A 47-year-old Lakeland, Florida man sought by police on charges of sexually abusing a child turned himself in over the weekend.
The man, wanted for abusing a child under the age of 12, turned himself in at the Lakeland Police Department on Saturday around 3:30 p.m.
According to investigators, the man faces charges for lewd molestation of a child under 12 and lewd exhibition to a child under 12.
The man allegedly knew the victim and was apparently abusing the victim when he was interrupted by an adult witness.
The man is accused of fleeing the scene to avoid arrest.
Anyone over the age of 18 that is accused of lewd and lascivious molestation of a child under the age of 12 could face a life felony, meaning they could face being sent to prison for a minimum of 25 years to life. Following release, the person could have further consequences for the remainder of their life, including probation or community control. On a side note, lewd and lascivious molestation in Florida is a strict liability crime, which translates to mean that the intent to commit the crime is technically unrelated to a determination of guilt. Florida legislature states that the lewd or lascivious act is all that needs to be proven by the prosecution.
The one element that reins true for all sex crimes is that every single case, including the person accused, is unique. It is important to contact a qualified Sex Crimes Defense Attorney at the first stages of a pending investigation so that you can understand how to best protect your rights.
When you contact the Florida Sex Crimes Defense Lawyers at Whittel & Melton early enough into your case we can put forth a great effort to minimize the embarrassing and painful side effects of being prosecuted for a sex crime. There are arrangements that can be made with law enforcement so that you can avoid being arrested at home or work and instead turn yourself in voluntarily. Likewise, a good attorney can fight for you to be released on your own recognizance or arrange a reduced bail amount. In many sex crimes cases, evidence is circumstantial and by negotiating effectively with prosecutors before charges are formally filed, a sex crimes defense attorney can convince them to file less serious charges than what police originally requested, or sometimes drop charges altogether.
If an arrest is found to be unavoidable, it is still crucial to speak with an attorney regarding your case. It is important to remain polite and calm during your arrest and limit what you say to law enforcement because your words can easily be twisted and used against you. It is always in your best interest to have an attorney present before speaking to police about your case, despite what law enforcement may lead you to believe.
If you believe you are wanted for a sex crime in Polk County or anywhere in the state of Florida, contact the Florida Sex Crimes Defense Attorneys at Whittel & Melton online or call our Tampa office at 813-221-3200 or dial us toll-free at 1-866-608-5LAW (5529).
The staff was very attentive and answered all my questions regarding my criminal case. I was very pleased with the outcome and professionalism. Crystal Vasquez
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