Getting accused of a sex crime is an embarrassing and frightening ordeal. Florida diligently prosecutes suspected sex crime offenders and imposes steep penalties upon conviction, including lengthy imprisonment and mandatory compliance with the sex offender registry. Just the mere accusation of a sex crime can damage your reputation, family life, and career.
If you have been arrested or are facing sex crimes charges, our sex crimes lawyers in Clearwater can help. We can provide legal representation, advice, and support to help you navigate your case and fight for a positive outcome. Call Goldman Wetzel today at 727-828-3900 for a free case evaluation.
Types of Sex Crime Cases Goldman Wetzel Accepts
With over three decades of combined experience, the criminal attorneys at Goldman Wetzel know how to skillfully maneuver through the criminal justice system and develop robust and well-developed defense strategies.
We work with both adult and juvenile clients in Clearwater and throughout Florida who are facing misdemeanor or felony charges in either state or federal court. Some of the most common types of sex crime cases we accept include:
- Sexual assault, stalking, and indecent exposure
- Child pornography, child molestation
- Sexual battery (rape)
- Statutory rape (Romeo and Juliet law)
- Prostitution, solicitation
- Sex trafficking, human trafficking
- Lewd and lascivious crimes
- Internet sex crimes
Penalties for Sex Crimes in Florida
Sex crimes carry harsh and broad penalties. The more severe the offense and the more priors a defendant has, the greater the potential penalties.
For example, indecent exposure, a first-degree misdemeanor, carries penalties of up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine. On the other hand, sexual battery involving force or threats, one of the most serious types of sex crime offenses, is typically a first-degree felony, which carries penalties of up to 30 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
With most sex crime charges, penalties usually include the following:
- Imprisonment, with a potential mandatory minimum sentence
- Hefty fines and court fees
- Lifetime designation as a sex offender or sexual predator and compliance with the state’s reporting laws
- Probation with additional terms and strict conditions, e.g., a 10 p.m. curfew, risk assessment
- Mandatory completion of a sex offender treatment program
- Restraining orders
Defenses to Sex Crime Allegations
Our team of defense attorneys in Clearwater will work together and brainstorm the best defense approach for your particular case. This may mean collecting evidence and presenting a legal analysis that proves your innocence during pretrial, negotiating a plea deal, or preparing to fight on your behalf at trial.
The most advantageous defense depends on the exact charges, the details surrounding the case, the strength of the state’s evidence, and your criminal history. Ultimately, a good sex crime defense aims to produce reasonable doubt, such as by exposing shortcomings in the state’s evidence and its witnesses’ credibility.
Below are just a few sex crimes defenses we may use:
- Expired statute of limitations
- Unlawful search and seizure
- Accuser motive (e.g., divorce, custody, extortion)
- The act was consensual
- Inconsistencies, contradictions, gaps, and impossibilities in the state’s evidence
- Mistaken identity
Steps to Take When Charged with a Sex Crime
If you are facing charges or suspect you are under investigation for a sex crime, take swift action to safeguard your best interests.
- Do not talk to investigators without an attorney present. You could inadvertently say something the state can use against you, even if you are totally innocent. If you have not hired legal representation, call our office at 727-828-3900 for immediate assistance.
- Share your story with us as we conduct a brief, non-judgmental case evaluation (free of charge). We can answer any questions you may have about our firm, staff, and policies.
- We will explain your legal options, whether we think our services are a good fit for your case, ways we can help, and how to retain us.
- Our team will spring into action and get to work on all the important tasks, including investigation, filing motions, and preparing for hearings.
Ways the Goldman Wetzel Sex Crimes Attorneys Can Assist with Your Case
Summer Goldman and Maribeth Wetzel, our defense duo, have complementary backgrounds in both defense and prosecution. They understand how both sides operate, how to spot weaknesses in the state’s case and the tendencies and preferences of the circuit judges.
Goldman and Wetzel co-counsel each case our firm accepts, providing effective, unique representation for Clearwater residents facing sex crime charges. When you enlist our help, we can assist with every element of your case, from initial investigation to appeals. You can count on us to:
- Thoroughly evaluate your case and comb through the state’s file for errors;
- Gather supportive evidence and obtain positive witness testimonies;
- Accompany you to all hearings, including the first appearance, arraignment, pretrial conferences, and trial;
- Discuss defense strategies with you and develop a strong case;
- Explain ways you may be able to help your case and elements of winning the court’s favor;
- Protect your rights throughout the proceedings;
- Update you on your case;
- Help you prepare for meetings and trial;
- Advocate for your interests and fighting for the best possible outcome, be it a dismissal, plea bargain, reduced charges, or acquittal
Free Consult with a Clearwater Sex Crimes Lawyer
A positive outcome depends largely on securing effective defense. If you or a loved one has been arrested or is facing sex crimes charges, speak to our sex crimes attorney in Clearwater about your situation. We have the unique experience, resources, and defense arsenal to aptly manage any sex crime case. Call 727-828-3900 for a free consultation today.