Miami Sex Crimes Attorney: Defending Your Rights Under the Law
Sex crimes are a type of criminal offense that covers a variety of violations, from the sharing of certain explicit images and the solicitation of a prostitute to unwanted touching and rape. Although these offenses are relatively common, Florida law enforcement officers, prosecutors and judges take them very seriously. A conviction can come with steep fines and long stretches of time behind bars. The key to fighting a sex crime case is starting early, sometimes even before you have been charged with an offense. It is important to start gathering evidence and understanding the charges against you as soon as possible. For people charged with an offense in South Florida, an experienced Miami sex crimes attorney can help provide vital assistance.
At Whittel & Melton, our sex crimes attorneys have decades of combined experience representing people charged with a variety of sex offenses. We work tirelessly to help clients build the strongest possible defense, including by getting charges dropped or reduced when possible before trial. We understand how prosecutors and judges approach these cases and we have a strong track record of successful results for the people that we represent.
Florida Sexual Assault: What is It and How Can a Miami Sex Crimes Attorney Help?
Sexual assault is a common sex crime that refers to a wide range of nonconsensual touching, groping, kissing and other physical contact short of rape. It comes with serious potential penalties, which vary based on the age of the victim.
An adult convicted of sexual assault on a child under the age of 12 years old, for example, is looking at a capital felony. That offense can come with life in prison and up to $15,000 in fines. A person who commits sexual assault on a victim who is above the age of 12 years old is looking at up to 30 years behind bars and $10,000 in fines.
That’s not to mention the serious social stigma that comes with being convicted of a sex crime. You may find it difficult to find and keep a job because of your record. You may also have to publicly register as a sex offender, meaning that your photo and address will be listed on a Florida Department of Law Enforcement website for anyone to see. People who have been branded as sex offenders are required to keep police officers apprised of their movements and are often the first questioned when a sex offense happens nearby.
Sexual assault cases often raise complicated questions about consent. In some cases, the question isn’t whether the sexual contact happened but instead whether the sexual contact was consensual. A Miami sex crimes attorney can help resolve that question by gathering a wide range of fact evidence, including witness statements, police reports and medical records.
There are a number of other possible defenses available to a person charged with sexual assault. That includes proving that you could not have committed the crime because you were somewhere else at the same time.
Sexual Battery and Statutory Rape in Florida
Sexual battery is commonly referred to as rape or forcible sex. It is a felony offense that carries significant potential consequences, which vary based on the circumstances.
A person who commits sexual battery against a victim who is above the age of 18 years old is facing a second degree felony. The offense comes with a maximum of 15 years in prison and $10,000 in fines. The maximum prison time jumps to 30 years in cases in which the victim is a minor.
Statutory rape is a separate crime which refers to consensual sexual activity between an adult and a minor. It includes one important exception: A person up to the age of 24 who has sexual intercourse with someone between the ages of 16 and 17 is not considered to have committed a crime. A person convicted of statutory rape is looking at up to 15 years behind bars, with penalties rising to as long as 40 years in prison for repeat offenders.
Other Sex Crimes That a Seasoned Miami Sex Crimes Lawyer Can Assist With
There are a number of other offenses that qualify as sex crimes. That includes:
- Lewd and lascivious conduct: A person who touches another person who is under the age of 16 in a way that is vulgar or sexually related can be charged with lewd and lascivious conduct. The offense also covers situations in which a person tries to convince a minor under the age of 16 to engage in a sex-related act.
- Prostitution: The trading of sex for money or something else of value is a relatively common offense. It can carry significant penalties, especially in cases where the prostitute is a minor or is a victim of sex trafficking.
- Child pornography: Both the possession and distribution of pornographic images depicting children are crimes under state and federal law.
- Internet solicitation: This offense occurs when a person lures or encourages a minor under the age of 18 to perform a sexual act, engage in certain behavior or share explicit images. A crime occurs even if the minor does not agree and the parties never meet in person.
- Traveling to meet a minor: Florida law makes it a crime for a person to travel to meet a minor for the purpose of engaging in sexual activity.
Anyone who has been charged with these or similar crimes in South Florida is well advised to seek the counsel of an experienced Miami sex crimes attorney.
Speak With a Miami Sex Crimes Attorney Today
Any Miami sex crimes attorney at Whittel & Melton is prepared to represent clients throughout Florida who have been charged with a wide variety of offenses, from internet sex crimes to sexual assault and rape. We understand how cops and courts handle these cases and we work aggressively to fight criminal charges head on.
Our firm offices throughout the state, including in Tampa, Orlando, Miami, Jacksonville, Tallahassee, and Pensacola. Contact us online or call (866) 608-5529 for a free evaluation with a Miami sex crimes attorney.