Our Orlando sex crime defense lawyers understand that all criminal offenses should be taken seriously in Florida. Sex crimes, however, should be given particular weight, as they come with severe consequences, including not only jail time, but also potential registration on the national sex offender registry. These penalties can make it difficult, to find employment, secure housing, or relocate for job or educational opportunities. Registration also comes with serious repercussions for a defendant’s personal reputation, so it is critical to raise a strong defense when accused of this type of offense. For help planning your own defense against allegations of involvement in a sex crime, you should consider contacting an Orlando sex crime defense attorney who is familiar with both state and federal law and can help ensure that your rights and interests are protected.
Orlando Prostitution Lawyers
Although many sex offenses are charged as felonies, there are a few that qualify as misdemeanors, one of which is solicitation of prostitution. Fla. Stat. 796.07 defines prostitution as the giving or receiving of the body for sexual activity in exchange for compensation. However, there are actually a range of different prostitution-related offenses that fall under this category, including:
Soliciting a prostitute;
Compelling someone else to become involved in prostitution;
Developing financial support from prostitution;
Operating, owning, leasing, or renting a place used for prostitution-related activities;
Providing transportation to a third party to a location where prostitution-related activity occurs;
Soliciting a minor;
Securing a minor for the purpose of prostitution; and
Buying or selling a minor into prostitution.
Orlando Solicitation of a Minor Attorneys
Generally, solicitation of prostitution is charged as a misdemeanor offense, so most defendants who are convicted are not required to serve jail time. However, if an offense involves a person under the age of 18 years old, a defendant could face felony charges, even for a first-time offense. In fact, a person can be charged with this crime if he or she never even actually met or saw the minor, a scenario that usually arises during internet sting operations. This is because Florida law is specifically worded to account for the use of online services or electronic devices to solicit minors for sex. It is also important to note that if a person is accused of using different services or devices to contact a minor, each communication will be considered a separate criminal charge. Defendants who actually travel to meet minors for the purpose of engaging in sexual activity for pay face even harsher consequences, as convictions usually involve a mandatory two-year prison sentence and inclusion on the nation’s sex offender registry. Those who are convicted on multiple occasions for prostitution-related offenses also face felony charges, mandatory jail time, hefty fines, loss of driving privileges, community service, and mandatory completion of an educational program about the negative effects of prostitution.
A strong defense can help clear a person’s name if he or she has been charged with soliciting a minor. In most cases, this involves proving that a defendant was the victim of entrapment, or that he or she was convinced to commit a crime that he or she was not predisposed to commit. In these cases, courts look at a variety of factors, including:
The length of time that the defendant was engaged in online interaction with the undercover officer;
Who initiated the conversations about sexual activity;
Whether the defendant ever expressed reluctance to engage in these types of discussions;
The extent to which the officer persisted in encouraging communication of a sexual nature; and
Whether the defendant actually and immediately traveled to a meeting place.
Defendants who successfully raise this defense could escape criminal penalties and have their case dismissed by the court.
Orlando Indecent Exposure Attorney
Besides solicitation of prostitution, there are a number of other misdemeanor sex offenses that a person can be charged with, including indecent exposure, which is prohibited under Fla. Stat. 775.082. Like the state’s other lewd and lascivious crimes, indecent exposure is considered a less serious offense than molestation or assault and involves exposing oneself in public with lewd intent. In fact, a person can be charged with this offense even if he or she was not in public, but was on or within sight of private property. However, before a person can be convicted, prosecutors must also prove that the individual intended to expose him or herself in a crude way or with an unlawful indulgence in sensual intent. To satisfy this level of intent, prosecutors must demonstrate that a defendant’s actions offended a third party who saw the act unless the exposure took place in a location that was designed for the use of the general public, in which case the display itself is enough to constitute indecent exposure. Although usually charged as a misdemeanor, indecent exposure can be charged as a felony if the person who saw the exposure was under the age of 16 years old, even if the encounter took place online.
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