Gainesville Sex Crime Defense Lawyers
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 as either a sex offender or as a sexual predator. 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 the state of Florida, child pornography is legally defined 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 legal definition of child pornography, a person can only be convicted of possessing the image 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 who has been 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 the transmission, distribution, and promotion of child pornography, in addition to possession. In fact, those who are found to be in possession of three or more copies of a single image are presumed to be involved in the promotion and distribution 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 that are 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 Attorneys
- 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 Attorneys 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.
Here at Musca Law, we offer a free, confidential, no-obligation consultation to new clients who wish to discuss their case with us. Our criminal defense attorneys will make a broad evaluation of your specific case and give you our honest assessment of the situation. We will go over all of the legal options that are available to you and tell you how we will be able to help. If you would like to speak with a seasoned and diligent Florida sex crimes defense attorney in the Gainesville, Florida area, then please give our office a call today.
Lewd and Lascivious Crime Lawyers
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.
LEWD OR LASCIVIOUS MOLESTATION
Lewd or lascivious molestation is legally defined as an adult who touches in a lewd way the buttocks, genitals, or breasts of anyone who is under 16 years of age or who coerces the victim to do likewise. Whether or not either party was wearing any clothing has absolutely no bearing on this charge. If this type of criminal sexual molestation is committed by someone who is 18 years old or older on a victim who is under 12, there exists the very real possibility of life in a state penitentiary for the guilty party. In situations where the defendant is younger than 18 years of age and he commits a lewd or lascivious act against a victim who is less than 12 years of age, or the defendant is over 18 and commits a criminal act with a person who is 12 years of age or older but younger than 16, the defendant will most likely be receiving a second degree felony charge. A second-degree felony is penalized by serving as long as 15 years in state prison and having to pay a $10,000 fine. The convicted will also be legally obligated to enroll as a sex offender.
LEWD OR LASCIVIOUS BATTERY
Lewd or lascivious battery is the name of the crime that takes place when a person participates in sexual activity with another person who is between the ages of 12 years old and 16 years old, or someone who forces, entices, or encourages another person who is under 16 years of age to participate in any form of prostitution, sexual bestiality, sadomasochistic exploitation, or any other egregious act of a sexual nature. Similar to sexual battery, sexual activity as it applies to a charge of lewd and lascivious battery, includes any vaginal, anal, or oral penetration perpetrated by or with the sexual organ of another person, or the vaginal, anal, or oral penetration of a person with a foreign object. Unlike a criminal charge of sexual battery, there is no possible way in which consent can be used as a defense against a charge of lewd or lascivious battery.
LEWD OR LASCIVIOUS CONDUCT
Similar to other kinds of lewd or lascivious charges, lewd and lascivious conduct could be the charge for a vast tableau of actions. For instance, if somebody deliberately and inappropriately touches or fondles a minor who is under the age of 16 in this manner, or they solicit a person who is under 16 to perform an act of this type, then they have engaged in lewd and lascivious conduct. Should the defendant be 18 years old or older, then they may be charged with a second-degree felony. In the state of Florida, a second-degree felony is punishable by as much as 15 years in state prison and a fine of up to $10,000. A defendant who is under 18 years old would be facing a lesser third-degree felony charge. In Florida, a third-degree felony charge is punishable by as long as five years in state prison and a fine of as much as $5,000.
LEWD OR LASCIVIOUS EXHIBITION
Also referred to as indecent exposure, this is the crime that comes to mind when people talk about ‘flashing’. Lewd and lascivious exhibition takes place when a person deliberately and publicly shows his or her genitals in any manner that is deemed to be lewd and lascivious, publicly masturbates, or engages in any other sexual activity that does not include making actual contact with a victim. Much like lewd and lascivious conduct, if the perpetrator is 18 years of age or older, they will be facing a charge that is rated as a second-degree felony, and they could be sentenced to as long as 15 years in the Florida Department of Corrections and be levied with a $10,000 fine. In the event that the person who committed the act of inappropriate exposure was younger than 18, then they can be charged with a third-degree felony that will punishable by as long as 5 years in a state penitentiary and have to pay as much as a $5,000.
Florida 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.
Florida 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 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.
We serve all of Alachua County, Florida
Located at 19 Southwest 2nd St #201, Musca Law has been helping Gainesville residents with their criminal defense needs. We are relatively near the Gainesville Regional Airport (GNV), University of Florida, and Santa Fe College. You can call us anytime at (352) 397-9915.
Sexually motivated crimes are among the most devastating and serious charges that you can ever face in your lifetime. They have a negative life-long effect on anyone who is accused of them. It doesn’t matter whether or not you are ultimately exonerated. Sexually based crimes are deemed to be any sexual action performed on someone else wherein force had to be applied for the act to be committed and the act was committed against the person’s will. Sadly, in modern society, there is a superfluous amount of allegations of sex crimes that are entirely without merit and completely groundless. Standing accused of a sexual crime will necessitate a qualified Florida sex crime defense attorney. One who will aid you in sorting through the factors that are surrounding your supposed crime and help decide the optimal approach to take when it comes to your defense.
When you have been accused of a crime that is sexual in its origin, you should anticipate harsh and unsettling consequences that take effect almost immediately. Such consequences may include suspicion and disdain from your colleagues, neighbors, and sadly even your own family. In today’s society, there is an intense prejudice toward any person who is even vaguely blamed for a sex crime, especially if that crime involved a minor. Having the experienced and knowledgeable legal counsel of a Musca Law attorney to assist you in fighting these allegations against you and your moral character will go a long way in helping you construct the strongest possible defense. If you or a loved one faces such charges, it is in your best interest to call our law office today at (352) 397-9915 to receive a free, no-obligation, and confidential consultation session with one of our experienced attorneys who can review your case and help determine if our legal services may be a good fit.