Florida law identifies various types of conduct that can be considered a sex crime. These offenses are charged as either misdemeanors or felonies, which carry penalties of jail or prison time and/or fines. Many of them also carry the additional punishment of sex offender registration. All these sanctions can have lasting and debilitating effects on a person's life. For example, they can make it difficult for an individual to find a job or a place to live, and the social stigma can affect the individual's emotional well-being as they attempt to readjust to society.
The penalties of a sex crime conviction in Jacksonville are too severe not to take the charge seriously. If you have been accused, reach out to First Coast Criminal Defense as soon as possible. Our Jacksonville sex crimes lawyers focus only on criminal cases, and we have the knowledge and skills to defend you. To provide our clients the personalized and dedicated representation they need, we take on a small caseload. By handling only a few cases, we are able to put in the time to meticulously research the matter, uncover the facts, and build aggressive defenses.
What Are Florida's Sex Crimes Laws?
Florida has several laws concerning prohibited sexual conduct. The statutes cover various types of behavior, from exposing one's genitals near minors to engaging in non-consensual sex with another person.
A few examples of Florida's sex crimes laws include the following:
- Sexual battery (Florida Statutes § 794.011): Sexual battery involves unlawful or non-consensual sexual conduct with another person. The law enumerates various ways the crime can be committed, primarily through the use of force or coercion or when the person is unable to consent (due to incapacity or their age).
- Unlawful sexual activity with certain minors (Florida Statutes § 794.05): This statute concerns sexual conduct between a person 24 years of age or older and a minor 16 or 17 years of age.
- Committing unnatural and lascivious acts (Florida Statutes § 800.02): A person can be prosecuted under this law if they engage in behavior considered unnormal, wicked, lustful, or unchaste.
- Unlawful exposure of sexual organs (Florida Statutes § 800.03): Charges are levied for this crime when someone exhibits their genitals or is naked in public in a way considered to be vulgar, indecent, lewd, or lascivious.
- Lewd or lascivious offenses (Florida Statutes § 800.04): This statute concerns various types of conduct considered wicked, lustful, unchaste, licentious, or sensual. The crimes include lewd or lascivious battery, molestation, conduct, and exhibition of genitals in the presence of a minor.
- Voyeurism (Florida Statutes § 810.14): A person can face voyeurism charges if they are alleged to have secretly observed someone or any portion of their body when that individual had a reasonable expectation of privacy.
- Video voyeurism (Florida Statutes § 810.145): A person can be accused of video voyeurism if they uses an imaging device to view, record, or broadcast a person while they are dressing, undressing, or their body is exposed, and they had a reasonable expectation of privacy and did not consent to being observed.
Our Jacksonville sex crimes lawyers are here to help you, regardless of what you have been accused of. We see the person behind the charge and will listen to your side of the story to craft a defense.
What Are the Penalties for Sex Crimes in Florida?
As noted earlier, sex crimes are either misdemeanors or felonies. The penalties for a sex crime conviction are tied to the law violated and the nature of the offense.
Some potential punishments include:
- Sexual battery on a person under 12 years of age resulting in injury to their sexual organs is a capital felony, punishable by:
- Death or
- Life imprisonment
- Sexual battery committed upon a person 18 years of age or older is a first-degree felony, punishable by:
- Up to 30 years of imprisonment and/or
- Up to $10,000 in fines
- Unlawful sexual activity with certain minors is a second-degree felony, punishable by:
- Up to 15 years of imprisonment and/or
- Up to $10,000 in fines
- Lewd or lascivious molestation committed by someone under 18 years of age upon a person 12 years of age or older but less than 16 years of age is a third-degree felony, punishable by:
- Up to 5 years of imprisonment and/or
- Up to $5,000 in fines
- Exposure of sexual organs is a first-degree misdemeanor, punishable by:
- Up to 1 year of incarceration and/or
- Up to $1,000 in fines
- Unnatural and lascivious acts is a second-degree misdemeanor, punishable by:
- Up to 60 days of incarceration and/or
- Up to $500 in fines
At First Coast Criminal Defense, our Jacksonville sex crimes lawyers know what you’re up against when charged with a sex crime in Florida. That is why we pursue every option to seek an optimal result.
What Is Florida’s Sex Offender Registration Law?
Individuals convicted of certain sex crimes will be required to register as sex offenders. Those subject to this requirement must periodically provide their local law enforcement agency with their personal identifying information, which is recorded in the sex offender registry.
Some of the information on the sex offender registry is available to the public, meaning anyone can access it. Members of the community might make swift and negative judgments about registered sex offenders and treat them unkindly. The stigma can make it challenging to rebuild personal and professional relationships, and they might struggle to provide for themselves or their family.
Call Us for Experienced Sex Crimes Defense in FL
Our Jacksonville sex crimes lawyers know that developing a personalized strategy for our clients requires understanding every detail of their situation. Thus, we build relationships with the people we help and get to know them as a person. Throughout your case, we will stand by your side as your zealous advocate.
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