made when the person solicited was underage. In these cases, a defendant faces felony charges, even if the offer was made over the internet and the defendant never actually saw the minor or could verify his or her age. This scenario arises most often during internet sting operations conducted by law enforcement officers who are attempting to apprehend those who commit computer sex crimes. While defendants cannot avoid conviction by claiming that the other party was not actually a minor, they are permitted to argue that their arrest was the result of entrapment.
Child Molestation Lawyers in Gainesville, Florida
Florida’s statute 800.04 makes sexual contact with a minor illegal. This includes conduct that does not meet the level of sexual activity, but is still sexual in nature, such as:
Intentionally touching the breasts, genital area, buttocks, or breasts (whether clothed or unclothed) of someone under the age of 16 years old; or
Forcing or enticing a minor under the age of 16 years old to touch the perpetrator.
Because this law involves children, defendants are not permitted to argue that the other party consented to the activity. However, they are allowed to raise arguments related to improper police procedure during the search of the defendant’s home or personal possessions. Coerced confessions that were improperly obtained can also be suppressed, as can any illegally collected evidence.
Sexual Assault Lawyers in Gainesville, Florida
Sexual assault is not specifically defined under Florida law. Instead, acts that qualify as sexual assault, which basically includes any non-consensual sexual act are prosecuted under Fla. Stat. 794.011, which addresses sexual battery. While the sexual battery law prohibits forcing someone to engage in intercourse, it also applies to other forms of sexual activity, such as groping and harassment.
Lewd and Lascivious Crime Lawyers in Gainesville
Crimes that do not fall under the category of sexual battery, but are still sexual in nature are described as lewd and lascivious offenses. This set of laws prohibits lewd or lascivious exhibition, conduct, battery, molestation, behavior, and acts, not only in public, but also against both minors and adults.
Gainesville Sexual Battery Attorneys
Sexual battery charges are some of the most serious that a person can face as they involve accusations of actual non-consensual intercourse. When an accuser is an adult, defendants are permitted to counter these charges by proving that the other party consented to the activity, or that he or she is the victim of mistaken identity.
Gainesville Indecent Exposure / Exposure of Sexual Organ Lawyers
Like Florida’s lewd and lascivious crimes, indecent exposure prohibits sexual conduct that is considered less serious than assault or molestation, including exposing oneself in a public place with lewd intent.
Voyeurism Lawyers in Gainesville
Voyeurism is a misdemeanor sex offense that involves allegations of viewing another person while that individual was exposing him or herself in a place where he or she could have reasonably expected privacy. A defendant can only be convicted of this offense if the place where the alleged viewing took place satisfies this definition and if the viewing was purposeful and lewd in nature.
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