Being accused of a sex offense will change a defendant’s life. It is not just the prison time and fines, but also the possibility of lifetime sex-offender registration and the host of other social and financial consequences that come with allegations or a conviction for a sex-related offense. If you have been charged with a sexual offense in South Florida, you should contact a dedicated Palm Beach Gardens sex offense attorney immediately.
In my 29 years of practicing criminal law in Florida—5 of which were with the prosecutor’s office—I have developed a keen understanding of the law related to sex offenses and how prosecutors proceed with these types of cases. I know that prosecutors routinely try to take advantage of the fact that juries are initially hostile towards those defendants charged with sex offense, and do everything they can to demonize these defendants. If you choose me to represent you, I will stand by your side and provide you with the quality representation you are entitled to.Sex Offenses in Florida
Many people, including prospective jurors, assume that a “sex offense” is equivalent to rape. However, under Florida law, many crimes are classified as sexual offenses including offenses that do not involve any type of penetration. Under Florida law, each of the following can be considered a sex offense:
- Child Pornography (possession, manufacture, or distribution)
- Sexual Assault (and Aggravated Sexual Assault)
- Child Molestation
- Online Solicitation of Minors
- Internet Sex Crimes
- Juvenile Sex Offense
- Statutory Rape
Most of these crimes are punishable as felony offenses and carry the possibility of lengthy prison sentences.Punishments and Collateral Consequences of a Sex Offense Conviction in Florida
Punishments for sex offenses in Florida can vary based on the type of crime, whether the defendant has any prior convictions, and the age of the victim. Generally, a conviction will result in a lengthy prison sentence and a substantial fine. In addition, the collateral consequences of being convicted of a sex offense are often just as serious.
For most sex-related offenses in Florida, a convicted defendant must register as a sex offender, sometimes for life. Sex offender registration requires the registrant to check in with the local Sherriff’s office within 48 hours of establishing a new place of residence within the State of Florida. Failure to do so can result in an additional criminal offense.
There are also employment restrictions in place for those convicted of sex offense. In fact, it is legally permissible for employers to discriminate against those who have been convicted of a sex crime.
The resulting damage to your reputation and relationships, not to mention the potential loss of your freedom, make it critical for you to speak with an attorney as soon as possible if you have been arrested, or even suspect that law enforcement may approach you, regarding an alleged sex crime. Time is of the essence, and the sooner you enlist capable legal representation, the more you can counteract the devastating effects these accusations can have on your life.False Allegations
It is a tragically unfortunate fact, but innocent people accused of sex crimes are at a high risk of being put behind bars based on nothing more than a lie. Due to the nature of sex offenses, there are often no witnesses to the alleged crime. Because of this, juries may have a tendency to expect less proof from the prosecution in sex offense cases. However, this is not constitutionally permissible.
A skilled criminal defense attorney will explain to the jury that there must be proof beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed the offense in order for a conviction to be appropriate. If you choose to have me represent you, I will make sure to explain to the jury that one person’s word is not enough to ruin another’s life.What To Do if You Have Been Charged With a Sex Crime in Florida
If you have been charged with a sex offense in West Palm Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, or one of the surrounding areas, you should immediately contact an experienced South Florida criminal defense lawyer. If you retain my services, I will put my 29 years of experience to work in preparing your case. Many times, sex offense cases proceed to trial with little evidence. If you retain my services, I will work tirelessly to get your case dismissed based on a lack of evidence. If dismissal is not an option, I will put forth a strong defense on your behalf, and make sure that the prosecution does not walk all over you and your reputation. Contact my firm online, or call 561-533-1221 today to schedule a free initial consultation. I am available to meet with you in my Palm Beach Gardens office, or in my second location in West Palm Beach; both offices are right off I-95. I accept credit cards.