Florida’s “sex crime” statutes cover a wide range of behavior and conduct and can be difficult to understand without the aid of an experienced attorney, so if you have been charged with a sex offense, you should strongly consider retaining a Vero Beach sex crime defense lawyer who can explain your legal options.
Vero Beach Solicitation of a Sex Worker Lawyers
Under Florida law, a person has committed the crime of soliciting a sex worker if he or she requests, bribes, or solicits another person to engage in:
The act of prostitution, which is defined under Fla. Stat. 796.07 as engaging in sexual activity in exchange for compensation;
Lewdness, or any obscene or indecent act; or
Assignation, which involves making an appointment to engage in a sexual act for pay.
Although a person does have to have made an offer of compensation in exchange for engaging in a sexual activity to be convicted of solicitation, it is not necessary for:
The party being solicited to actually be a sex worker;
The sex worker being solicited to be willing or able to follow through with the agreement; or
The parties to exchange money.
Solicitation of a sex worker is one of Florida’s less serious sex offenses, as it is almost always charged as a first degree misdemeanor, unless the accused has been convicted of the offense on a prior occasion, in which case, he or she faces third-degree felony charges. However, when the person being solicited is a minor, the penalties become much more severe. In fact, a person accused of soliciting a minor can be charged with a third-degree felony even if he or she wasn’t aware that the person being solicited was a minor and was not seeking an underage sex worker. This is true even when the agreement was made over the internet and the person solicited was not actually a minor, but was a police officer posing as one for the purposes of a sting operation. This offense is also charged as a third-degree felony, and as such, is punishable by up to five years imprisonment for each count, although the charge could be enhanced if the defendant is alleged to have lied about his or her age to the minor in an effort to convince that individual to engage in sexual activity.
Fortunately, there are a variety of defenses that a person can raise when accused of soliciting a sex worker, including entrapment, which means that he or she was enticed to commit a crime by an undercover officer that he or she would not normally have committed. It is also possible in some cases to raise the defense of mistaken identity.
Vero Beach Indecent Exposure Attorney
While most people have heard of sexual assault and molestation, a surprising number of Florida residents aren’t aware that indecent exposure also qualifies as a sex crime. Under state law, a person can be convicted of indecent exposure if he or she actually exposed his or her sexual organs and did so with lewd intent. Most cases of indecent exposure involve exhibitions that occur in public. However, it is possible for the state to levy charges against someone for allegedly exposing him or herself on private property, although in these cases, prosecutors must provide evidence that the defendant knew that others could see him or her and that someone was offended by the act. When an incident of indecent exposure allegedly occurred in public, this requirement is not necessary and prosecutors need only prove that a defendant exposed him or herself in a lewd manner.
Most defendants who are accused of indecent exposure are charged with a first degree misdemeanor, although a charge could be increased to a felony if the defendant was over 18 years of age and exposed him or herself to a minor under the age of 16 years old. This is true even when the exhibition took place online.
Defendants who are accused of this offense can present evidence proving that they did not have lewd intent or that the exposure was not intended to be viewed by others in order to avoid conviction.
Vero Beach Voyeurism Lawyer
Fla. Stat. 810.145 prohibits the covert observation of other people when they are in an area where they have a reasonable expectation of privacy. Those who are accused of this type of conduct can be charged with voyeurism, a misdemeanor offense that is punishable by jail time and fines. However, a person can only be convicted of voyeurism if there is evidence that he or she had lewd intent during the covert observation.
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