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Miami Sex Crime Defense Lawyer

The term “sex crimes” is used to describe a wide range of offenses, including everything from sexual assault and possession of child pornography to prostitution and indecent exposure. Although these crimes fall under the broad category of sex crimes, they all require proof of different elements. Furthermore, defendants accused of specific crimes are not permitted to raise certain defenses. For these reasons, navigating this area of the law can be extremely difficult, making it especially important for those who have been accused of a sex crime, to speak with an experienced Miami sex crime defense attorney who can help them formulate a defense.

Miami Child Pornography Lawyer

While all sex crimes are considered serious, certain offenses, particularly those involving children, are treated especially harshly. For instance, possessing child pornography in Miami is a felony offense that can result in a decades-long prison sentence, hefty fines, and social stigmas. Because the stakes are so high in this type of case, it is important for those who have been accused of this, or a similar offense, to have a thorough understanding of statutory law. Many people, for instance, do not realize how broad the state’s definition of child pornography actually is, as Fla. Stat. §827.071(5) defines it as any image that depicts minors involved in sexual conduct. Sexual conduct is also specifically described as any of the following activities:
  • Actual, simulated, or deviate sexual intercourse;
  • Bestiality;
  • Masturbation;
  • Sexual abuse;
  • Lewd exhibition;
  • Physical contact with a person’s private parts; or
  • Simulated or actual sexual battery.
However, even if a prosecutor is able to establish that an image satisfies this definition, he or she will still need to prove that the defendant viewed or possessed more than one image during a certain period of time, and if the images were electronic, that the defendant took affirmative action to save them or knew that they would be automatically saved.Raising a strong defense against these types of charges is important because those who are convicted face up to five years in prison for each image, video, or photograph recovered from the defendant’s possession. Some of the most commonly raised defenses include the following:
  • The images were downloaded by someone else;
  • The images were on the computer when the defendant purchased it;
  • The individuals depicted were not minors; or
  • The images don’t satisfy the state’s definition of child pornography.
Raising these defenses usually requires the testimony of an expert forensic computer specialist who can prove how and when the images were downloaded, viewed, and saved.

Miami Lewd and Lascivious Crime Lawyer

When a crime does not fall under the definition of assault, battery, or rape, prosecutors often charge it under the state’s lewd and lascivious crime statute. This law covers a variety of offenses, including lewd and lascivious:
  • Battery;
  • Behavior;
  • Conduct;
  • Exhibition; and
  • Molestation.
Most of these laws apply specifically in cases where the victim is a minor, in which case, defendants are not permitted to argue that the victim consented to the activity. However, this defense is available to adults who are charged under this statute. For instance, when sexual activity doesn’t reach the level of severity required of a sexual battery charge, a defendant could be charged under the Miami lewd and lascivious law and would also be permitted to provide evidence of the alleged victim’s voluntary and knowing consent.

Miami Solicitation Attorney

In Miami, Florida, solicitation of prostitution is defined under Fla. Stat. 796.07 as entering into a transaction with a third party where he or she is offered compensation in exchange for participation in sexual activity. Notably, a person can be charged with this offense even if the other party was not actually a sex worker, but was an undercover police officer. Similarly, once an offer is made, it doesn’t matter whether a defendant didn’t actually intend to go through with the arrangement. Unfortunately, this leaves many defendants open to prosecution after becoming the subject of a sting operation, which, although they often involve in-person transactions, also take place on the internet.

Generally treated as a misdemeanor offense, charges for soliciting a sex worker can be enhanced if the person solicited was a minor. In fact, a third party does not actually have to be a minor for a defendant to be convicted of this offense. For this reason, many defendants who are charged with soliciting a minor are the victims of sting operations, in which a law enforcement officer poses as a minor for the purpose of identifying perpetrators. Although not permitted to argue that they were unaware of the other person’s age when they were communicating with him or her, defendants are allowed to submit evidence of entrapment to avoid conviction, which requires proof that they were convinced to commit a crime by law enforcement officers that they normally would not have been predisposed to commit.

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