One out of every nine women has experienced forcible rape in Florida. Thus, prosecutors respond to allegations of sex crimes with a lot of seriousness. And the penalties are even harsher than those imposed on homicides.
It is critical for persons accused of these offenses to understand the nature of the charges brought against them and act fast. With the help of a skilled Tampa criminal defense lawyer, one can protect their rights and their freedom too.
What are the Sub-Categories of Sex Crimes in Florida?
Whether there was assault or not, engaging in non-consensual sexual activities or committing other illegal sex offenses can send you to jail. You can land in trouble for prostitution, lewdness, sexual battery, lewd and lascivious conduct, indecent exposure, and solicitation of children through electronic devices.
How Can One Be Charged for Sexual Battery?
This crime happens when one uses an object or their sexual organ to have vaginal, anal, or oral contact without the accuser’s consent. Note that the various forms of sexual battery depend on the circumstances around the incident and the age of the victim.
The defendant could be charged for:
- Unlawful sexual activity with certain minors
- Engaging in an activity that injured someone’s sexual organs, i.e., a child
- Soliciting a minor into doing activities that constitute sexual battery
- Sexual battery on a minor by a custodial or familial authority
- Sexual battery on someone 12 years or older
- Sexual battery on someone below 12 years
The charges can become even more serious when a deadly weapon is used, or the defendant threatens to use a weapon during the offense. Here are scenarios that can aggravate a sexual battery charge:
- There was a threat of retaliation on the victim or another person
- The victim submits because they are afraid that the force or threat might cause them injuries
- The defendant had authority over the victim; for instance, they were a probation officer, correctional officer, or a law enforcement officer
- The victim was not able to fight because they were drugged without their consent
- The victim could not resist because of a mental defect
- The victim has a physical disability
- The victim was unable to physically resist
How Does the Law in Florida Define Lascivious and Lewd Offenses?
You can be charged for lewd or lascivious offenses in Tampa, FL, if you engage in certain activities. They include:
- Committing battery, molestation, or exhibition upon or in the presence of a disabled or elderly person
- A detainee doing an exhibition in the presence of the facility’s employee
- Exhibition over computer services
- Committing a lascivious and an unnatural act
- Engagement in sexual activity
- Enticing, forcing, or encouraging
- Exhibition in a child’s presence
- Exposing sexual organs in an indecent or vulgar manner
Is Prostitution a Form of Sex Crime in Tampa, FL?
It is against the law to engage in soliciting for prostitution, engaging minors in prostitution, and engaging in prostitution in Florida. One can be charged for:
- Traveling to the minor’s location; facilitated by a custodian, legal guardian, or a parent
- Traveling to meet a minor
- Soliciting a child’s custodian, legal guardian, or parent for unlawful sexual conduct through a computer device or services
- Soliciting a child for unlawful sexual conduct through computer devices or services
What Acts Constitute Child Pornography?
You can be charged for viewing, controlling, or being in knowing possession of child pornography. It can be in the form of:
- Computer depictions
- Data files
- Motion pictures
- Visual depictions
- Presentations including sexual conduct by a child
One can be charged if they are found:
- Giving obscene material to a child
- Transmitting child pornography to a minor through an electronic device or a computer
- Transmitting harmful material to a child through electronic devices or a computer
What is Considered Sexual Misconduct in Florida?
People in positions of trust are forbidden from having sexual relationships with people that are vulnerable to them.
Criminalized sexual misconduct can include carnal knowledge between:
- A correctional officer and supervised offenders or inmates
- A juvenile justice staff and a juvenile offender
- A caregiver and a disabled person
- A psychotherapist and their client
- A forensic expert and their client
- A doctor and their patient
How Does the Prosecution Gather Evidence for These Sex Crimes?
Sexual offenses are not easy to prove. Many times, the investigation can begin without your knowledge. But being aware of how investigations are conducted can equip you if such allegations are brought against you in Tampa. Here are some of the approaches:
- Posing as children and enticing the defendant to engage with them
- Secure warrants to explore your electronic devices or tap your phone lines
- Contact them and request for an interview
Beware of the fact that law enforcement officers are thoroughly trained on how to use the interviews to extract evidence from you. They might:
- Say that they intend to eliminate the defendant as a suspect
- Say that they want to help the defendant
- Promise to convince the judge to give the defendant a lighter sentence for cooperating
- Promise that the defendant won’t be obliged to register as a sex offender
Remember, suspects do not have to speak to the police without a sex crimes lawyer in Tampa, FL. And when your Tampa sex crimes attorney is present for the interview, he/she cannot allow law enforcement officers to ask questions that can implicate you of the sex crime. Instead, they will defend the rights of the suspect.
Will a Sex Crime Register Me as a Sex Offender for Life?
The law in Florida requires sexual predators to register as sex offenders for life. These are people that have been convicted of:
- Two or more second-degree felony sex crimes
- First-degree felony sex crime
Notably, the court writes a finding before classifying the convict as a sexual predator. This can happen if you are convicted of sex crimes such as:
- Sexual battery
- Child pornography or transmitting it over the computer
- Sexual performance by a child
- Lascivious or lewd offenses upon or in the presence of disabled persons, elderly persons, or children under 15
- Unlawful sexual activities with certain minors
- Selling or buying minors into prostitution or sex trafficking
- Enticing or luring a child
- False imprisonment
A Defense Expert Protecting Your Rights and Offering Legal Guidance
Life will never be the same again after you are convicted of a sex offense. Family and friends will likely avoid you and discriminate against you. Not to mention how difficult it might be to find a job or even a house. But you can avoid all these if you engage a Tampa sex crimes attorney from the onset.
An experienced legal professional will aggressively fight for your rights and freedom. Don’t gamble with your future. Schedule a FREE consultation with us today by calling (813) 967-2000.