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Key West Sex Crime Defense Lawyers

When many people think about sex crimes, they imagine the worst types of offenses, such as rape, sexual assault, and child molestation. However, the reality is that much less serious offenses actually fall under the broad category of “sex crimes.” While many of these crimes are charged as misdemeanors, and so don’t require registration on the nation’s sex offender registry, it is still important to raise a strong defense when accused of these types of offenses. For help planning your own defense strategy, please call a Key West sex crime defense attorney today.

Key West Solicitation Lawyer

Solicitation of a prostitute is one of the most commonly charged misdemeanor sex offenses and involves offering or accepting an offer to engage in sexual activity for compensation. According to Fla. Stat. 796.07, this includes inducing, enticing, procuring, requesting, and soliciting someone else to engage in:
  • Prostitution;
  • Lewdness; or
  • Assignation, which involves making an appointment to engage in sexual activity for pay.
It is not necessary for a person to have actually been a prostitute for someone to be convicted of this offense, or even for the person being solicited to be willing or able to follow through with the arrangement. Likewise, it isn’t necessary for the parties in question to exchange money, as the offer of payment is enough to satisfy this type of charge. For these reasons, it is not uncommon for police officers to use sting operations, where undercover officers pose as prostitutes, to locate and arrest people for solicitation.

Solicitation is almost always charged as a misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to a year in prison. However, this is usually only true in cases where the defendant is a first time offender. Otherwise, second and subsequent offenses can expect to be charged as third-degree or second-degree felonies respectively. Additionally, defendants may also be required to:
  • Perform at least 100 hours of community service;
  • Complete an educational class about the effects of prostitution;
  • Undergo STD testing; and
  • Pay a civil penalty of $5,000, in addition to any fines, to help fund safe houses and foster homes.
In the event that a defendant used a car during the attempt to solicit a sex worker, the court can order that the vehicle be impounded for 60 days. Fortunately, those who are charged with solicitation have a number of defenses at their disposal, including that law enforcement, entrapped them by convincing them to commit a crime that they would ordinarily not commit. When the person who was solicited was not an undercover officer, a defendant could also assert the defense of mistaken identity, which is especially convincing in cases where there are no photos or videos to substantiate the accusations.

Key West Voyeurism Attorney

According to Fla. Stat. 810.14, to be convicted of voyeurism in Florida, a defendant must, with lewd intent either:
  • Secretly observe another person while he or she is in a place where that individual could reasonably expect to have privacy; or
  • Secretly view someone else’s intimate areas when that individual is located in a private or public dwelling.
In most cases, these types of crimes are charged as first degree misdemeanors, unless someone is a repeat offender, or there is evidence that a defendant violated Fla. Stat. 810.145, which means that he or she:
  • Intentionally used an imaging device in order to secretly view a person, without that individual’s knowledge;
  • Recorded or viewed someone else while that person was privately exposing the body in a place where he or she had a reasonable expectation of privacy; and
  • Recorded or viewed the person for his or her own profit, arousal, or entertainment.
Florida broadly defines imaging device in these cases to include not only still cameras and camcorders, but any mechanical, electronic, or digital viewing device, or instrument capable of transmitting, recording, or storing visual images of someone else. Those who are over the age of 19 years old and are convicted of this offense can be charged with a third-degree felony, while those who have not yet reached 19 years of age can expect to be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor.

There are a few exceptions to this prohibition, including when:
  • An agency is conducting surveillance for a law enforcement purpose;
  • A written notice that a security system is present is conspicuously posted;
  • The distribution of the images was conducted by an electronic communication service provider; or
  • The device was installed in an obvious way.
Charges of video voyeurism can be enhanced if the person being viewed was younger than 16 years old, or if the defendant was an adult, worked at a school, and committed the offense against a student. Defendants are prohibited from arguing that they didn’t know the age of the victim to avoid enhancement of their charges.

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