Miami Sex Crime Defense Lawyer
Skilled Legal Defense for Serious Charges
Florida implements some of the strictest sex crime laws and penalties in the country. The term "sex crime" refers to a variety of criminal offenses. Indecent exposure, rape, prostitution, and solicitation all fall into this category and can lead to life-changing legal consequences. If you were charged with a sex crime and need to speak with an attorney, contact Parks & Braxton, PA today.
Types of Sex Crimes
- Fla. Stat. § 794.011 Sexual Battery (Rape) – Florida laws classify rape charges under the term "sexual battery," which refers to:
"…oral, anal, or vaginal penetration by, or union with, the sexual organ of another or the anal or vaginal penetration of another by any other object."
If the perpetrator is a legal adult and the victim is less than 12 years old, sexual battery is a capital felony.
- Fla. Stat. § 800.04 (5) Lewd or Lascivious Molestation – Commonly known as "sexual abuse" or simply "molestation," lascivious molestation involves intentional touching of the genital area, genitals, breasts, or the clothing covering them (of a victim who is less than 16 years of age) in a lascivious or lewd manner.
- 18 U.S.C. § 2251-2260 Child Pornography – According to 18 U.S.C. § 2256, child pornography involves:
"…any visual depiction, including any photograph, film, video, picture, or computer or computer-generated image or picture, whether made or produced by electronic, mechanical, or other means, of sexually explicit conduct."
- Fla. Stat. § 784.046(Sexual Abuse) – "Sexual abuse" can refer to a wide variety of crimes, thus resulting in a diverse range of legal penalties. Sexual abuse is a general term that typically refers to dating, sexual, and domestic violence. According to Fla. Stat. § 784.046 (1)(a), "violence" can involve kidnapping, false imprisonment, stalking, rape, assault, battery, and aggravated battery.
- Fla. Stat. § 796.07 (Prostitution) – Prostitution refers to any sexual activity given in exchange for payment. This also includes lewdness (which refers to indecency) and assignation (making an appointment for prostitution. In addition to prostitution, this chapter prohibits the act of owning or maintaining a building or structure used for prostitution
An Overview of Rape Laws in Florida
Rape is a serious criminal offense that can lead to severe penalties. Unlike many states, Florida does not differentiate between sexual battery and rape. In order to obtain a conviction, the prosecution must show that the sexual activity was not consensual, unless the victim was less than 12 years old.
Common Defense Strategies – One of the most common and effective defenses for rape is consent. The prosecution must demonstrate lack of consent; without it, the prosecution cannot present a viable argument against the defendant.
What are the penalties for rape?
- The minimum charge for rape in Florida is a second-degree felony offense, which can result in a15-year prison sentence.
- In some situations, the state may decide to elevate the crime to a felony of the first degree, which is punishable by30 years in prison.
- Aggravated circumstances, such as the use of a deadly weapon, can result in the charge becoming a life felony, punishable by alife sentence in prison.
- If the victim is less than 12 years old and the defendant is a legal adult, the crime becomes a capital felony. This crime ispunishable by death.
Child Pornography Laws and Penalties
Child pornography is a federal crime. Under U.S. law, child pornography includes producing or possessing child pornography, or selling, buying, and exploiting children to create child pornography.
If you were accused of a children pornography crime, you could face serious penalties. Under U.S.C. § 2251,the penalties for these crimes include:
- Producing child pornography – 15 to 30 years in prison for a first offense
- Transporting child pornography – 5 years minimum sentence, 20 years maximum
- Possessing child pornography – Up to 10 years in prison (20 with prior sex offenses)
Criminal Defense for Prostitution Charges
There are two common defenses for prostitution. First, the defense can demonstrate that sexual activity did not occur for hire. Either sexual activity did not happen, or the sexual activity was not a paid service. Additionally, the defense can argue that undercover law enforcement entrapped the defendant by making a false offer to exchange sexual conduct for money.
Penalties for prostitution:
- First offense – 60 days in jail and a $500 fine
- Second offense – Up to 1 year in jail and a $1,000 fine
- Third offense (third-degree felony) – 5 years in prison and a $5,000 fine
If the crime involved an individual who is under 18 years of age, the state will increase these charges to a second-degree felony, punishable by 15 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Contact a Florida Sex Crime Defense Attorney
If you're facing allegations of a sex crime, you need a skilled and experienced legal advocate on your side. Our attorneys have more than 40 years of collective legal experience. We are available to take your call 24/7, and our team always puts the best interests of our clients first.
For immediate legal help,contact Parks & Braxton, PA now.