Let a Fort Lauderdale Sex Crimes Law Firm Help You Fight and Beat the Charges
If you are suspected of or have been charged with sex abuse or any other type of sex crime in South Florida, it is vital to have an experienced Fort Lauderdale sex crimes law firm by your side. Whittel & Melton is a full service criminal defense law firm whose attorneys have decades of combined experience representing people charged with sex crimes and a wide range of other offenses. We help clients fight these cases head on, working to get charges dropped or reduced whenever possible.
That starts with giving the people that we represent an honest and direct assessment of their cases. Our lawyers will not make empty promises of unrealistic results. We will help you understand the charges against you and let you know your rights and options. We will also strategize about to best fight those charges right away.
Sex crimes are serious criminal offenses that can carry significant consequences. That includes long stretches of prison time and hefty fines. If you are convicted as a sex offender in Florida, you will likely be required to publicly register upon your release. Your photo and address will be listed for the general public to see and your criminal record could make it difficult to find and keep a job. If a sex crime occurs anywhere nearby, you will be among the first to be questioned. That is why it is vital to fight the charges aggressively with the help of a Fort Lauderdale sex crimes lawyer.
Child Pornography Under Florida and Federal Law
State and federal laws makes it a crime to possess, transmit, distribute or create child pornography. That includes a wide range of material that depicts a person under the age of 18 engaging in sexual conduct.
A child pornography conviction can be a life-changing event, with penalties that vary based on the circumstances. Each illegal pornographic image can be charged separately with its own set of fines and prison time.
Viewing or possessing child pornography, for example, is a third degree felony. A person convicted of this offense faces up to five years in prison and as much as $15,000 in fines. A person who is caught with three or more copies of the same pornographic image can be charged with promoting child pornography. That is a second degree felony, punishable by up to 15 years in prison and $15,000 in fines.
Our Florida Sex Crimes Law Firm Is Prepared to Handle Various Types of Sex Crimes
At Whittel & Melton, we represent people charged with a full range of sex crimes, including:
- Lewd and lascivious conduct: This broad category of sex crime refers to the intentional vulgar or sex related touching of a person who is under the age of 16. It also applies in situations where a person tries to entice someone under the age of 16 to commit a sex-related act. The punishment depends on whether the person accused of the crime is over the age of 18 at the time the crime occurs.
- Indecent exposure: This misdemeanor offense refers to the flashing or exposure of sexual organs. It is punishable by up to one year in prison and $10,000 in fines.
- Sexual assault: This offense involves unwanted touching of a sexual nature, groping, kissing and other activity short of rape. These cases often raise a number of complicated factual questions about what actually happened and whether it was consensual.
- Sexual battery: This is the legal term for rape, or forced sex. A conviction comes with serious possible prison time – including as much as life in prison – and mandatory registration as a sex offender.
- Statutory rape: Statutory rape is commonly referred to as sex with a minor. A person who is under the age of 24 cannot be convicted of statutory rape if it involves sex with a person who is 16 or 17 years old at the time. Sex with a minor who’s under 16 remains a crime, even if the person charged with the crime is also a minor.
- Sexting: This is a relatively new term that refers to the sending, receiving or otherwise sharing of sexually explicit images, usually by text message. When it happens between an adult and a minor, it is considered child pornography and may be charged as other crimes. Sexting between teens raises other, more difficult legal questions.
- Revenge porn: Revenge porn is the common term for nonconsensual publishing or sharing of sexually explicit photos or videos of a current or former partner. We help the victims of this crime protect their rights and seek the maximum remedies available under the law.
No matter the type of offense, anyone accused of a sex crime in Florida is well advised to retain an experienced Florida sex crimes lawyer. A seasoned attorney can help you explore rights and options and to build the strongest possible defense.
Common Defenses in Florida Sex Crime Cases
There are a number of defenses available to people charged with sex crimes in Florida. Many have to do with the circumstances of the alleged offense, including whether the sexual contact was consensual. A person charged with a crime may also be able to fight off a conviction by showing that he or she couldn’t have done it because they were somewhere else at the time the crime occurred.
An experienced criminal defense attorney can start exploring these issues before charges are even filed. That includes gathering witness testimony, police reports and other evidence to prove your innocence.
Speak with a Fort Lauderdale Sex Crimes Law Firm 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 assistance of seasoned criminal defense attorneys. 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 Fort Lauderdale sex crimes 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 with a Fort Lauderdale sex crimes attorney.