"Sex offenses" vary significantly in both state and federal law. In general, "sex offenses" may include rape/battery, pornography, lewd and lascivious conduct/molestation, and various internet sex crimes.
Obviously, the charges themselves carry significant penalties; however, the stigma associated with both the charge and conviction can be life-lasting. Contact Brooke Elvington, AV-rated attorney, today for your free consultation.
Sexual Battery is what is commonly referred to as "rape." Penalties vary substantially depending upon the age of the offender/victim and the circumstances of the underlying crime. In general, sexual battery is a second-degree felony punishable by 15 years in prison. However, if force is used during the offense, the penalty can be increased to life in prison. Likewise, if the victim is under the age of 12, the offense can be classified as a "capital" offense punishable by life.
There are a number of defenses to consider including the sufficiency of the evidence and consent. Often, consent is a critical issue in rape cases and a thorough investigation of the case, including detailed questioning of the "victim" may be imperative.
In addition, if physical evidence was obtained, it may be necessary for an experienced criminal defense attorney to challenge the lawfulness of the seizure. If the Defendant made statements that may constitute "admissions," the attorney may need to investigate the circumstances of the interrogation to determine the admissibility of the statements.
Lewd and Lascivious Conduct means: wicked, lustful, unchaste, or sensual intent.
In Florida, pursuant to Section 800.04, the State must prove that the Defendant: 1. Intentionally touched a person under 16 in a lewd or lascivious manner; OR 2. Solicits a person under 16 to commit a lewd or lascivious act.
If the offender is over 18, the offense is a second-degree felony punishable by 15 years in prison. If the offender is under 18, the offense is a third degree felony punishable by 5 years in prison.
Lewd and Lascivious Molestation means that a person allegedly intentionally touched in a lewd or lascivious manner the breasts, genitals, genital area, buttocks or clothing covering them, on a person less than 16 years old.
An adult offender may be punished up to life in prison if the victim is less than 12. An adult offender who commits the offense on a person 12 or older may be punished up to 15 years in prison as a second-degree felony.
A large number of sex offenses involve the use of the internet. Florida Statutes Section 847.0135 defines "computer pornography" as:
1. Knowingly compiling, entering into, or transmitting by use of computer;
2. Makes, prints, publishes or reproduces by other computerized means;
3. Knowingly causes or allows to be entered into or transmitted by use of computer; or
4. Buys, sells, receives, exchanges or disseminates identifying information of the child for the purpose of facilitating sexual conduct with the child.
The offense is a third degree felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison.
Traveling to meet a minor is an offense that commonly involves the use of "sting operations" where an undercover officer poses as a child in an online setting to meet with an adult for an alleged sexual encounter.
Traveling to meet a minor is a second-degree felony punishable by 15 years in prison.
There are a number of defenses including sufficiency of the evidence, entrapment, lawfulness of search warrants, and lawfulness of admissions.
Child Pornography, pursuant to Section 775.0847, means any image depicting a minor engaged in sexual conduct.
Penalties may vary substantially depending upon the number of images and the age of the alleged victims.
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