Navarre Sex Crime Defense Lawyers
All sex offenses, regardless of their severity, should be taken seriously. Accusations involving offenses against children, however, come with particularly serious consequences, so if you have been charged with committing a sex crime, it is important to retain a Navarre sex crime defense lawyer who can help you begin formulating a strong defense.
Navarre Solicitation of a Minor Lawyer
Florida law makes solicitation of a sex worker unlawful, regardless of whether the person solicited is actually engaged in prostitution. This is generally a misdemeanor crime unless the party who was solicited was a minor, in which case, the charge will be enhanced to a third-degree felony. Solicitation of a minor includes in-person arrangements, as well as online communications, as state law specifically prohibits using a computer online service or any device that is capable of electronic storage or transmission to:
- Entice, solicit, or lure a child to engage in sexual conduct
- Entice or solicit a parent to allow his or her child to engage in sexual conduct
These prohibitions apply even when the person being solicited was not actually a minor or was not the parent of a minor. As long as the solicitor believed that they were soliciting a minor or his or her parents, that person can be charged with solicitation. In fact, even attempting to solicit a minor using an online service can be prosecuted as a third-degree felony. However, if there is evidence that a defendant misrepresented his or her age in order to convince a minor to engage in sexual activity, he or she could face enhanced second-degree felony charges. This can have important consequences, as it is not uncommon for prosecutors to charge a defendant with a separate count for each time that they used the internet for solicitation purposes.
Under Fla. Stat. 847.0135, actually traveling to meet a minor, regardless of whether he or she traveled within, to, or from the state, after using an online service to solicit that individual, is also considered a second-degree felony offense, and as such, is punishable by up to 15 years for each count.
Navarre Child Molestation Lawyer
Another serious sex offense involving children is the sexual abuse of a minor, which is more commonly known as child molestation. According to Fla. Stat. 800.04, a person has committed this type of offense when he or she performs a lewd act upon the body of or in the presence of a minor for the purpose of satisfying sexual desire. Child molestation is a strict liability crime, which means that although defendants are permitted to defend themselves against charges of molestation, they are barred from raising certain defenses, including that:
- The other party consented to the sexual activity.
- The other party claimed to be an adult.
- The other party was known for being promiscuous.
- They didn’t know that the other party was a minor.
- They legitimately believed that the other party was over the age of 18 years old.
Child molestation is usually charged as a first-degree felony. However, a charge can be reduced if the defendant was also under the age of 18 years old, and the other party was between 12 and 16 years old. Those who are convicted of child molestation must register as sex offenders, although there is one exception known as the Romeo and Juliet Law, which gives judges discretion to waive the registration requirement if the defendant hasn’t committed any other sex crimes, the offense involved consensual activity and the minor was a teenager, and the defendant was no more than four years older than the victim who was at least 13 years of age.
Navarre Child Pornography Attorney
One of the most commonly charged sex offenses involving children is the possession of child pornography. Possession of child pornography is a third-degree felony, so those who are convicted are required to register as sex offenders. However, before a person can be convicted, prosecutors must establish a number of elements, namely that:
- The defendant was found in possession of an image depicting a minor engaged in sexual conduct.
- The defendant intentionally viewed more than one image over a period of time.
- The defendant purposely saved the image or knew that it would automatically be saved.
Fortunately, there are a number of defenses available to those who have been unfairly accused of possessing child pornography, including the person depicted was over the age of 18 years old, the images were sent without their consent and were immediately deleted, or that they use a shared computer and were not responsible for downloading the images. However, defendants are not permitted to argue that they legitimately believed that the images depicted an adult.
The state of Florida divides sexually-based offenses into three distinct groups of sexual assaults. These three groups are:
- Sexual battery or rape
- Unlawful sex with a minor
- Lewd and lascivious acts
Lewd and Lascivious Acts
Lewd and lascivious acts are sexually-centered criminal actions that are perpetrated on a person who is under 16 years of age. The top four most frequently reported lewd and lascivious sex crimes are:
- Lewd or lascivious exhibition
- Lewd or lascivious conduct
- Lewd or lascivious battery
- Lewd or lascivious molestation
Sexual Battery and Rape
The crimes of rape and sexual battery, which are interchangeable in the state of Florida, centers around any sexual activity between two people that is not mutually agreed upon and that takes place as the consequence of violence, intimidation, physical threats, or powerlessness.
Unlawful Sexual Activity With a Minor
Unlawful sexual activity with a minor, more popularly referred to as statutory rape, is a sexual offense that has been perpetrated when someone who is at least 24 years old participates in consensual sexual intercourse with someone who is 16 or 17 years old.
Voyeurism deals with the criminal behavior of surreptitiously watching another person in a private environment, most commonly due to sexual curiosity or for sexual satisfaction. In accordance with Florida laws, the crime of voyeurism has taken place anytime someone who has indecent, obscene, or immoral intentions, secretly spies on:
- Somebody else who is in a private residence, building, or vehicle and their chosen whereabouts offer a fair expectation of privacy
- Somebody else’s private areas that are clothed in such a way that demonstrates a reasonable expectation of privacy
The term private areas are described as the part of someone’s anatomy or of their underthings that is obscured by clothing and obviously meant to be hidden from the view of the public
Penalties for Voyeurism
Your first voyeurism offense is classified as a first-degree misdemeanor and is punishable by as long as one full year in county jail, one additional year of state-supervised probation, and a fine of as much as $1,000.
If you are found guilty of the crime of voyeurism, the judge can order you to serve any amount of jail time, administrative fines, and probation. On top of that, voyeurism is different from the majority of other crimes because any person who is found guilty will have earned themselves a lifelong criminal record and will never be permitted to seal their criminal record.
Voyeurism with Prior Convictions
Anybody with two or more previous convictions for voyeurism can be charged with voyeurism with prior convictions if they are ever convicted for the third time. Voyeurism with prior convictions is a third-degree felony that can carry a sentence of as long as five years in state prison, five additional years of state supervised probation, and a fine of as much as $5,000.
Following the guidelines that are set out by Florida’s Criminal Punishment Code, the offense of voyeurism with prior convictions is a criminal act that has a severity rating of Level One and the judge is able to sentence anyone who is found guilty of voyeurism with prior convictions to state-supervised probation.
Defenses to Voyeurism
Along with all of the pretrial and trial arguments that could be brought up in any criminal trial, there are some very unique defenses for the act of voyeurism. These defenses include:
No Expectation of Privacy
It is completely legal for someone to watch another person who is in any stage of disrobing when that person has no reasonable expectation of privacy. An example of this would be when someone goes naked on a beach that allows it.
Security Surveillance Systems
It is also completely legal to watch somebody from another location entirely by employing the use of a video monitoring system or security system as long as a warning about the system is clearly located on the property and notifies people that a video monitoring system is currently in use, or if the video monitoring system is installed in such a way that it makes itself instantly known. It is also illegal for a shopkeeper, however, to purposefully film and/or watch his patrons, without their consent, in a fitting room or bathroom stall that is designed to offer the patron a bit of privacy.
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.
What Constitutes Indecent Exposure?
Typically, charges of indecent exposure are vague because they involve a person stating to police that they witnessed something and that’s all there is to it.
In order for your supposed actions to be considered a sex crime worthy of misdemeanor indecent exposure, these elements of the offense would have to be able to be shown in a court of law:
- You displayed your sexual organs
- This display happened in a public place or was evident from a private location
- You attempted to commit such a display in a lewd, lascivious, indecent, or vulgar manner
- You actually committed such a display in a lewd, lascivious, indecent, or vulgar manner
You should be fully cognizant of the fact that the prosecution has been gathering evidence against you from the time you were arrested in order to create a case against you. If you intend to dispute their claims, you will need to begin creating a case of your own. Instead of attempting to create a defense all on your own and hazard major mistakes, hire a criminal defense attorney who has experience in trying indecent exposure cases.
According to laws in the state of Florida, prostitution is legally defined as the receiving or giving of one’s body for sexual exploits in exchange for the compensation of either money or favors. Under these laws, in Florida it is unlawful to partake in any of the following:
- Direct, transport, take or agree to direct, to transport, or to take any person, with the understanding or reason to believe that this activity is so that prostitution can take place
- To offer to engage in, to commit, or to commit to engaging in the act of prostitution
- To entice, lure, solicit, or induce another person to engage in the act of prostitution
- To enter, live in, or reside in a building or other structure for the purpose of engaging in the act of prostitution
Under Florida’s prostitution laws, it is also unlawful to:
- Own, operate or maintain any building or other structure for the purposes of using it for prostitution
- Offer, or agree to obtain another for the purpose of engaging in the act of prostitution
- Receive, or agree to receive any person into any building or other structure for the purpose of engaging in the act of prostitution
- To purchase the services of someone so that you may engage in the act of prostitution
Penalties for Prostitution
- First Offense – A second-degree misdemeanor that is punishable by as long as 60 days in county jail and a fine of as much as $500
- Second Offense – A first-degree misdemeanor that is punishable by as long as one year in county jail and a fine of as much as $1,000
- Third Offense – A third-degree felony that is punishable by as long as five years in state prison and a fine of as much as $5,000