Sex Crime Defense Lawyers in Orlando, Florida
Sex Crimes Defense Attorneys in Orlando, Florida, FL
Our Orlando sex crime defense lawyers understand that all criminal offenses should be taken seriously in Florida. Sex crimes, however, should be given particular weight, as they come with severe consequences, including not only jail time, but also potential registration on the national sex offender registry. These penalties can make it difficult to find employment, secure housing, or relocate for job or educational opportunities. Registration also comes with serious repercussions for a defendant’s personal reputation, so it is critical to raise a strong defense when accused of this type of offense. For help planning your own defense against allegations of involvement in a sex crime, you should consider contacting an Orlando sex crime defense attorney who is familiar with both state and federal law and can help ensure that your rights and interests are protected.
What is the Legal Definition of a Sex Crime in the State of Florida?
A "sex crime "is a criminal act that also involves some sort of sexual activity. Some examples of Sex Crimes include:
- Child pornography,
- Child related sex crimes,
- Dissemination or possession of obscene material,
- Failure to register as a sex offender,
- Human trafficking,
- Statutory rape, and
- Lewd, wanton, or lascivious acts.
The state of Florida imposes the harshest penalties for those found guilty of a sex-related crime. The punishments depend on the type in the severity of the offense, the number of charges the defendant is facing, and his or her criminal history.
Typically, the types of penalties that are handed down during the punishment phase of a sex crimes trial could include:
- Mandatory mental health treatment,
- Monetary fines,
- Lengthy probation,
- Sex offender registration,
- Community service,
- Indefinite confinement or house arrest.
If you or someone you love has been accused of committing a sex crime in Orlando, Florida, speak with one of our experienced Orlando Sex Crimes defense lawyers to understand your legal rights and weigh your legal options. You can reach our law firm 24 hours a day, seven days a week at (407) 683- 4834. You may also visit us at our local law office at 3708 S. John Young Parkway, Suite D, Orlando, FL 302839.
How to Beat a Sex Crime Charge in Orlando, Orange County, Florida, FL
At Musca Law, we rigorously defend clients who have been accused of all criminal charges. Our attorneys fight hard to win an acquittal in all types of sex offenses. That is what our firm does, and our results and client reviews speak for themselves. In Florida, crimes involving illegal sexual activities are prosecuted and punished almost as harshly as murder.
When an individual is suspected of committing a sex crime in Florida, and the defendant decides to cooperate with law enforcement without the help of an experienced Florida sex crimes defense attorney, the defendant is hurting their ability to defend themselves against the criminal charges.
At Musca Law, our experienced and aggressive sex crimes defense attorneys are familiar with the techniques and tactics used by savvy law-enforcement detectives and county prosecutors to win a conviction against the defendant. If you are facing any criminal charge, tap into our firm's over 150 years of combined legal criminal defense experience. We will work hard to safeguard our clients through each and every step in the criminal defense process. We have successfully represented our clients all over the state of Florida in all types of city, county, and federal criminal cases.
In our experience in defending those accused of a crime, we have seen the lengths to which law enforcement investigators and young prosecutors go to advance their careers to obtain a conviction. At Musca Law, we develop the strongest possible defense strategy in every client’s case. Contact Musca Law 24/7 at (407) 863-4834 to discuss your legal rights and to weigh all of your options. You can also visit us at our local Orlando law office located at 3708 S. John Young Parkway, Suite D, Orlando, FL 32839.
Undercover "Sex Sting" Operations in Orlando, Florida (FL)
In Orlando, Florida, law enforcement officers routinely employ undercover "sex sting" operations to entice adults into illegal sexual encounters and to infiltrate groups who they believe are engaged in acts of prostitution rings, human trafficking, and street-level sexual conduct. Accordingly, several people have discovered themselves at the center of an undercover sting administered by law enforcement.
There are several situations in which law enforcement officers may engage in undercover sex sting operations. For instance, law enforcement officers often pose as minor children and try to induce chats with alleged offenders on the Internet. A female officer can pretend to be a prostitute to attract "Johns" as part of a prostitution sting operation. Additionally, law enforcement officers post false advertisements online to induce people to solicit the services of a prostitute or to distribute child pornography.
Those who are accused of a sex crime in Florida and were caught in the sting may be able to mount a defense alleging they were entrapped by law enforcement, which is often a violation of an individual's right to Due Process. According to Florida Statutes Section 777.201, the elements of entrapment are defined. That section defines entrapment as happening when "[a] law enforcement officer, a person engaged in cooperation with a law enforcement officer, or a person acting as an agent of a law enforcement officer perpetrates an entrapment if, for the purpose of obtaining evidence of the commission of a crime, he or she induces or encourages and, as a direct result, causes another person to engage in conduct constituting such crime by employing methods of persuasion or inducement which create a significant risk that such crime will be committed by a person other than one who is ready to commit it."
In Florida entrapment cases, a defendant must prove the only reason they engaged in the sex crime was because of law enforcement's attempts to carry out an entrapment. An acquittal happens if the defendant is able to meet the preponderance of the evidence standard in showing that they were entrapped by law enforcement.
The ultimate judgement is left to the trier of fact, who may be a judge or a jury.
The Stages of a Sex Crime Trial in Orlando, Florida, FL
There are many different phases to a criminal case, and the defendant will go through each and every step intern. Each step in the case has the potential to radically alter the rest of your life, for the better or for the worst, and this depends on how effectively each step of the case was managed or whether the defendant had a qualified criminal attorney or not. Our sex crimes defense attorneys in Orlando, Florida, understand each step in the criminal justice court system as well as the opportunities that exist to challenge your criminal charges, and our legal professionals will guide you and work to gain the most favorable results in your case. The typical stages of a criminal case include:
The Arraignment - Orlando criminal defense firm will create and file a "Notice of Appearance" document with the courts on your behalf. With your plea of not guilty, you would not be required to attend the arraignment in most cases.
The Preliminary Hearing - The next step in a criminal case is called the preliminary hearing. This hearing occurs just before formal criminal charges are filed against the accused. There are two different types of preliminary hearings. The first type is called an adversarial hearing. In an adversarial hearing, evidence and supplementary facts our gathered and presented in an effort to prevent criminal charges from being filed against the accused. Do you have an adversarial hearing and fight the criminal charges, your sex crime attorney must file a request for an "Adversarial Hearing" within 21 days of the date of your arrest. This is one of the dozens of reasons why it's important that you retain a sex crimes defense attorney as quickly as possible in your case. The other type of preliminary hearing is called a bond hearing. At the bond hearing, the amount of the defendant's bail bond will be set during this preliminary hearing.
Pretrial Motions - Pretrial motions are the next step in the criminal case. The purpose of pretrial motions is to collect information so that your sex crimes attorney may be granted it did at dismissal in your sex crimes case, negotiate a plea deal on your behalf, or negotiate lesser punishments with the prosecuting attorney.
Discovery - Discovery is the step in which your sex crime defense attorney will obtain copies of the evidence against you. These items might include videos, witness statements, lab results, and more. Your Orlando sex crime lawyer will carefully examine all of this evidence to properly prepare your defense strategy and ensure a favorable result in your sex crimes case.
Pretrial or case management - After the discovery stage in the criminal case, the pretrial motions will be filed with the court, and all necessary deadlines will be put into motion. At this time, of trial date will be established.
Pretrial motions - Pretrial motions are an important and valuable part of developing your criminal defense and could help you negotiate a good deal with the prosecution. It's important that you understand that the prosecution is required to prove "beyond a reasonable doubt "that you committed the crime that you were being accused of. Often times law enforcement officers make errors as they conduct their criminal investigations. Your sex crime defense lawyer will meticulously examine the evidence for procedural errors or omissions that could weaken the prosecution's case against you. Your sex crimes defense attorney will look at the facts and circumstances around your arrest and review the methods that were followed to see if the law enforcement officers met all of their legal obligations or not. When errors are uncovered, and acquittal becomes a much more likely possibility.
Plea Bargains or Trial - After all of the relevant motions have been filed and the criminal justice court judge has passed down the rulings, the next step is to enter a plea and move forward with a criminal trial. At this stage, it is possible to enter into pleas negotiations with the prosecution. Criminal trials are expensive, arduous, and lengthy. In many cases, your Orlando sex crimes defense attorney can negotiate with the prosecution to reduce the penalties. For example, expensive fines could be exchanged for hours of community service.
Trial and sentencing end at Musca Law, our Orlando sex crimes defense attorneys fight hard to reach a positive and favorable outcome for all of our clients. While they work hard to have your case dismissed, they are also preparing for your criminal trial. Our Orlando Sex Crimes Attorneys have extensive years defending clients in criminal trials throughout the state of Florida. Your Florida sex crimes attorney from Musca Law will work hard to ensure that your sentencing is as minimal as possible and that the entire ordeal passes quickly and as painlessly as possible.
Challenging the Credibility of the "Victim"
Most law enforcement officers and state prosecutors "rush to judgment "before even listening to the defendant's side of the story. It's true that not everyone who claims to be a victim of a sexual assault is a victim. In a lot of cases, the accusers will explain their story in horrific, got wrenching certainty, and others may omit certain facts that could be used to cast doubt upon their credibility.
Without a doubt, the credibility of the accuser is the crux of the criminal case. The prosecutor will likely win a conviction as long as the jury believes the accuser's story. Even if the victim never revealed the abuse until after the abuse was over. Sometimes many years will pass between the time of the alleged criminal acts and the time in which the accuser comes forward with the accusation. This is called a "delayed disclosure case." In these types of cases, too much time has passed in order to preserve and collect evidence like DNA, blood, hair, or semen. Often times in delayed disclosure cases, there will be no other evidence than the victim's account of what happened.
In order to develop the best possible defense sex crimes case in Florida, a careful review of the case's particular facts and circumstances is essential. Only a qualified and experienced Florida sex crimes defense attorney who has a proven experience and a record of success will have the experience, knowledge, and determination to thoroughly investigate the criminal case and to develop a multitiered defense to garner the best possible results for the defendant. In most circumstances, the best defense in a criminal case might not be the best defense in another criminal case. Each and every criminal case is unique and requires extensive experience to develop the best sex crimes defense strategy possible.
Creating uncertainty about the accuser's credibility is a key strategy in winning an acquittal in Florida delayed disclosure sex crimes cases. For your sex crimes defense attorney to be successful in a delayed disclosure case, a meticulous investigation must be conducted to uncover any potential motives for the victim to fabricate their story or to create a reasonable doubt in the mind of a judge or jury.
In sex crimes cases involving allegations of date rape, A lot of the same legal issues that arise in delayed disclosure criminal cases also arise in date rape cases. Date rape is a criminal act involving two or more people who know each other. Oftentimes, defense teams representing clients accused of date rape will not attempt to disprove that sexual activity or contact occurred but attacked the issue of whether or not there was consent for sexual activity. Again, the strategy is to create a reasonable doubt resulting in an acquittal.
In the state of Florida, children do not have the legal capacity to consent to any form of sexual intercourse, even if she or he provides verbal consent. In the state of Florida, when an adult engages in sexual activity with a minor, this is often referred to as "statutory rape. "Moreover, engaging in sexual activity with someone who is intoxicated or drugged to the point they cannot make a rational decision or consent to sex is considered rape. In these three scenarios, the key defense strategy would be focused on damaging the story or the alleged victim's credibility.
Orlando Prostitution Lawyers
Although many sex offenses are charged as felonies, there are a few that qualify as misdemeanors, one of which is the solicitation of prostitution. Fla. Stat. 796.07 defines prostitution as the giving or receiving of the body for sexual activity in exchange for compensation. However, there are actually a range of different prostitution-related offenses that fall under this category, including:
- Soliciting a prostitute
- Compelling someone else to become involved in prostitution
- Developing financial support from prostitution
- Operating, owning, leasing, or renting a place used for prostitution-related activities
- Providing transportation to a third party to a location where prostitution-related activity occurs
- Soliciting a minor
- Securing a minor for the purpose of prostitution
- Buying or selling a minor into prostitution.
Orlando Solicitation of a Minor Attorneys
Generally, solicitation of prostitution is charged as a misdemeanor offense, so most defendants who are convicted are not required to serve jail time. However, if an offense involves a person under the age of 18 years old, a defendant could face felony charges, even for a first-time offense. In fact, a person can be charged with this crime if he or she never even actually met or saw the minor, a scenario that usually arises during internet sting operations. This is because Florida law is specifically worded to account for the use of online services or electronic devices to solicit minors for sex. It is also important to note that if a person is accused of using different services or devices to contact a minor, each communication will be considered a separate criminal charge. Defendants who actually travel to meet minors for the purpose of engaging in sexual activity for pay face even harsher consequences, as convictions usually involve a mandatory two-year prison sentence and inclusion on the nation’s sex offender registry. Those who are convicted on multiple occasions for prostitution-related offenses also face felony charges, mandatory jail time, hefty fines, loss of driving privileges, community service, and mandatory completion of an educational program about the negative effects of prostitution. A strong defense can help clear a person’s name if he or she has been charged with soliciting a minor. In most cases, this involves proving that a defendant was the victim of entrapment, or that he or she was convinced to commit a crime that he or she was not predisposed to commit. In these cases, courts look at a variety of factors, including:
- The length of time that the defendant was engaged in online interaction with the undercover officer
- Who initiated the conversations about sexual activity
- Whether the defendant ever expressed reluctance to engage in these types of discussions
- The extent to which the officer persisted in encouraging communication of a sexual nature
- Whether the defendant actually and immediately traveled to a meeting place
Defendants who successfully raise this defense could escape criminal penalties and have their case dismissed by the court.
Orlando Indecent Exposure Attorney
Besides solicitation of prostitution, there are a number of other misdemeanor sex offenses that a person can be charged with, including indecent exposure, which is prohibited under Fla. Stat. 775.082. Like the state’s other lewd and lascivious crimes, indecent exposure is considered a less serious offense than molestation or assault and involves exposing oneself in public with lewd intent. In fact, a person can be charged with this offense even if he or she was not in public, but was on or within sight of private property. However, before a person can be convicted, prosecutors must also prove that the individual intended to expose him or herself in a crude way or with an unlawful indulgence in sensual intent. To satisfy this level of intent, prosecutors must demonstrate that a defendant’s actions offended a third party who saw the act unless the exposure took place in a location that was designed for the use of the general public, in which case the display itself is enough to constitute indecent exposure. Although, usually charged as a misdemeanor, indecent exposure can be charged as a felony if the person who saw the exposure was under the age of 16 years old, even if the encounter took place online.
Removal From the Sex Offender Registry
Any sex crime offender who is required to register typically remains on the national sex offender registry for the rest of his or her life as mandated by law. The singular exception to this rule is if and when the offender has been awarded a full pardon, or the offender has had their conviction set aside in a post-conviction trial for any crime that meets the guidelines for identifying the person as a sexual offender or a sexual predator for the purposes of registration.
Some sexual offenders might be allowed to have their names excluded from the sex offenders registry, and may have their legal requirement to register as one lifted provided that the offender:
- Has been legally discharged from prison or under legal supervision for 25 consecutive years,
- Has not perpetrated any misdemeanor or any felony offense within that time frame, or
- Was ultimately found not guilty of the offenses committed as an adult.
The penalties for sexual battery/rape are generally considered alongside other factors, such as the age of the offender, the age of the victim, and whether or not any aggravating circumstances were present. It is also important to note that, in keeping with Florida laws, every single person who is convicted of sexual battery is required to be labeled as either a sexual predator or a sexual offender and will therefore be obligated to comply with all of the state’s sexual predator and sexual offender registration laws for the rest of their lives. In addition, the Adam Walsh Act mandates that any person who is convicted of sexual battery is ineligible to request their removal from state and/or federal sexual offender registration lists at any point in time because the nature of the offense was non-consensual sexual interaction.
This means that if a young teenager, for example, is found guilty of the crime of sexual battery, allegations of date rape, or rape under dubious or questionable circumstances, they will be a marked and registered sex offender for the rest of their life.
If you or someone that you love has been arrested and charged with sexual battery, sexual assault, or any other form of sexual crime in Orlando, Florida, the steps that you choose to take in order to defend yourself can determine your entire future. You should challenge sex crime charges of any type with the help and support of a skilled and accomplished criminal defense attorney, one who will protect your rights and stay in your corner from start to finish.
The legal team here at Musca Law is able to accommodate you with a loyal team of defense attorneys and a strategic defense to counter any sex crime charges that you may currently be facing. Contact us today for a realistic evaluation of your case in a free, no-obligation, no judgment initial consultation.
Internet Solicitation and Computer Sting Operations
Sex crimes that involve the use of a computer are a developing trend that could bring drastic outcomes that will negatively impact the rest of your life. When someone who is over 18 years old tricks, seduces, or advocates a sexual act to take place with a person who is younger than 18 years old through the use of a computer and the internet is classified as the internet solicitation of a minor. In the eyes of the law, the seduction of the minor even being attempted is enough to have someone charged with this crime. No in-person meeting or real life physical touching needs to take place in order for someone to be charged with this form of internet solicitation.
Penalties of Internet Solicitation
The United States government regards any internet solicitation that takes places between an adult and a minor to be a very severe offense. It has been made abundantly clear that an adult pretending to be a minor is not a kind of entrapment and you could be charged with a separate third-degree felony for every individual solicitation that you made. This means that you could be facing five years in state prison for each solicitation that took place between you and any minor.
The Florida government has established a new framework of laws and penalties for adults who physically engage with minors after a solicitation has occurred. If you decide to travel any distance to engage a minor with the intention of enticing them to take place in sexual activities, then you may be looking at a second-degree felony, which is a crime that is punishable by as long as 15 years in state prison.
Recently, the favored tactic by Florida or Federal law enforcement has been for them to impersonate adults proposing threesomes or group sexual encounters with their supposed niece, nephew, cousin, etc., or to portray an actual minor who is seeking recreational sexual behavior. In either instance, the lying commences from the very start and the legal problem of entrapment comes up in each case.
Juvenile Rape Offenses
Sexual battery, more commonly referred to as rape, may include various kinds of sexual acts performed without permission on either minors or adults. The offender may also be a minor or an adult. Rape offenses also includes two minors, with some sort of vaginal, anal, or oral penetration performed by one person on another who did not agree to the act.
In instances of juvenile rape accusations, the offenders are often granted more tolerance, particularly if the supposed offender and the supposed victim are close in age (usually about a three-year difference). While it is possible for juveniles to participate in undesired sexual behaviors with an adult, most frequently, the crime of juvenile rape tends to be about two minors.
Additional Consequences and Punishments for Sex Crime Convictions in Florida
Sex crimes in Florida typically require those convicted of a sex crime to register as a sex offender in the Florida county in which they live. An offender's obligation to be registered on the Florida sex offender registry is separate from any probationary period that is imposed upon them. In one's criminal case, the presiding judge can also find that the defendant is a sexual predator, which requires additional reporting.
The Florida Sexual Predators Act has the purpose of stopping sex offenders from engaging in other acts of illegal sexual conduct. The act requires sex offenders to register and may also prevent him or her from using the internet. Additionally, the statute requires public notification of the sex offender.
Florida Statutes Section 775.215 states that convicted sex offenders can be restricted as to locations where they are permitted to reside. For example, a person who is subject to this statute must live a minimum of 1,000 feet away from a school, park, or daycare.
Sex Crimes Frequently Asked Quesitons - FAQS
What is the difference between sexual battery and rape according to Florida law?
According to Florida statute section 794.011, sexual battery and “rape“ are one and the same. In Florida, sexual battery is defined as the unwanted and forced anal, oral, or vaginal penetration, or union with, the sexual organ of another, or vagina or anal penetration of another using an object that is not an act performed for a bona fide medical purpose.
How does the state of Florida define consent?
“Consent“ means to have the capability, capacity, maturity, and ability to grant another permission voluntarily. In the state of Florida, an individual who is intoxicated or underage may not be able to give consent legally.
What does the term “mentally defective“ mean?
According to Florida law, a person is deemed “mentally defective” if he or she has a defect or mental disease that causes an individual to be temporarily or permanently capable of understanding his or her behavior. In some cases, the perpetrator or The accuser may argue that they are mentally defective. In the case of the defendant, a person who has schizophrenia may not remember an incident or would not have acted out in such a way. The prosecution may assert that the victim is “mentally defective“ and was sexually exploited by the perpetrator.
Free Case Reviews Offers 24/7 - Call Musca Law at (407) 863-4834
The sex crime attorneys here at Musca Law represent people who have been accused of all sorts of sexually motivated crimes, from misdemeanor solicitation or prostitution cases to felony sexual battery and child pornography cases. We understand that being accused of a sex crime does not necessarily mean that you are guilty. Our Orlando sex crimes defense attorneys have years of trial experience, an impressive amount of legal knowledge, and a clear understanding of prosecution tactics. We will thoroughly examine your case and look for errors in statements which may indicate a consensual act or a false accusation. If you have been charged with or are under investigation for this type of crime, contact us today so that we can start mounting your defense. Call our Orlando law offices today to schedule a free, confidential, no-obligation consultation with one of our qualified Florida criminal defense attorneys. You can reach our law firm 24 hours a day, seven days a week at (407) 683- 4834. You may also visit us at our local law office at 3708 S. John Young Parkway, Suite D, Orlando, FL 302839.
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