Vero Beach Sex Crime Defense Lawyers
Florida’s “sex crime” statutes cover a wide range of behavior and conduct and can be difficult to understand without the aid of an experienced attorney, so if you have been charged with a sex offense, you should strongly consider retaining a Vero Beach sex crime defense lawyer who can explain your legal options.
There are very few things in life as difficult as being charged with a Sexual Crime. As soon as the police begin their investigation into these accusations, your life could change drastically. You may feel highly scrutinized and misunderstood, which is an indication that you need legal counsel to support your case.
If you find yourself in this situation, you would benefit from getting in touch with a criminal defense attorney from Musca Law as soon as possible. Your best bet for absolving yourself of charges such as these is to work with an experienced sex crimes attorney who will apply their skills and knowledge to your case. To learn how a Vero Beach criminal defense attorney can help you, call us at (888) 484-5057 to schedule a free, confidential, no-obligation consultation.
Florida Statutes Sections 794.005-794.09
Florida law states that you may be charged with sexual battery if you engage in sexual intercourse with a victim by the threat of force or harm, through force, if the victim has a mental handicap that renders them incapable of consent, if the victim is unconscious, or after impairing the victim’s consciousness and self-control through the use of drugs or alcohol. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the incident, sexual battery could be charged as a first-degree felony, and depending on the court’s ruling, you could also face additional penalties. Sexual battery is one of the most severe sex crimes, and you should not attempt to manage it without a qualified sex crime criminal defense attorney to assist you.
Unlawful Contact With a Minor
Florida Statutes Section 794.05
Florida law states that you have committed a crime if you are knowingly in contact with a minor child for the purposes of participating in any sexual offense. You will be charged with a second-degree felony and could face as much as 15 years in state prison, along with sex offender probation and registration, and a fine up to $10,000. Child pornography is often charged as a third-degree felony, punishable by as many as five years in prison. It is important to note that each individual image found in your possession that meets the state’s definition of child pornography will be its own separate criminal charge. You may face an increased sentence for the creation or distribution of child pornography. If you have been implicated in any type of sex offense involving a minor child, it is in your best interest to call a sex crime criminal defense attorney immediately.
Prostitution and Solicitation
Florida Statute Section 796.07(1)(a)
Prostitution and crimes related, while not as severe in nature as the previous listings, are still illegal in the state of Florida. You may be charged with prostitution if you voluntarily participate in any type of sexual activity in exchange for money or for favors of any kind. Likewise, you can be charged with solicitation of prostitution if you have paid another person to participate in a sex act of any type. Your first or second violation will likely be charged as a third-degree misdemeanor, aggravating circumstances notwithstanding.
In Florida, the law states that there are eight individual acts related to the crime of prostitution that can be committed by either party involved. These acts include:
- Inviting another person to participate in prostitution
- Offering a space in which prostitution will take place
- Giving directions to or transporting someone to a place of prostitution
- Scheduling an appointment for prostitution to take place
- Soliciting someone to engage in the act of prostitution
- Entering or loitering in a place for prostitution
- Employing the services of someone engaged in prostitution
Lewd or Lascivious Battery
Florida Statute Section 800.04(4)
Florida law criminalizes consensual sexual intercourse with a minor through a charge of lewd or lascivious behavior. This charge covers statutory rape and any sexual act that takes place with a minor who is above the age of 12 but still younger than 16. Lewd or lascivious battery is what is known as a “strict liability crime,” which means that ignorance of the minor’s age or having the minor’s consent are not defenses for the act. This means that even if a minor lied about their age and explicitly gave their consent, those may still not be reasons for indemnity. This crime is charged as a second-degree felony in the state of Florida, which is punishable by up to 15 years in prison, registration as a sex offender, and very exorbitant fines.
Sex Crime FAQ
When Do I Need to Hire a Sex Crimes Attorney?
If you have been charged with a sex crime, you may feel like all hope is lost, but this is not necessarily the case. In order to protect your best interests, it is important that you take immediate action. Your best course of action is to consult a Vero Beach sex crimes defense attorney in the event that you have already been arrested or if you suspect that you are under investigation for a sex crime. The most prudent action that you can take is to protect your reputation, your rights, and your freedom, and the best way to do that is to hire a criminal defense attorney as quickly as possible.
Should I Cooperate With a Police Investigation?
The truth of the matter is that it is not really in your best interest to give a statement to any law enforcement officer. Even if you know for a fact that you are innocent, it is still possible that you could say something that could be twisted or misinterpreted and then used against you. Because of this, you should never try to answer any police questions until you have a criminal defense attorney from Musca Law present with you to provide invaluable legal counsel.
What Punishments are Associated With Committing a Sex Crime in Florida?
The sentences for committing a sexual offense can vary greatly. It will all depend on the specific charges that have been levied against you, and whether or not there were any aggravating or mitigating circumstances. In all sex crime cases, however, offenses are taken very seriously.
With the most heinous of sex-based offenses, a conviction may end in a long prison sentence. In order to improve your chances of the situation turning out in your favor, it is in your best interest to secure representation from a Vero Beach criminal defense attorney who will be able to evaluate the exact charges that have been brought against you and then develop the most reasonable strategy for your defense.
Will Florida Require Me to Register as a Sex Offender?
In the state of Florida, anyone who is found guilty of a sex crime could potentially be listed as either a sexual predator or a sex offender. Florida has a lengthy list of sexual offenses that will require registration on the sexual offender list, should the perpetrator either enter a guilty plea or be convicted. This is an essential factor that must be taken into consideration.
If you neglect to register from the beginning or neglect to re-register when you are ordered to do so, you could be facing yet another criminal charge and will again need the assistance of an experienced sex crime attorney. Failure to register properly or at all can lead to another felony charge.
To discover more about how sexual offender registration works and about how it pertains specifically to your case, please reach out to our criminal defense team here at Musca Law.
Possible Additional Consequences
Whether it is a misdemeanor or a felony sex crime on your record, you will undoubtedly suffer many negative experiences as you try to re-enter society or gain acceptance within your community. In seeking out employment, you may be required to disclose your conviction, or it could potentially show up during a background check. The same thing might occur if you attempt to go to rent a place to live, apply to go to college, or apply for a bank loan.
A background check to reveal the fact that you are a sex offender or a sexual predator is all a potential boss, landlord, school administrator, or bank will need to see to justify removing or dropping your name to the bottom of any list. Fearing public outcry or potential liability if there is another incident, they are well within their rights to deny you the job, the house, admission, or a loan. These potential negative consequences can be mitigated through receiving the highest quality legal counsel from our defense attorney team at Musca Law.
Common Defenses Against Sex Crimes
Consent - Consent is defined as “the voluntary agreement to engage in the sexual activity in question.” This defense is frequently employed when it can be proved that the defendant and the alleged victim were familiar with one another before the act took place. The age of consent in Florida is 18, meaning that the consent defense will not apply if the supposed victim was under the age of 16 when the questionable act took place.
Exemptions to this rule are in place for those who are close in age. These exemptions allow minors who are 16 or 17 years old to consent to engage in sexual intercourse with a partner who is 23 years old or younger. In an effort to demonstrate that the sex was consensual, evidence in the form of sexually-charged phone calls, text messages, or emails that prove that both people have had prior sexual relations with one another may be used. There may also be witness testimony that could confirm that there had been prior sexual encounters between the two people, which may be submitted as evidence in order to prove that consent really had been given.
After a sex crime, the DNA of the perpetrator could very potentially remain on the body of the victim, their clothing, or somewhere at the crime scene. DNA can be collected from a variety of sources; for instance, human hair, sweat, saliva, and skin cells may contain DNA evidence. Once discovered, DNA evidence may be used to identify the offender and to prove certain aspects of the crime. Even though DNA is able to produce reliable evidence, it is not completely error-proof. A Vero Beach sexual assault attorney may challenge the collection method of the genetic evidence, the way in which it was transported, the testing techniques that were used, isolation, and even the match percentage of the DNA being used for evidence.
Mistaken identity is when the wrong person has been identified as the one who committed the offense. A case of mistaken identity can be used as a defense against a sex crime accusation. For example, it is possible that the victim was unable to see the perpetrator clearly, in which case they would be unable to properly identify them. A Florida sexual crime attorney might also provide evidence that the accused has an ironclad alibi, meaning that there is no way they could have been at the scene of the crime when the incident took place.
If you have been charged with any type of sex crime in the state of Florida, it would be in your best interest to obtain the services of a criminal defense attorney immediately. The defenses that your attorney might use vary widely, and depend on several factors depending upon what the exact charges are, the specific circumstances of your case, and whether or not you already have a criminal history.
At Musca Law, we know how disastrous this situation can be for you, and we see it as our responsibility to support you in navigating it with your best interests always in mind. Accusations of sexual misconduct can quickly destroy your good name and cause you to endure painful hardships long before your case even goes to trial. We are here to defend your rights and to protect you. We strongly believe that you are innocent until proven guilty, and we are here to help you build the most effective defense possible under the law. Contact a Vero Beach criminal defense attorney today at (888) 484-5057 to schedule a free, confidential, no-obligation consultation.