Intro to Internet Sex Crimes Law

Law enforcement officers, prosecutors and judges in Florida take sex crimes very seriously. These offenses often come with the threat of significant monetary fines and prison time. That’s not to mention the social stigma that comes with being branded a sex offender. A sex offense conviction could make it harder for you to participate in your local community and find or keep a job. You may also be required to register publicly as a sex offender.

Types of Internet Sex Crimes

“Sex crime” is a general term that refers to a wide variety of offenses that involve unwanted sexual contact or pornography. That includes rape—or “sexual battery,” as the courts call it—which generally encompasses forcible sexual activity. It also includes sexual assault, various offenses that fall short of rape. These crimes occur when one or more persons force another person to unwillingly commit a sexual act.

Sex crimes often occur on the web, whether it’s the solicitation of sex online or the sharing of illegal images by email or text. Here are some of the most common internet sex crime charges in Florida.

  • Internet Solicitation: These crimes refer to the solicitation of sex with a minor. It’s a crime in Florida to use a computer or device to try to encourage or lure a minor into sex acts. The child doesn’t have to actually commit the sex act (or ever meet up with the solicitor) in order for a crime to occur.
  • Child Pornography: This category of criminal offense is broader than some people may think. It’s a crime to possess, transmit, distribute or create child pornography, or any material that shows a person under the age of 18 engaging in sexual conduct. A person who travels across state lines with child pornography—and arguably someone who sends the material outside the state via, text, email and other communications—may also face federal prosecution.
Defenses in Sex Crime Cases

It’s important to understand that anyone charged with a crime in Florida is innocent until proven guilty. A judge or jury must find a person guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in order for the person to be convicted. But, because of the nature of the allegations in sex crime cases, a person charged with these offenses can feel like the deck is stacked against them. Getting to the truth means investigating the circumstances, interviewing witnesses and compiling evidence. A criminal defense lawyer plays a key role in that process.

Talk to an Experienced Florida Sex Crime Attorney Today

If you or a loved one has been charged with—or is even suspected of—a sex crime in Florida, it’s vital that you seek the assistances of a seasoned criminal defense attorney. A lawyer can help build the strongest possible defense in the case. The earlier that you seek legal advice the better chance you have to avoiding a conviction or reducing the charges.

The Florida sex crime attorneys at Whittel & Melton represent clients throughout the Sunshine State who have been charged with a wide variety of offenses, including sexual assault, rape, internet solicitation and child pornography. Our attorneys work tirelessly to fight these charges head on. We have offices throughout the state, including in Miami, Tampa, Orlando, Jacksonville, Tallahassee, and Pensacola. Contact us online or call 866-608-5529 for a free evaluation.

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