Being accused of a sex crime has far-reaching ramifications, from your job to your life with your family. A conviction will haunt you for the rest of your life and may destroy close friendly and familial relationships. Hiring an experienced, committed sex crimes lawyer is the first step in mounting your defense. Our criminal defense attorneys have decades of experience defending all types of sex charges, including:
- Public lewdness
- Rape in a Nursing Home
- Sexual Battery on a Mentally Ill or Mentally Incapacitated Person
- Rape of a physically defective person
- Public Lewdness
- Voyeurism/Invasion of Privacy
- Sex Trafficking
- Human Trafficking
- Child Molestation
- Luring or Enticing a Child for Sexual Purposes
- Lewd or Lascivious Act on or In the Presence of a Minor
- Child Pornography
- Transmission of Child Pornography
- Child Exploitation
- Sexual Performance by a Child
- Sexual Assault
- Exposure of Sexual Organs
- Sexual Battery by a Person in Familial or Custodial Control
- Unlawful Sexual Activity
- All Other Sex Crimes
A conviction for a sex crime will have a permanent effect on your life and your reputation.
Sex Offender Registry
Florida law requires that every person who has been convicted of a sex crime appear in the sex offender registry, even if the person has completed his or her time in jail.
If you are forced to register as a sex offender, your name, photograph, and address will appear on the Florida Sex Offender Registry website. Your neighbors, employer, future employers, dates, and anyone else can find you on the website. When you move, you will have to announce your presence as a sex offender in the neighborhood. You will not be allowed to reside near schools or playgrounds. On Halloween, you will be required to post an obvious sign distributed by the Sex Offender Registry indicating that children should not trick-or-treat at your residence.
The Florida Sex Offender Registry designates two different levels: the regular sex offender designation and the more severe sexual predator label. Sex offenders have generally been convicted of sexual misconduct, such as sexual battery, transmitting sexual material to children online, and, in some cases, sex crimes involving minors. The sexual predator label is even worse. Sexual predators are people with a history of repeated sexual misconduct, sex crimes against children, or notably violent sex crimes.
One particularly bad consequence of being listed as a sex offender or sexual predator is the impact it has on your relationships with the children in your life, like nieces and nephews, and with their parents. Even if the offense you were convicted of has no relation to children, the Sex Offender Registry (and likely anyone who discovers your listing) regards you as a threat to the safety of children. Formerly close family members may avoid a sex offender in the family, especially if they have children, and designated sex offenders may face intense isolation even after they are released from prison. A sex offender is not likely to be asked to babysit for friends and family if they are aware of his listing, nor will he be at the top of the list of guests to invite to a family reunion.
Sexual predators who have been convicted of a sex crime against a minor are forbidden from residing within 1,000 feet of designated locations such as playgrounds, public parks, and school. The sheriff notifies neighbors when a sexual predator moves to a new home. It is a felony for a sex offender or sexual predator to fail to register. The sex offender or sexual predator designation can be devastating on all fronts, from family to home and employment.
Examples of Sex Crimes Penalties in Florida
Florida law recognizes numerous sex crimes, many of which require sex offender registration after conviction. An excerpt of the statutory incarceration periods is listed in the table below:
|Sex Crime||Time in Prison|
|Sexual Battery on a Person Over the Age of 12||Up to 30 years|
|Sexual Battery on a Child Under the Age of 12||Life|
|Sexual Battery on a Person Over the Age of 12 When Victim is Physically Helpless||Up to 30 years|
|Sexual Battery on a Person Over the Age of 12 Threatening to Use Force Causing Serious Injury||Up to 30 years|
|Sexual Battery on a Person Over the Age of 12 Administering Intoxicating Substance||Up to 30 years|
|Sexual Battery on a Person Over the Age of 12 When Victim is Mentally Defective||Up to 30 years|
|Sexual Battery on a Person Over the Age of 12 Without Violence||Up to 15 years|
|Sexual Battery by a Person in Familial or Custody Control on a Person Aged 12 to 18||Up to 30 years|
|Sexual Activity by a Person 24 Years or Older with a Person Aged 16 or 17||Up to 5 years|
|Exposure of Sexual Organs||Up to 1 year|
|Lewd and Lascivious Battery on a Person Aged 12 to 16||Up to 15 years|
|Lewd and Lascivious Molestation on a Person Under 12||Life|
|Lewd and Lascivious Molestation on a Person Aged 12 to 16||Up to 15 years|
|Lewd or Lascivious Exhibition When Offender is Over 18||Up to 15 years|
|Lewd or Lascivious Exhibition When Offender is Under 18||Up to 5 years|
Jimmy Ryce Act – Involuntary Civil Commitment of Sex Offenders
The government examines the records of sex offenders to determine the likelihood that the offender will commit another sex crime. When a sex offender has completed his prison sentence, the government may begin proceedings to commit the sex offender to a civil institution. The program, which is run out of an old prison in Arcadia, does not have elements for preparing the offenders to be released.
Although the civil commitment program was designed in part to treat sex offenders to reduce the probability of re-offending, the treatment component at the Arcadia facility is minimal. The Florida center has also had problems with escape, murder, and a massive riot that required hundreds of police to put down. Unfortunately, although the Arcadia civil commitment facility was ostensibly designed to treat offenders – and probably also to continue isolating them from the general public – the facility has faced numerous problems and, by most accounts, failed to live up to its mission.
In Florida, sex offenders who have completed all of their criminally imposed punishment – lengthy incarceration, probation, sex offender registration – still may not walk free. The civil commitment of convicted sex offenders lasts for an indefinite period of time, possibly for the rest of the offender’s life.
Tampa Sex Crimes Attorneys
Our experienced sex crimes defense lawyers will aggressively defend your sex crime case, regardless of the charge. The harsh punishment, including lengthy prison sentences and sometimes indefinite civil commitments, requires a team of legal professionals with an extensive criminal defense background. If you have been charged with a sex crime in Florida, your liberty is at stake. Your life will never be the same after a conviction for a sex crime, especially if you must register as a sex offender or sexual predator.
Call or fill out our online contact form for your free and confidential initial consultation.