West Palm Beach Sex Crime Defense Lawyer
By legal definition, a criminal sexual act includes forced, or otherwise non-consensual, physical touching of another person, generally including penetration or other forms of sexual contact, such as touching another person’s private areas. Additionally, it is also considered criminal behavior to become involved in a sexual act with another person who is not capable of offering their consent, like a child, a person lacking the mental capacity to understand what is happening, or someone without the physical capacity to say no or to resist (this includes someone who has had too much to drink).
Common Sex Crime Charges in West Palm Beach
There is a varied and extensive list of sex crimes that can be found on the books here in Florida. Our criminal defense legal team at Musca Law has an extensive background in defending our clients against a wide assortment of charges that include, but are not limited too:
- Rape/Date rape;
- Statutory rape;
- Child pornography./Child exploitation;
- Indecent liberties with a minor;
- Solicitation of a minor;
- Solicitation for Prostitution;
- Prostitution; and/or
- Sexual assault.
Sex crime cases are uniquely challenging to try because in the majority of the cases, the supposed victim and the so-called offender are usually the only two who know for absolute certain what really happened during the incident being called into question. On top of that, there are always the sort of people who will use this type of finger-pointing and these accusations as weapons. These allegations, even when they are 100% unfounded, can easily be used to obtain an advantage in a case for the custody of a child, and are sometimes even used as revenge for a simple case of hurt feelings. Once these assertions have been made, however, it can sometimes be nearly impossible for the falsely accused to ever fully recover their good reputation.
Unless the state of Florida can prove every aspect of the charges against you, you still retain the right of “innocent until proven guilty,” no matter what the charges against you might be. Our legal team here at Musca Law is able to thoroughly analyze any evidence against you and to dispute the charges that you are currently facing. If the court happens to have a particularly strong case against you, we will work tirelessly in order to either stop a conviction for a sex crime or, if it becomes necessary, contend for the minimum sentence to an offense that does not require you to register as a sex offender
It is perfectly reasonable for you to be anxious, or even completely horrified, if you or someone you love has been arrested and charged with any kind of sex crime. There will be ample possibilities and strategies, however, for challenging the case brought against you. Make sure that you get in contact with our West Palm Beach sex crime defense attorneys today so that we may review your case and discuss your legal options during a free case consultation over the phone with one of our experienced attorneys.
Of all the crimes it is possible to be charged with in the United States, no other crime carries with it the capability to make you a social pariah the way that being charged with a sex crime can. It doesn’t matter if the charge you are facing is sexual assault, rape, prostitution, or indecent liberties with a minor, we understand that all sex crime cases are volatile and emotionally draining. We also understand that these cases are usually very complex and that there are always two sides to every story.
The legal team here at Musca Law is comprised of West Palm Beach defense attorneys who have years of experience when it comes to handling sex crimes strategically and effectively. Our attorneys recognize the sensitive and potentially damaging nature of these kinds of accusations in today’s society, as well as the harshness of the sentence you will face if you end up being convicted of the crime.
Our experienced and skilled attorneys have the knowledge, the ability, and the discretion that are needed in order to construct an effective defense against the sex crime charges that you are facing. Our trained and qualified defense attorneys will hear your side of the story and let you know what you can prepare for as your case progresses.
Our sex crimes defense attorneys will avail themselves of every means at their disposal in order to dispute the allegations and supposed evidence that the plaintiff has against you. We will make every effort to mediate with the plaintiff to get the charges dropped, or failing that, to get them reduced. In the end, if we have to stand trial, we are fully prepared to create a strategic defense platform to effectively protect your rights.
We urge you to get in contact with our respected West Palm Beach criminal defense attorneys as soon as possible so that we can go over your case with you at your earliest convenience.
Sexual battery is a criminal act that is taken very seriously in Florida. The laws that criminalize sexual battery cover copious varieties of the crime which serve to help decide the possible length of your sentence if you are found guilty. Sexual battery is the technical and legal verbiage for what the majority of the public would probably call rape. A sexual battery that is committed against someone who is 18 years of age or older basically means any sexual contact that took place without the other person’s permission. Someone who is younger than 18 is considered to be under the age of consent and therefore is unable to legally consent to any sexual contact. This means that any form of sexual activity with a minor is, under the law, considered sexual battery, even if consent was freely given.
With a charge of sexual battery, there are several details that are able to decide what level felony you will be charged with, and by extension, what your possible sentence may be. A conviction for sexual battery may vary from a second-degree felony that is punishable by as long as 15 years in state prison, to a capital felony that entails a mandatory life sentence. A few of the circumstances that define the level of a felony for a particular sexual battery are:
- Was the supposed victim physically disabled?
- Was the supposed victim physically weak?
- Was the supposed victim mentally disabled?
- Was the supposed victim younger than 18 years of age?
- Was the supposed victim younger than 12 years of age?
- Were there weapons, violence, or the threat of weapons or violence at play?
- Was the defendant a police officer or any sort of government executive?
- Was the alleged offender acting in a capacity of custodial or familial authority over the supposed victim?
The laws surrounding sexual battery explicitly disallow anybody who is convicted of this crime from being eligible to earn any gain time while they are serving out their incarceration. Usually, someone who is serving time in prison in the state of Florida is permitted to have time taken off of their sentence for things such as good behavior or working at a prison facility. A prisoner can earn as much as a 15% reduction in their overall jail time based on good behavior. When it comes to sexual battery convictions, gain time is not allowed to be earned while incarcerated. This means that if you are sentenced to a charge of sexual battery, you will have to serve every day of the sentence, start to finish, without exception.
If you or someone you love has been arrested for sexual battery, please immediately reach out to the sex crime defense attorneys at Musca Law. Accusations of sexual battery are extremely appalling and need to be handled by a shrewd and resourceful defense attorney. Our West Palm Beach attorneys have an extensive background in handling cases of every variation of sexual battery and are the best equipped for defending your charge.
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 thinks 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 begins to get very real, such that 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 seen by the law 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 most 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 crimes 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 aftereffects of any agreement that we might encourage you to enter.
Our West Palm Beach 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 at every step of the way as your case progresses.
While a charge of indecent exposure is not classified as a violent crime, it is still a sexually based crime that calls for serious penalties if you are convicted. Circumstances such as where you were or who you were with when the incident took place could result in you being charged with a felony instead of a misdemeanor, which would normally be the case. For instance, while indecent exposure would typically be a first-degree misdemeanor, participating in specific kinds of lewd behavior in the company of children under the age of 16 will lead to you being charged with a felony instead.
The severity of the charges notwithstanding, you are going to be looking at sentencing such as:
- Exorbitant fines
- Lengthy jail time
- Court-supervised probation
- Extensive community service hours that must be documented
As with practically any sex crime, indecent exposure will also require you to register yourself as a sexual offender. More often than not, this punishment will have permanent negative repercussions on the accused person’s life. Registration as a sex offender will automatically exclude you from many kinds of employment and will also prevent you from living in certain areas.
If you or someone you love is facing such crimes, don’t hesitate to call our West Palm Beach office today at (561) 660-9086 to schedule a free, no-obligation case consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.