Pensacola Sex Crimes
Of all the crimes that one could potentially be charged with here in the United States, no other subset of crime carries with it the ability to bring your world crashing down around you almost instantly. Even if you end up being cleared of all criminal charges, it often won’t matter. The damage will have been done the minute the accusations were made and, in some cases, things never go back to normal. If the charge you are facing is sexual assault, rape, prostitution, or indecent liberties with a minor, or anything of that nature, then you need to contact a Pensacola sex crimes defense attorney right away. Our shrewd and effective sex crimes attorneys have the persistence, the resourcefulness, and the empathy that these types of cases demand. We realize that all sex crime cases are unpredictable, explosive, and emotionally draining. We also understand that these cases are almost always extremely complicated and that there are two sides to every story.
The legal team at the Pensacola office of Musca Law is made up of defense attorneys who have many years of experience when it comes to dealing with allegations of sex crimes. Our skilled attorneys appreciate the delicate and potentially devastating nature that these sorts of allegations carry with them in our current society, as well as the severity of the punishments you will most likely suffer should you end up being found guilty.
To our attorneys, the strategies and cunning that are so invaluable when it comes to formulating an incontrovertible defense, come as second nature. Our industrious and proficient defense attorneys will listen to your side of the story and advise you on what to expect and what your legal options will be as your case advances.
Our sex crimes defense attorneys will take full advantage of every tool at their disposal in order to challenge the accusations and alleged evidence that the prosecution has against you. We will make every effort to negotiate with the prosecution to see that your charges are thrown out or, failing that, reduced to a substantially lesser charge. When all is said and done, if we end up having to go to trial, then we are fully capable and comfortable fighting for you and your rights from inside a court of law.
If you have been charged with a sex crime, or think that you may be under investigation for a sex crime, we strongly advise you to get in touch with our esteemed Pensacola criminal defense attorneys as soon as you can so that we are able to examine the nuances of your case in a free, confidential consultation.
The law in the state of Florida dictates that you can be charged with sexual battery if you participate in sexual intercourse with the victim by using physical force, threatening harm, if the victim has a mental disability that makes them incapable of understanding or giving their consent, if the victim is unconscious, or after deliberately impairing the victim’s consciousness and weakening their self-control via the ingestion of drugs or alcohol. Based on specific details pertaining to each individual crime, sexual battery can be charged as a first-degree felony and, based on the ruling of the court, you may also be looking at additional penalties. Sexual battery is one of the most contemptuous sex crimes that does not involve a child, and under no circumstances should you endeavor to handle it without a qualified Pensacola sex crime criminal defense attorney to lead the way.
Unlawful Contact With a Minor
According to Florida law, you have engaged in a criminal act if you are purposefully in contact with a minor child with the intention of engaging in any form of sexual offense. You will be charged with a second-degree felony and can be sentenced to as long as 15 years in state prison, in addition to sex offender registration and probation, and a fine of as much as $10,000. Child pornography is usually classified as a third-degree felony. This means that you could serve as long as five years in state prison. It is crucial to remember that each individual image that is found in your possession (physical or constructive) that conforms to Florida’s definition of child pornography will be treated as its own separate criminal charge. You could be subjected to an increased prison sentence if you are charged with the creation or distribution of child pornography.
If you have been accused of or implicated in any kind of sexual crime where a minor child is involved, it is in your best interest to get in touch with a Pensacola sex crime criminal defense attorney right away.
Prostitution and Solicitation
Prostitution and crimes associated with prostitution are against the law in the state of Florida, although they do not tend to be as damaging in their nature or as harsh in their penalties as most other sexually based offenses. You are able to be charged with prostitution if you willingly engage in any form of sexual activity in exchange for any form of financial benefit (usually cash) or for other favors of any sort. Furthermore, you could be charged with solicitation of prostitution if you have given money to someone to entice them into participating in a sexual act of any kind. Your first and second offenses will probably be charged as third-degree misdemeanors, provided that there are no aggravating circumstances.
Florida law affirms that there are eight specific acts tied to the crime of prostitution that can be perpetrated by any involved party. These acts include:
- Owning or overseeing any structure that is used for prostitution
- Inviting someone else to engage in prostitution
- Offering a location in which prostitution may take place
- Providing directions to or taking anyone to a place of prostitution
- Making an appointment for engaging in prostitution
- Enticing anyone to participate in the act of prostitution
- Entering or remaining in an area that is used for prostitution
- Paying for the favors of a person who is involved in prostitution
Lewd or Lascivious Battery
The law in the state of Florida considers any consensual sexual intercourse with a minor to be a criminal act and will hit you with a charge of lewd or lascivious behavior. This criminal charge covers statutory rape as well as any sexual act that involves a minor who is older than 12 years of age but still younger than 16 years of age. Lewd or lascivious battery is what is considered a strict liability crime. Strict liability crimes are a legal way of holding a person accountable for their behavior regardless of other circumstances. What this means is that even a genuine ignorance of the minor’s age or having the minor’s consent are not viable defenses for this crime. So even if the minor lied about his or her age, or produced a believable fake ID, and/or gave their consent in no uncertain terms... those facts may not get you off the hook. Lewd or lascivious battery is classified as a second-degree felony in the state of Florida, which is punishable by as long as 15 years in state prison, registration as a sex offender, supervised probation, and very hefty fines.
Possible Defenses Against Sex Crime Charges
Regardless of the kind of sex crime charges that you might be facing right now, the state of Florida is legally obligated to establish evidence of each element of the alleged crime if they have any hope of being able to obtain a conviction. At Musca Law, we will thoroughly investigate and fight the charges that the prosecution believes they have against you. This involves examining any statements made by the alleged victim as well as any statements made by any witnesses that might have come forward.
A criminal defense against sex crime charges is commonly built on factors such as:
- False allegations
- False witness statements
- Faulty forensic testing methods and calculations
- Prosecution, witness, or law enforcement bias
- Mistaken identity or a flawed police line-up (did not follow protocol)
- Inappropriate misleading witness interviews (leading or tainting the witness)
At the epicenter of most adult sex crime cases is the issue of consent. Our clients regularly admit to participating in the sexual act in question but hold fast to their belief that the sex was consensual. That is, that is was agreed upon by all parties involved. Usually, as the offender is interviewed again and again, the story that the alleged victim told to police and to their attorneys regarding this sex act changes as the case gets closer to trial, and the potential effects of the accusation they are trying to levy against you begin to get very real and false claims are sometimes withdrawn.
Sex-related crimes that are committed against minors are considered to be strict liability crimes. As mentioned above, in all strict liability cases, consent is completely irrelevant due to the fact that Florida state law regards an underage child as not being able to fully comprehend the act of sex and all of its possible ramifications, so they are therefore also seen as not being able to give their consent.
For the most part, cases that involve sexually motivated crimes generally come down to which person’s version of the events that transpired is more believable. In the majority of cases, there is invariably an opportunity to show the state that justice could be better served by reducing the crime to a lesser charge and/or lessening the recommended sentence. If it is decided that the case made by the prosecution does not uphold or substantiate the charges against you, then they could very possibly get thrown out or defeated during the trial.
In a sex crime case, sometimes a plea bargain becomes necessary for the best interests of our client. If this turns out to be the case, our astute criminal defense attorneys will thoroughly examine whether or not taking a plea bargain is truly the best thing for your predicament. We will absolutely ensure that you are fully informed about all possible after-effects of any agreement that we might encourage you to enter.
Our Pensacola attorneys will pursue the result that is the most advantageous to you, regardless of what the details of your case may be. We will also make certain that you fully comprehend everything that we do on your behalf and everything that is going on every step of the way as your case progresses.
When Do I Need to Hire a Sex Crimes Attorney?
You can feel like the bottom just dropped out of your world when you find out that you are being charged with a sex crime. You may even think that all hope is lost but this is not the case. Being charged with a crime and being convicted of a crime are two very different things. In order to look out for your best interests, it is imperative that you take prompt and decisive measures to secure your future. Your smartest course of action, in the event that you have already been arrested, is to meet with a Pensacola sex crimes defense attorney from Musca Law. If you think that you might be under investigation for a sex crime, then the most prudent thing that you can do is to safeguard your rights, your freedom, and your reputation is to retain the services of a criminal defense attorney who specializes in Florida sex crimes as quickly as possible.
At Musca Law, we understand how dire this problem could be for you, and we view it as our duty to stand by you in resolving the situation while always keeping your best interests in mind. Allegations of sexual offenses can instantly ruin your good name and make it so that you have to suffer degrading obstacles long before your case even sees the inside of a courtroom. We are here to protect your rights and to defend you. We firmly believe that you are innocent until proven guilty, and we are here to guide you and use our legal proficiency to build you the most compelling defense possible. Don’t hesitate to contact our office today to schedule a free, no-obligation phone consultation with one of our experienced attorneys!