Although all sex crimes are treated as serious offenses in St. Petersburg, Florida, some are considered especially severe. For example, solicitation crimes and indecent exposure are usually charged as misdemeanors, while sexual assault and child molestation are charged as felonies. In either case, building a strong defense is critical to the outcome at trial.
St. Petersburg Child Pornography Lawyers
Florida law defines child pornography as an image that depicts a child engaged in sexual conduct. Sexual conduct includes a wide range of activity, including physical contact with the genitals, masturbation, intercourse, and simulated battery. While most charges involve allegations of possessing physical copies of these types of images, Fla. Stat. 827.071 also prohibits possession of computer depictions, online photos, and films. However, a person can only be convicted of this type of offense if there is evidence that he or she knew what the images contained, intentionally viewed them, and took steps to save them. Manufacturing, producing, distributing, and transmitting this type of material is also illegal in Florida and constitute separate charges, often accompanied by allegations of using a child in a sexual performance.
Solicitation Crime Lawyers in St. Petersburg, Florida
While most people know that being a prostitute in Florida is illegal, many are unaware that those who solicit these sex workers can also be charged with a crime. However, a person can only be found guilty if prosecutors can prove that he or she solicited, bribed, or induced someone else to engage in sexual services or lewdness. In fact, even making an appointment with another person to engage in sexual activity is unlawful and can be prosecuted as solicitation, even if no money is actually exchanged. Furthermore, the person solicited does not actually have to be a prostitute for someone to be charged with this offense. In fact, many of those who are accused of this crime never even saw the person they are charged with soliciting, but spoke to them online and were arrested as part of an internet sting operation. This type of operation is common, as officers often pose as minors in an effort to apprehend those who commit computer sex crimes.
St. Petersburg Child Molestation Lawyers
Under Fla. Stat. 800.04, a person can be convicted of child molestation if there is evidence that he or she committed any type of lewd act on a minor. In fact, a person can even be charged with this offense if the lewd act was performed in the presence of a minor. Conduct that qualifies as lewd or lascivious includes sexual activity, such as intercourse, as well as intentionally touching the buttocks, breasts, or genital areas of a minor. Defendants accused of this offense cannot argue that the minor consented to the activity or that they were not aware of the victim’s age, although they can argue that their intent was not lewd or lascivious.
Sexual Assault Attorneys in St. Petersburg
In St. Petersburg, sexual assault includes not only forcing someone to engage in non-consensual intercourse, but also any unwanted sexual contact. Because this definition is so wide, a number of different types of conduct can justify a charge of sexual assault, including attacks against children, as well as adults. When children are involved, prosecutors are not required to prove consent, as its lack is presumed because of the minor’s age. However, when the other party is over the age of 12 years old, the state must prove that any consent given was not voluntary or knowing.
Lewd and Lascivious Crime Lawyers in St. Petersburg, Florida
Florida’s sex crime statutes also prohibit a wide range of conduct in relation to children, including lewd or lascivious:
Although these laws apply specifically to minors, other statutes that prohibit lewd and lascivious behavior and acts also apply to acts upon the body of or in the presence of adults. In the latter case, demonstrating voluntary consent can help defeat a charge of lewd and lascivious behavior.
St. Petersburg Sexual Battery Lawyers
Sexual assault cases involving actual non-consensual intercourse are usually prosecuted under the state’s sexual battery law in Florida. The defenses that a defendant can raise in response to this type of charge depends largely on the age of the other party, as those who commit sexual battery against children under the age of 12 years old cannot claim that the minor consented to the act.
Indecent Exposure/Exposure of Sexual Organ Attorneys in St. Petersburg
Before a person can be convicted of indecent exposure, prosecutors must prove that the defendant exposed his or her sexual organs in public, on someone else’s private property, or in close proximity to private property and that he or she intended to expose him or herself in an offensive manner. The last element is perhaps the most important, as defendants cannot be convicted if the exposure was not sensual or licentious in nature.
St. Petersburg Voyeurism Lawyers
Under Fla. Stat. 810.14, viewing a person without his or her consent while that individual is changing or otherwise privately exposing his or her body is unlawful. However, before a prosecutor can obtain a conviction for this offense, he or she must prove that the defendant had lewd or lascivious intent when viewing the other party and that the individual was in a place where he or she had a reasonable expectation of privacy.
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