Fort Lauderdale Child Molestation Lawyers
Defend Your Freedom & Reputation and Speak with Our Best Child Molestation Attorneys in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, FL
Child molestation charges are deemed one of the most serious crimes in the state of Florida. Harsh penalties might include a lengthy prison sentence and lifetime registration in the National Sex Offender Registry and the state of Florida's Sex Offender Registry. If you or a loved one has been charged with a child molestation criminal offense, and you are convicted, you will lose your freedom, right to privacy, and reputation. Even a defendant is innocent or found "not guilty," the accusation alone is likely to ruin your reputation and make your life much harder.
If a defendant doesn't have an Ft. Lauderdale child molestation lawyer to defend them, he or she will most likely receive the longest prison sentence that can be given. At Musca Law, a defendant benefits from over 150 years of collective criminal defense experience. We guide clients through the difficult circumstances they are facing and work hard to obtain the best potential outcome on our clients' behalf.
Child Molestation Charges in Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Musca Law aggressively defends clients who have been arrested on child molestation charges. Our Fort Lauderdale defense attorneys are here to help you fight your criminal charges and work hard to keep you out of prison and protect your reputation. Unfortunately, after the accused was found innocent of child molestation offenses, the accused could face devastating negative social stigmas.
What Constitutes Child Molestation in Fort Lauderdale, Florida?
According to Florida's Criminal Statutes, any individual who willfully and purposefully touches the genital area, buttocks, breasts, or the clothing that covers up those areas of a minor child who is under the age of 16 years of age or force or entices a child under the age of 16 to touch the perpetrator in those private areas, commits an "act of lewd or lascivious molestation."
Florida Statute § 800.04(5) defines child molestation as an act between an adult and a child under 16 that involves indecent or sexual activities.
In the state of Florida, sex crimes involving "alleged" acts of child molestation could be charged under several criminal offenses, including:
Lewd or lascivious battery
Lewd or lascivious conduct
Lewd or lascivious exhibition
Lewd or lascivious molestation
Child Molestation Penalties in Florida
It is important to realize that child molestation or sex crimes involving a child under 16 are "strict liability crimes." In strict liability criminal cases, a defendant may not argue that they were unaware that the child's age or that the minor child consented to engage in a sexual act with the defendant.
Florida Criminal Code states that an individual who intentionally touches in a lascivious or lustful way the breasts, buttocks, genital area, genitals, or the clothing that is covering up those private areas, of a child under 16 years of age or forces or entices a child who is under 16 years of age to touch the defendant, commits the offense of lewd or lascivious molestation.
The criminal charge of lewd molestation of a minor child could be charged as a "life felony," a second-degree felony, or a third-degree felony. The severity of the criminal charge will depend on the age of the child and the perpetrator's age:
- Life Felony: It is a "life felon" if an adult engages in lewd molestation of a minor child under 12;
- Second-Degree Felony: It is a second-degree felony to engage in lewd molestation of a minor child under 12 by a person under 18 or of a minor child between the ages of 12 and 16 by an adult over 18 years of age;
- Third-Degree Felony: lewd molestation of a minor child between 12 and 16 by an adult under 18 years of age is a third-degree felony in the state of Florida.
If the defendant has been convicted of committing Lewd and Lascivious Battery in the Second-Degree, the judge is bound by Florida law to sentence the defendant to a minimum prison sentence of 34½ months and is permitted to also sentence the defendant to any combination of the following punishments: up to 15 years in prison, up to 15 years of sex offender probation, or up to $10,000 in fines.
Also, any person who is convicted of "Lewd and Lascivious Battery" will be labeled a sex offender for life.
Potential Penalties for Child Molestation Charges in Florida
Any form of sexual abuse against minor children is always charged as a felony offense. To determine the degree or severity of the criminal offense, prosecutors and law enforcement officers use the following guidelines. The offender's age and the victim's age determine the severity of the sentences and punishments that can be handed down to the defendant if convicted:
- If the child's age is 12 years or older but under 16 years of age, and the offender under 18 years of age, the crime is a third-degree felony. The defendant faces a minimum of three years in prison and up to 15 years in prison.
- If the child is under 12 years old, and the defendant is under age 18, the crime is charged as a second-degree felony and is punishable by a minimum of four ¼ years in prison and a maximum prison sentence of 15 years.
- If the child is 12 years of age or older but less than 16 years old and the defendant's age is 18 years or older, the crime is a second-degree felony punishable with a minimum prison sentence of 4 ¼ years and a maximum of 15 years in prison.
- If the child is under 12 years of age, and the defendant's age is 18 years or older, the crime is a "life felony," punished with a minimum prison sentence of 25 years in prison plus probation or community control for the remainder of the person's natural life. The maximum prison sentence is life in prison.
Child Molestation Defenses in Fort Lauderdale, Florida
An experienced child molestation defense attorney in Ft. Lauderdale will end when the state's evidence against you is dismissed or suppressed. This may be possible if your arrest involved:
- Forensic investigation errors,
- Miranda rights Violations,
- Right to legal counsel was denied, or
- The alleged "sexual contact" was incidental, or the act had no lewd intent, and the defendant didn't deliberately touch the child for purposes of sexual gratification or arousal.
A strong criminal defense applied in a child molestation case involves exposing false allegations. The following are a few examples of exposing false allegations:
- The defendant was falsely accused by an individual who is trying to punish them.
- The defendant was falsely accused by an individual attempting to extort a financial settlement from you.
- A law enforcement officer or social worker asked leading questions during an investigation, reaching a false allegation.
- The alleged victim was coached or pressured by law enforcement officials, healthcare professionals, or prosecuting attorneys to report molestation, although no molestation occurred.
- An ex-partner or ex-spouse dishonestly accused the defendant during a contentious divorce or custody proceeding.
- You were falsely accused by another person who misrepresented an innocent touch.
Possible Defenses to Child Molestation Charges in Florida
In Florida, a defendant cannot use consent, lack of chastity on the part of the victim, or the defendant's unawareness of the victim's age as legal defenses in child molestation cases. Unfortunately, there are many people who are wrongfully accused of child molestation, and they have no option but to fight the false accusations to the fullest extent of their capabilities. The most common defense strategy used in child molestation cases is to attack the accuser's allegations. In many cases, false allegations transpire due to the mental illness of the accuser, jealously, or the manipulation of a minor child by an enraged parent. That is why it is crucial for our Fort Lauderdale Child Molestation Defense Lawyers to fully investigate all motivations that exist from the accuser or anyone influencing the accuser into asserting a false accusation of child molestation.
Prohibited Defenses to Child Molestation Charges in Florida
Florida Statutes § 800.04(2) and § 800.04(3) list the following criminal defenses are forbidden in lewd or lascivious molestation cases:
- The Victim Gave Consent. A defendant may not claim that actions were justified simply because the minor child gave the perpetrator permission.
- The Victim Lied About Their Age - Neither your ignorance nor your belief in the alleged victim's misrepresentation of their age can be used as a defense.
- The Victim Has a Sexual History - A victim's past sexual activity may not be used as a defense, even if the alleged victim is a sex worker.
Penalties for a Conviction of Child Molestation in Fort Lauderdale, Florida
If someone is convicted of child molestation in Florida, that individual should expect to spend a minimum of 25 years to a maximum life sentence in prison. Florida child molestation laws are designed to protect children who are ages 16 and under from being sexually exploited by adults who prey on kids for their own sexual needs and desires. Even when the convict is released from prison, he or she will continue to face extreme and permanent consequences.
Examples of possible consequences are:
- The defendant's name will be permanently added to the National Sex Offender Registry and Florida Sex Offender Registry.
- The defendant will not be permitted to work unsupervised with children.
- The defendant will no longer have the right to live and travel wherever they want. The defendant's movements will forever be restricted.
- Most employers will not employ a convicted child molester or someone convicted of a sex crime against children.
- The defendant may be required to stay a certain amount of feet away from children, parks, schools, and this requirement might even include the defendant's children.
If you have been arrested and charged with child molestation in the state of Florida, you must immediately call Musca Law to discuss your case with a child molestation defense lawyer. Failing to contact an experienced criminal lawyer could have a lasting and negative impact on your life.
Florida Sexual Predator's Act - Statute Section 775.21
According to Florida Statute 775.21, the Florida Sexual Predator's Act gives the grounds for the kinds of sex crime offenses that could be deemed sexual predator crimes and the associated punishments and penalties for these offenses. Sexual predators are often repeat offenders, and Florida's criminal code treats all former sex crime defendants as if they pose a direct threat to all families with children.
Being labeled a sex predator is a severe matter. A sex offender label will negatively affect a person's life in several different ways, such as employment eligibility, housing, education, privacy, reputation, and personal life. If you or a family member have been labeled as a sexual predator in Florida, you need to contact Musca Law as soon as possible to learn about your legal rights and options.
Sexual Predator Criminal Offenses in Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Most of society believe that an individual labeled a sexual predator preys on young children. However, this is not always the case. In some cases, this is the only crime the individual has committed. The nature of the offense is what determines whether or not an individual is deemed a sexual predator. In order for a convict to be calleda sexual predator, he or she must have (a) committed a violent sexual crime, (b) be a repeat sexual offender, or (c) commit any sexual crime that involves a child.
In Florida, there are several punishments a sexual predator will face. The most customary and consistent punishment is prison time. In addition, all "sexual predators" are required to register as a sexual predator immediately after being convicted or within forty-eight hours in certain circumstances. Ususally the offender will be required to register on both the Florida's Sexual Predator website and the National Sexual Predator registry.
Also, sex offender registration requires the convicted sexual predator to report to the Sheriff's station in the defendant's town. The registrant is also required to re-register on their birthday each year, and every three months for the rest of their life. The registrant is also required to report any changes of physical appearance immediately.
Call the Experienced Fort Lauderdale Sexual Predator Defense Lawyers from Musca Law
If you or a loved one has been accused of being a sexual predator, this is no light matter. When an accusation has been made, it is imperative that you seek strong legal representation as quickly as possible. Many innocent people are charged with child molestation in the state of Florida. At Musca Law, our Fort Lauderdale Molestation Defense Attorneys can mount a strong defense in your favor and fight for the best possible outcome on your behalf.
How to Fight Sexual Abuse Charges with a Fort Lauderdale Child Molestation Attorney from Musca Law
When you talk to a Florida child molestation lawyer from Musca Law, you are retaining a skilled legal professional who has the defense experience and the know-how to help you defend yourself. Our attorneys know what to do to give you the best possible chance of reducing or dismissing your criminal charges.
If you do not have an experienced Fort Lauderdale child molestation defense lawyer to defend you, you will likely be punished severely with the maximum sentence. With Musca Law, we care, and we want to help you beat your criminal charges. Our firm possesses over 150 years of collective legal experience to offer your case. Our child molestation attorneys in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, guide our clients through the tough legal issues they face and work hard to achieve the best possible outcome.
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633 SE 3rd Ave Suite 4F, Unit 405
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
Open now: Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
Phone; (954) 302-5391
4V75+FQ Fort Lauderdale, Florida