Experienced Sex Crime Defense Lawyer in Florida
If you’re being investigated for committing a sex crime, or have been accused or charged with a sex crime in Florida, then it’s fair to say that you are in a difficult position. Though the evidence may be scant, in today’s MeToo climate, you may find yourself becoming a social pariah before litigation has even begun. Protect yourself and hire a Florida sex crime defense lawyer immediately after an arrest.
Here at Fowler Law Group, we understand that this can take an emotional toll on you and your family, and adds further anxiety to the criminal litigation process (given the possibility of liability and serious penalties, too). To that end, we are committed advocates who will stop at nothing to ensure that you are treated fairly and that all strategic avenues are exhausted in pursuit of a favorable outcome.
We urge you to contact an experienced sex crime defense lawyer at our firm today for guidance on how to proceed.
Florida Sex Crime Offenses
In Florida, the list of punishable sex crimes is rather comprehensive. The sex crime category includes — but is not limited to — the following offenses:
- Pimping and pandering
- Sexual battery (including rape)
- Lewd and lascivious battery
- Sex trafficking
- Retail display of pornography to a minor
- Sale or distribution of pornography to a minor
- Indecent exposure
- Child pornography
- Traveling to meet a minor
- And more
Given the diversity of sex crime offenses, the penalty range is understandably vast.
Some offenses, such as prostitution, are second-degree misdemeanors that carry penalties of only two months potential jail time, while others — such as the rape of a child under the age of 12 — are capital felonies that will lead to life imprisonment without possibility of parole.
Many sex crimes require registration on the Sex Offenders Registry, which could impact your ability to get a job or secure housing. It could also have long-term impacts on your ability to develop a healthy social life.
As a general rule, the prosecution will “throw the book at you” in an attempt to overwhelm you with fear and coerce you into negotiating an unfavorable plea bargain. In truth, however, you likely have a number of effective defense strategies that you can execute to avoid or otherwise minimize liability.
Common Defense Strategies to Sex Crime Charges
Insufficient Physical Evidence
Oftentimes, sex crime investigations turn up insufficient physical evidence. Despite this lack of evidence, however, state officials may choose to believe the alleged victim and aggressively pursue prosecution. And though physical evidence is expected to be lacking in cases with delayed disclosure of the crime at-issue, without sufficient physical evidence, the prosecution must rely on testimonial (and other) evidence to support their arguments.
Though there is an increasingly loud movement to believe all alleged victims of sex crimes regardless of the legitimacy of their testimony (ignoring the surrounding circumstances calling such testimony into question), the courts have not fallen into the same trap. If you can cross-examine the witnesses and demonstrate that they may be fabricating the memory (or otherwise be biased against you and therefore have a motive to cause harm), then you may be able to undermine the evidentiary support behind the prosecution’s arguments.
Florida law enforcement officers may conduct sting operations in order to catch sex criminals and predators, but these sting operations often lead to prosecutions with no teeth, as the defendant may be able to argue that they were “entrapped.”
Entrapment is essentially a defense where you argue that the law enforcement officer persuaded you to commit the crime, and that an ordinary innocent person would have committed the crime thanks to that persuasion.
Consent is an absolute defense to non-statutory rape. In fact, most such cases turn on the issue of consent — but the concept can be murky when examined in the context of a common romantic situation.
For example, if both parties were intoxicated after a night out drinking, then was there consent? These issues — when argued skillfully — can help strengthen your cause in litigation.
No Criminal Intent
In some sex crime scenarios, there may not have been criminal intent — in those particular cases, without criminal intent, you cannot be found liable. For example, suppose that you are charged with showing a minor pornographic material. You can avoid liability by demonstrating that it was an accident. Perhaps you were showing them a picture album that you did not realize contained a few pornographic images. This would indicate a lack of criminal intent.
Contact Fowler Law Group to Speak to a Top Florida Sex Crime Defense Lawyer
Here at Fowler Law Group, our attorneys have decades of experience working with a variety of criminal defendants, including those who have been accused of sex crimes.
Make no mistake — these are problematic crimes that can lead to lifelong consequences. Our team understands just how important it is to secure a favorable outcome and are committed to doing everything we can from the beginning of the investigation all the way through to trial litigation, and appeals.
Ready to speak to an experienced sex crime defense lawyer about your case?
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Fowler Law Group proudly represents the citizens of Sarasota and Manatee Counties as well as the surrounding Tampa Bay area. Our experienced team will help guide you through the judicial process and answer all of your questions with honesty and integrity. We understand the important nature of your call, and we will strive to return all calls within 24 hours. Contact us today by completing our online form or calling us at 941-404-8909.