Sex crimes, like any other criminal offense, vary in severity, so it is important for those who have been accused of a sex offense to have a thorough understanding of the elements of the specific offense with which they have been charged. An experienced New Port Richey sex crime defense lawyer can prove crucial in this endeavor, as this tends to be a particularly complex area of the law.
New Port Richey Sexting Lawyer
One of the lesser known offenses that falls under the broad category of “sex crimes,” is sexting. This term is used to describe the taking and sending of explicit photographs or videos via computer or another electronic device. Although this type of conduct is not unlawful when it involves two consenting adults, it is illegal under Fla. Stat. 847.0141 for two minors to engage in the same behavior. However, in order to qualify as a “sext,” the image must depict nudity and be harmful to minors, which means that it primarily appeals to a prurient interest, is patently offensive, and is without serious political, artistic, scientific, or literary value.
Unlike other sex crimes involving depictions of sexual conduct, a person accused of sexting will only be charged with a single offense even if multiple images were sent, as long as they were all delivered within the same 24 hours. Furthermore, it is not only the individual who sent the sext who can be convicted of this offense but also the person who received it, unless that individual can provide evidence that he or she immediately reported the image and did not take participate in sending it to anyone else.
Fortunately, the sexting law, which is aimed at minors, is primarily geared towards helping teens understand the seriousness of this type of conduct. For this reason, initial violations of the sexting law are considered noncriminal in nature, although offenders may also be required to complete community service, pay a small fine, and successfully complete a cyber safety program. Second violations, however, are charged as first degree misdemeanors, and so are punishable by up to a year in prison. In the event that the person sending the explicit photo is over the age of 18 years old, he or she could be charged with the possession and transmission of child pornography.
New Port Richey Indecent Exposure Attorney
Another lesser-known Florida sex offense is indecent exposure, which involves allegations of displaying, exposing, or exhibiting one’s sexual organs in public, actions that are prohibited under Fla. Stat. 800.03. In fact, a person can be convicted of this offense even if he or she was not on public property, but was on or in close proximity to another person’s private property. However, before a person can be convicted, prosecutors must also prove that he or she not only intended to expose him or herself but also did so in a lewd or lascivious manner. Proving that someone was offended by the act is one of the best ways to establish this intent, although even this is not necessary if the exposure occurred in public. Indecent exposure is a first-degree misdemeanor, although it can be charged as a second-degree felony when a defendant was over 18 years of age, and the person who witnessed the exposure was under 16 years old. In these cases, the misdemeanor charge will be enhanced, even if the exposure didn’t take place in person, but occurred online. When a defendant was also a minor, however, the charges might only be enhanced to a third-degree felony.
Although not as serious as many other sex offenses, a conviction for indecent exposure should still be avoided. Fortunately, there are a number of defenses that can be raised by those who are unfairly accused of indecent exposure, including that the defendant did not intend anyone to view the exposure, the defendant never had lewd intent, or the defendant was breastfeeding, which under Florida law, never constitutes indecent exposure.
New Port Richey Date Rape Lawyer
In Florida, all sexual assault, sexual battery, and rape claims fall under Florida Statute 794.011, which prohibits forcible sexual intercourse. While this applies to cases between strangers, it also applies when the incident involved two people who already knew each other. This is referred to as date rape, which, like sexual assault, is strictly prohibited under both state and federal law. The key in these types of cases is establishing whether or not the other party consented to the activity. In the event that a defendant is accused of administering a drug or anesthetic to a person to lower his or her inhibitions, a lack of consent will be presumed.
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