Being accused of a sex crime can be enough to damage your career, relationships and reputation. A sex crime conviction is even more devastating, as the penalties for Florida sex crimes are harsh and can include long jail time as well as required registration as a sex offender, a designation that can stick with you from 25 years to life.
If you have been accused of a sex crime in the state of Florida, it is important to have a Tampa criminal defense attorney on your side. Stechschulte Nell can help. Ben is a board certified criminal trial law attorney who has extensive experience as both a prosecutor and a criminal defense attorney. He has successfully defended clients facing all types of Florida sex charges, winning not-guilty verdicts, getting charges dropped and negotiating plea bargains to avoid conviction.
Do not take a chance on handling a sex crime accusation without the most skilled legal representation possible - contact a Tampa criminal defense attorney at Stechschulte Nell today.
Types of Florida Sex Crimes Charges
In Florida, a number of different types of behavior have been classified as prohibited sex crimes. These sex crimes include:
- Possession of child pornography or other related computer crimes. The Computer Pornography and Child Exploitation Prevention Act prohibits compiling, transmitting, using, printing, publishing, buying or having anything else to do with child pornography. Federal laws also prohibit the exchange or sale of child pornography over the Internet and impose a five-year mandatory minimum sentence for distributing or receiving child porn, with longer mandatory minimum sentences of related offenses such as the production of child pornography.
- Lewd and lascivious crimes. Lewd and lascivious behavior refers to illegal and inappropriate sexual contacts or behavior. For example, in Florida, if you touch the genital area, breasts or buttocks of someone under age 16, you can be charged with lewd and lascivious molestation. If you are over 18 and your victim is under 12, this crime could be considered a life felony and you could face a maximum sentence of life in prison.
- Statutory Rape. In Florida, a person over age 24 who engages in any type of consensual sexual act with someone over age 16 but younger than the age of consent at 18 can be found guilty of statutory rape. Statutory rape is charged as a second-degree felony and offenders face the possibility of a prison sentence of 15 years. This situation presents more often now with the proliferation of ways to meet on social media.
- Failure of a Sex Offender to Report. If you are required to register as a sex offender in Florida, you must report to law enforcement at certain designated times. For instance, you must report when you are initially released from incarceration and whenever you move residences. You also must check in either two or four times each year. If you do not report as required, you can face additional criminal charges.
The sex crimes above are just a few examples of the types of Florida sex crime charges that the Tampa criminal defense attorneys at Stechschulte Nell can help you to defend against.
Sex Crime Defenses
When you are accused of a sex crime, it is important that you exercise your right to remain silent and speak to a lawyer as soon as possible to try to build possible defenses and avoid incrimination.
The appropriate defense for your case depends on what sex crime or crimes you are charged with. However it is important to remember that you are innocent until proven guilty and that the prosecutor has the burden of proving your guilt.
To defend against a possession of child pornography charge, for example, a Tampa sex crime attorney can retain a forensic computer expert to testify that the child pornography on your computer was placed there as part of a virus or malware attack, and you were not aware of the pornography on your computer. You can also dispute accusations made against you with the help of medical experts.
When no defense is available, your Tampa criminal defense lawyer can also help you negotiate a plea deal. For example, you may be permitted to see a sex offender counselor as an alternative to jail time or in exchange for a lesser sentence.
A Tampa sex crime attorney can review your case and help you make an informed choice about how to proceed. Contact Stechschulte Nell today for more information on how we can help.
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