Vigorously Defending You Against Sex Crime Charges in Miami-Dade County
In Florida, sex crimes are considered some of the most serious offenses. Depending on the circumstances, they can be charged as either misdemeanors or felonies, which can result in jail/prison time and/or fines. In addition to these harsh penalties, people convicted of certain offenses may be required to register as sex offenders. If subject to this sanction, the individual must comply with specific requirements and restrictions. The punishments for sex crimes can have profound and long-lasting consequences. If you're facing criminal charges, you need a lawyer on your side who knows how to develop effective defenses and challenge the accusations.
At Hager & Schwartz, P.A., we have extensive experience aggressively defending those facing sex crimes allegations. Both of our Miami sex crime attorneys have served as former prosecutors, which means we know how the other side thinks and prepares for cases. When you hire us, we will leverage this unique to spot holes in the State's case against you and to develop a solid defense on your behalf. We obtained favorable results for past clients, such as negotiating probation to avoid jail time, and we will fight relentlessly toward an optimal outcome for you.
Types Sex Crimes Charges in Florida
Several offenses can be charged as sex crimes. The type of prohibited conduct varies, where some crimes may involve sexual penetration, and others may involve unwanted touching of a person's genitals or buttocks.
A few examples of sex crimes in Florida include:
- Lewd and lascivious molestation: This offense is committed when a person touches the private areas of a child under 16 years of age.
- Indecent exposure: A person commits this offense when they expose their genitals in a public place or someone else's private dwelling.
- Prostitution: A person may be charged with this offense if they request or accept an exchange of sex for compensation.
- Sexual battery: Also referred to as rape, this crime is committed when someone engages in unwanted sexual intercourse with another.
- Traveling to meet a minor: A person commits this offense when they travel any distance to meet a minor to engage in sexual conduct with them.
If you have been charged with a crime listed above or any other sexual offense, reach out to Hager & Schwartz. Our Miami sex crime lawyers will provide sound advice and zealous legal representation throughout your case.
Florida Sex Crimes Penalties
As mentioned earlier, a sex crime conviction can result in severe consequences. Just as there are various sex crimes offenses, so too are there various penalties. The sanctions that may be imposed depend on the specific offense committed and the circumstances surrounding it.
A few possible sex crimes conviction penalties include the following:
- Sexual battery: This offense can be charged as a capital, life, first-, second-, or third-degree felony. Capital felonies are punishable by life imprisonment. Life felonies carry a prison term of life or up to 40 years. First-degree felonies can result in a prison sentence of up to 30 years. Second-degree felonies can be penalized by up to 15 years in prison. And third-degree felonies carry a prison sentence of up to 5 years.
- Indecent exposure: If someone exposes their sexual organs in a public place or another person's private residence, they could be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor and sentenced to jail for up to 1 year.
- Lewd or lascivious battery: Engaging in sexual conduct with a minor between 12 and 16 years of age can be charged as a second-degree felony, which is punishable by 15 years’ imprisonment.
- Traveling to meet a minor: This offense is also a second-degree felony, punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
Statute of Limitations for Sex Crimes
The statute of limitations refers to the amount of time the State has to commence prosecution for an offense. For sex crimes, that deadline varies. Some have set limits, whereas others can begin at any time.
Florida's statutes of limitations are as follows:
- First-degree felonies: 4 years after the offense was committed
- Any other felony: 3 years after the offense was committed
- First-degree misdemeanor: 2 years after the offense was committed
- Second-degree misdemeanor: 1 year after the offense was committed
The following offenses have no time limit:
- Sexual battery, lewd or lascivious offenses, prohibited computer transmissions – if the victim was under 18 years of age
- First- or second-degree felony sexual battery – when the offense was reported within 72 hours after it was committed
- First-degree felony sexual battery – if the victim was under 18 years of age
- First- or second-degree felony sexual battery – if the victim was 16 years of age or older and reported the crime within 72 hours after it was committed
- Sexual battery or a lewd or lascivious offense – when the identity of the accused was later established by DNA evidence
Florida's Sex Offender Laws
If a person is convicted of certain sex crimes, they are required to register as a sex offender for life. To fulfill this requirement, they periodically report to a local law enforcement agency their personal identifying information, which is included in a searchable database. If the individual fails to register, they could be charged with a felony.
Additionally, sex offenders cannot attempt to communicate with a person under 18 years of age at a public park or playground with the intent to engage in a sexual conversation. A violation is a first-degree misdemeanor.
Qualifying sex crimes that trigger the sex offender registration requirement include:
- Sexual misconduct
- Kidnapping (the victim was a minor)
- False imprisonment (the victim was a minor)
- Luring or enticing a child
- Human trafficking
- Sexual battery
- Unlawful sexual activity with certain minors
- Procuring a person under 18 years of age for prostitution
- Selling or buying a minor into sex trafficking
- A lewd or lascivious offense committed on or in the presence of a minor under 16 years of age or an elderly person or disabled adult
- Sexual performance by a child
- Computer pornography
- Transmission of child pornography
- Transmission of material harmful to a minor
- Selling or buying minors for sexual purposes
Get Aggressive Defense on Your Side
If you're facing a sex crime investigation or charge, consult with our Miami sex crime defense lawyers as soon as possible. At Hager & Schwartz, P.A., we understand that while the criminal justice system is intended to solve problems and prevent wrongful convictions, errors can and often do happen. With experienced, passionate, and proven attorneys on your side, you can be confident that your rights will be protected at all stages of your legal journey.
Aggravated Battery Case Dismissed
Aggravated Battery Case Dismissed
Aggravated Battery and Domestic Violence Injunction Case and Injunction Dismissed
Aggravated Battery and Armed Burglary with Battery Case Dropped
Armed Robbery with Firearm Case Dismissed
Domestic Battery Case Dismissed
Domestic Battery Expunged
Controlled Substance Case Dropped
Criminal Mischief and Disorderly Intoxication Case Dismissed
Disorderly Conduct Case Dismissed and Expunged off Record
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