If you are convicted of a sex crime in the state of Florida, the penalties are life-altering. Those arrested or charged, and eventually possibly prosecuted and convicted face legal penalties and social stigma as well. A conviction of a sexual offense can bring with it a myriad of challenges, unlike any other prosecuted crime. Employment, housing, and the ability to move freely can all be affected when someone has to register with the National Sex Offender Registry. The legal team at Goldman Wetzel understands that if you have been arrested or charged with a sexual offense, you are likely overwhelmed and devastated.
Types of Sexual Offenses
Florida sex crimes can include:
- Sexual battery
- Possession of child pornography
- Statutory rape
- Indecent exposure
- Lewd and lascivious battery or molestation
- Unlawful sexual activity with minors
No matter what sexual offense you may have been arrested or charged for, Florida law holds that every defendant has legal rights regarding an investigation and evidence.
Criminal Investigation and Your Rights
While a criminal investigation may begin without your knowledge, a defendant has rights with regard to the investigation once they are put on notice. You have the right to refuse entry to your home without a warrant, the right to refuse to provide information without an attorney present, and the right to refuse to say anything to a police officer regarding your case.
Contacting a criminal attorney who handles sex crimes can help you understand your legal rights and understand what you can and cannot refuse to do.
Prosecution for Sex Crimes
The prosecution of a sex crime offense takes a considerable amount of time. Additionally, the legal area of sex crimes is complex and ever-changing. First, there will likely be several pre-trial motions, where a criminal defense attorney can represent your best interests. Additionally, a plea agreement may be offered by the prosecution. Your sex crimes lawyers will help you understand your rights and determine whether it is in your best interest to take the plea agreement in exchange for a reduced sentence or charge.
Penalties for Sex Crimes
The punishment for sex crimes in the state of Florida will depend on the actual crime committed. However, sex crimes in Florida are typically punished with a great deal of severity. Possible and potential penalties for a conviction of a sex crime can include:
- Prison or jail sentence
- Court fees and fines
- House arrest
- Sex offender registration in accordance with FL § 948.30
- Employment restrictions
- Housing restrictions
- The social stigma associated with being a convicted sex offender
- Loss of child custody or visitation rights
- Loss of a professional license (i.e. doctor, lawyer, teacher, nurse, etc.)
- Loss of immigration visa or green card, or possible deportation
The penalties for a conviction of a sex crime in Florida can be substantial and life-altering. Ensure that you have good representation to create your best defense to avoid these penalties.
Defenses Against Sex Crimes
If you have been arrested or charged for a sex crime, you have the right to a defense against these charges. However, creating a defense for a sex crime requires a strategy that is unique and often more difficult than other areas of criminal law, and visiting with the sex crime lawyers in North Port can help you understand how best to approach your defense. There are several types of defense strategies that may be applicable and admissible in your specific case, including:
- If a police officer or other investigative authority figure coerced you to commit a crime you would otherwise have not committed, you can argue entrapment.
- False charge. We can argue against a false charge if the alleged victim claims the intercourse was not consensual.
- Illegal search and seizure. The police have to follow specific and strict rules regarding obtaining pictures, files, or documents as evidence, either with or without a warrant. If any part of the operation to obtain these materials was done illegally, the evidence may be inadmissible in a court of law.
- Computer Hacking. Cases occur where someone hacks into a computer and downloads files and images that you would never have downloaded. This type of hacking is illegal, and you are not legally responsible for these sex crimes.
Whichever sex crime you were arrested or charged for, contacting the sex crime lawyers from Goldman Wetzel will help you develop your defense strategy to protect your rights.
Contact the Sex Crimes Lawyers in North Port, Florida
Being charged or arrested for a sex offense is understandably a challenging and terrifying time. Oftentimes, stories and information and evidence are interpreted incorrectly, and allegations may be based on a misunderstanding, or worse.
There is a tremendous amount at stake if you are facing sex crime charges, including your freedom, and where you may eventually live or work. But our team can help you fight. Summer Goldman has experience handling these cases for the prosecution while Maribeth Wetzel has always fought for people like you. This means we know how the prosecution approaches these cases. Our attorneys work together on each case, ensuring that your case benefits from both backgrounds.
Contact our team at Goldman Wetzel today to find out how we can help you with your case: 727-828-3900.