Punta Gorda Sex Crime Lawyer

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Punta Gorda Sex Crime Attoney

The criminal penalties of a sex crime conviction in Florida can be severe, and these consequences are likely to remain with you for the rest of your life. It can negatively impact your future employment and housing opportunities and comes with a social stigma. The Punta Gorda sex crime lawyers at Ruhl & Lux, P.A. can protect your rights and work to defend your future.

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Types of Sex Crime Offenses

Florida sex crimes are serious offenses. Some of the more common charges include:

  • Sexual Battery. In Florida, sexual battery is also called rape or sexual assault. It is non-consensual sexual intercourse through force, coercion, threats, or incapacitation.
  • Prostitution. Prostitution is exchanging sexual activity for a fee. Even if it is consensual, it is illegal to offer or solicit prostitution in Florida.
  • Indecent Exposure. This is the act of exposing one’s genitals in a public place.
  • Lewd and Lascivious Acts. Florida considers lewd and lascivious acts as engaging in sexual activity with a minor under 16 years old, even if the act was consensual.
  • Child Pornography. Possessing, producing, or distributing images of minors engaging in sexual conduct is considered child pornography. This can also be charged as a federal crime.
  • Failure to Register as a Sex Offender. It is mandatory to register as a sex offender in Florida for most sex offenses. Failing to do so can result in additional criminal convictions and penalties.

Penalties for Sex Crimes in Florida

Sex crimes in Punta Gorda and throughout Florida can carry severe penalties, usually with a lengthy prison sentence and being required to register as a sex offender. The severity of the crime will determine the potential penalties if convicted. Many convictions include mandatory registration as a sexual offender, and other penalties can include imprisonment, substantial fines, court costs, probation, and even treatment facility requirements.

The penalties can have long-lasting and detrimental effects on a convicted person’s life for years. This is especially true if the charges are classified as a felony. For a higher chance of avoiding a conviction and consequences, it is recommended you seek legal representation from a knowledgeable sex crimes attorney.

Sex Offender Registry

The sex offender registry in Florida is maintained by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) and keeps a record of individuals who have been convicted of certain sex offenses. Some consequences of being on the sex offender registry are:

  • Restricted from living near schools, parks, or daycares,
  • Forfeiting internet connections,
  • Having to publish a notice to the public with the person’s name, photograph, and address,
  • Employment limitations,
  • Social ostracism, discrimination, and isolation from their communities,
  • International and domestic travel restrictions, and
  • The loss of civil rights such as the right to vote, serve on juries
  • or possess firearms.

It is a felony if a sexual offender fails to register as required by Florida law.

Defenses for Florida Sex Crimes

Defenses that could apply to your case depend on the specific circumstances, but some potential defenses are:

  • Consent. If the alleged victim consented to the sexual activity, this can be asserted as a defense. The consent argument won’t work if the victim is underage or was unable to provide legal consent at the time of the incident.
  • False Accusations. Claiming that the allegations are false and made with malicious intent, such as revenge, jealousy, or coercion.
  • Mistaken Identity. Asserting that the defendant was wrongly identified as the perpetrator of the alleged sex crime.
  • Lack of Evidence. Challenging the prosecution’s evidence and arguing that there is insufficient proof to establish guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
  • Constitutional Violations. Claiming that the evidence was obtained unlawfully, such as through an illegal search or seizure or violations of the defendant’s rights during the investigation or arrest.
  • Alibi. Establishing an alibi is providing evidence that the defendant was elsewhere at the time the alleged sex crime occurred.
  • Age Defense. Asserting that the defendant reasonably believed the alleged victim was of legal age to consent to sexual activity.
  • Entrapment. Entrapment is claiming that law enforcement officers induced or coerced the defendant into committing a sex crime that they otherwise would not have committed.
  • Statute of Limitations. This is claiming that the prosecution failed to file charges within the applicable statute of limitations period for the alleged sex crime.

A criminal defense lawyer will look over the facts of your circumstances and decide on the most effective defense strategy.

FAQs About Punta Gorda Sex Crime Law, FL

Is There a Statute of Limitations for Sex Crimes in Florida?

Florida no longer has a statute of limitations for most sex crimes committed against victims who were under 18 years old at the time of the offense. For victims who were adults, the statute of limitations varies depending on the offense. If there is a statute of limitations, charges cannot be brought after that date has passed.

Can a Sex Offender Move Out of Florida?

A sex offender can move out of Florida, but they are required to notify the authorities if they intend to move, and they must register as a sex offender in their new resident state. They must report in person to their county sheriff within 48 hours before the date they intend to leave Florida.

What Constitutes a Sex Crime Under Florida Law?

There is a wide range of sex crimes in Florida. Some of the most common ones include sexual battery, prostitution, indecent exposure, lewd or lascivious acts, child pornography, and failure to register as a sex offender. Sex offenses can be classified as forcible or non-forcible crimes. Anyone accused of a sex crime should speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney.

Can a Convicted Sex Offender in Florida be Removed From the Registry?

In some cases, a convicted sex offender may be eligible to file a petition for removal from the sex offender registry after a specified period and if they meet specific criteria. It is never guaranteed, though, and can be complex, so the individual should consult with a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney.

What Defenses Are There for Those Accused of Sex Crimes in Florida?

The most effective defense will depend on what type of sex crime the individual has been accused of. Some common defenses are challenging consent, mistaken identity, false accusations, lack of evidence, and statute of limitations issues. Your defense attorney will determine which defense strategies could have the most favorable result.

Charged with a Sex Crime? Contact Our Skilled Criminal Defense Attorneys Today

If you have been charged or suspect you may be charged with a sexual offense, contact Ruhl & Lux, P.A. for a free consultation so we can discuss your case and protect your rights as soon as possible.

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