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Sex Crimes & Related Charges

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An experienced West Palm Beach sex crimes attorney can make all the difference in the world when it comes to your final sentence – potentially years of your life. A few of the most common charges in the “sex crimes” category are detailed below.

West Palm Beach Sex Crimes Attorney
West Palm Beach Sex Crimes Attorney

What do you need to know about Sexual Crimes before hiring a West Palm Beach Sex Crimes Attorney?

S
exual crimes are typically prosecuted harshly. Few crimes carry mandatory punishments, including incarceration and probation, and lifetime collateral consequences, such as lifetime sex offender or predator registration.

If you are being investigated for a sexual crime, do not bury your head in the sand and hope it goes away; it will not. Please do not talk to law enforcement on your own. They are NOT trying to help you. Call now to meet with me.

What is Sexual Battery: F.S. 794.011 (Rape)?

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lorida law defines the crime of sexual battery as “…oral, anal, or vaginal penetration by, or union with, the sexual organ of another, or the anal or vaginal penetration of another by any other object.”

The prerequisite for lawful sexual contact in any civil society is clear, knowing, and mutual consent. However, some people are incapable of knowing consent, particularly children below a certain age and the mentally impaired or disabled. In other words, a person’s participation in any sexual consent must be voluntary, and where a person’s mind is not sufficiently developed or impaired, whether due to immaturity, disease, or defect, that person is incapable of forming the mental State of voluntary, consensual agreement.

Sexual Battery, F.S. 794.011
Sexual Battery, F.S. 794.011

What common types of defenses will be good Sex Crimes Attorney use for a Sexual Battery charge?

The words “sexual battery” are legal terms for forced sexual submission, commonly known as rape. In some cases of rape, the victim’s memory is unclear, and she mistakenly identifies the defendant as her perpetrator. In other cases, an alleged victim falsely accuses another of rape for vindictive reasons. Consequently, thorough research of the related facts, and effective cross-examination of the alleged victim, may be crucial to a successful defense.

What is the penalty for Sexual Battery?

Upon conviction of sexual battery on someone 18 years or older, a first-degree felony, the defendant faces a sentence of up to 30 years in state prison. If the victim of sexual battery is a minor, or 12 years old or younger, the punishments grow increasingly severe.

Finally, if convicted of sexual battery, the State will classify the defendant as a “sexual predator,” a highly onerous, lifelong designation, severely limiting the places the defendant can live and requiring monthly registration with the local police for the rest of the defendant’s life.

What Should I Know About Unlawful Sexual Activity With Certain Minors: F.S. 794.05 before Hiring a West Palm Beach Sex Crimes Attorney?

Under Florida law, if a person “…24 years of age or older who engages in sexual activity with some person 16 or 17 years of age commits a felony of the second degree…”

What are the penalties for Unlawful Sexual Activity with Certain Minors in Palm Beach County?

Sex Crimes: Unlawful Sexual Activity With Certain Minors, F.S. 794.05
Unlawful Sexual Activity with Certain Minors, F.S. 794.05

As a second-degree felony, unlawful sexual activity with certain minors is punishable by up to 15 years in state prison and up to $10,000 in fines. If the victim conceives and gives birth due to her relationship with the accused, the defendant will be required to pay child support upon conviction and proof of paternity.

What defenses will an experienced Sex Crimes Attorney use for Unlawful Sexual Activity with Certain Minors charges?

In some cases, the alleged victim of the crime, or her parents, may advance false allegations against the accused. In other cases, a defendant might successfully move to have his case dismissed if the State collected the evidence against him unlawfully, violating the Constitution.

However, it is important to note that the defendant’s mistaken belief about the alleged victim’s age is not a lawful defense to the crime, even if the victim is the one who actively solicited the relationship. In addition, as part of his defense, a defendant cannot portray the alleged victim as having a promiscuous past nor introduce any other aspect of the victim’s prior sexual conduct.

What is Lewd or Lascivious Battery: F.S. 800.04(4) (Statutory Rape)?

According to Florida law, lewd or lascivious battery occurs when someone “…engages in sexual activity with some person 12 years of age or older but less than 16 years of age; or encourages, forces, or entices any person less than 16 years of age to engage in sadomasochistic abuse, sexual bestiality, prostitution, or any other act involving sexual activity.”

What are the penalties for Lewd or lascivious battery in Palm Beach County?

Lewd Or Lascivious Battery, F.S. 800.04(4)
Lewd Or Lascivious Battery, F.S. 800.04(4)

Lewd or lascivious battery, also known as statutory rape, is a second-degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in state prison.

In addition, upon conviction, the defendant will be permanently designated a “sex offender,” a highly onerous lifetime condition that limits the places where the defendant can live and requires periodic registration with the police of his residence.

What defenses will a skilled Sex Crimes Attorney use for a Lewd or Lascivious Battery charge?

As with other crimes, an experienced sex crimes attorney will aggressively defend his client by:

  1. Thoroughly researching the facts for inconsistencies, contradictions, and falsehoods.
  2. Thoroughly researching the background of the State’s witnesses to see if their anticipated testimony in any way, or for any reason, lacks credibility.
  3. Thoroughly researching the facts to determine if any of the State’s evidence was obtained in violation of the Constitution, and so, must be excluded from the State’s prosecution.
  4. They are thoroughly researching the legal history of the statute to learn about and understand all relevant defenses that have been used in past cases.

It is important to note that lewd or lascivious battery is known in the law as a “strict liability: crime. This means that the accused cannot claim ignorance of the child’s age or that they consented to unlawful conduct; the law prohibits using these defenses.

What is Lewd or Lascivious Conduct: F.S. 800.04(6)?

Under Florida law, the crime of lewd or lascivious conduct occurs when a person “…intentionally touches a person under 16 years of age in a lewd or lascivious manner; or solicits a person under 16 years of age to commit a lewd or lascivious act.”

What are the penalties for lewd or lascivious conduct?

Lewd Or Lascivious Conduct, F.S. 800.04(6)
Lewd Or Lascivious Conduct, F.S. 800.04(6)
  • If a person commits an offense over 18, the crime is considered a second-degree felony, punishable by up to 15 years in state prison.
  • If a person commits the offense under 18, the crime is a third-degree felony, punishable by up to 5 years in state prison.

What defenses will a seasoned Sex Crimes Attorney use for a Lewd and Lascivious Conduct charge?

As with other charges, a skilled sex crimes attorney will aggressively defend his client by:

  1. Thoroughly research the facts for inconsistencies, contradictions, and falsehood.
  2. Thoroughly research the background of the State’s witnesses to see if their anticipated testimony in any way, or for any reason, lacks credibility.
  3. Thoroughly research the facts to determine if any of the State’s evidence was obtained in violation of the Constitution and must be excluded from the State’s prosecution.
  4. Thoroughly research the legal history of the statute to learn about and understand all relevant defenses that have been used in past cases.

What is Lewd or Lascivious Molestation: F.S. 800.04(5)?

The Florida Statutes define the crime of lewd or lascivious molestation as occurring when a person “…intentionally touches in a lewd or lascivious manner the breasts, genitals, genital area, or buttocks, or the clothing covering them, of some person less than 16 years of age, or forces or entices a person under 16 years of age to so touch the perpetrator…”

Lewd Or Lascivious Molestation, F.S. 800.04(5)
Lewd Or Lascivious Molestation, F.S. 800.04(5)

What are the penalties for Lewd or Lascivious Molestation in Palm Beach County?

  • If the offense is committed against a child under the age of 12 by a person over 18, the crime is a “life felony,” punishable by up to life in prison.
  • If the offense is committed against a child between the ages of 12 and 16 by a person over 18, the crime is a second-degree felony, punishable by up to 15 years in state prison.
  • If the offense is committed against a child under 12 by a person under 18, the crime is a second-degree felony, punishable by up to 15 years in state prison.
  • If the crime is committed against a child between the ages of 12 and 16 by a person under 18, it is considered a third-degree felony, punishable by up to 5 years in state prison.

Additionally, upon conviction for lewd or lascivious molestations, the State permanently designates the defendant a “sex offender,” a highly onerous lifetime condition limiting the places where the defendant can live and requiring periodic registration with the police of his place of residence.

What types of defenses will a Sex Crimes Attorney use for a Lewd or Lascivious Molestation charge?

As with other crimes, a qualified sex crimes attorney should take the following steps to defend his client:

  1. Thoroughly research the facts for inconsistencies, contradictions, and falsehood.
  2. Thoroughly research the background of the State’s witnesses to see if their anticipated testimony in any way, or for any reason, lacks credibility.
  3. Thoroughly research the facts to determine if any of the State’s evidence was obtained in violation of the Constitution and must be excluded from the State’s prosecution.
  4. Thoroughly research the legal history of the statute to learn about and understand all relevant defenses that have been used in past cases.

In addition, the State must prove the defendant acted with lewd or lascivious intent to be convicted. So, for example, if a high school athletic coach publicly slapped players’ buttocks during an interstate football game as encouragement, it is unlikely, absent more, that the State could show the coach possessed lewd or lascivious intent.

What is Lewd or Lascivious Exhibition: F.S. 800.04(7)?

Florida law describes lewd or lascivious exhibition as a crime that occurs when a person “…intentionally masturbates.” intentionally exposes the genitals in a lewd or lascivious manner… “…intentionally commits any other sexual act that does not involve actual physical or sexual contact with the victim, including, but not limited to, sadomasochistic abuse, sexual bestiality, or the simulation of any act involving sexual activity in the presence of a victim who is less than 16 years of age.

What are the penalties for lewd or lascivious exhibition?

Lewd Or Lascivious Exhibition, F.S. 800.04(7)
Lewd Or Lascivious Exhibition, F.S. 800.04(7)
  • If a person commits an offense over 18, the crime is a second-degree felony, punishable by up to 15 years in state prison.
  • If a person commits the offense under 18, the crime is a third-degree felony, punishable by up to 5 years in state prison.

What defenses would I expect a West Palm Beach Sex Crimes Attorney to use for a Lewd or Lascivious Exhibition Charge?

As with other crimes, a good sex crimes lawyer will:

  1. Thoroughly research the facts for inconsistencies, contradictions, and falsehood.
  2. Thoroughly research the background of the State’s witnesses to see if their anticipated testimony in any way, or for any reason, lacks credibility.
  3. Thoroughly research the facts to determine if any of the State’s evidence was obtained in violation of the Constitution and must be excluded from the State’s prosecution.
  4. Thoroughly research the legal history of the statute to learn about and understand all relevant defenses that have been used in past cases.

It is important to note that, as a “strict liability” crime, the defendant is prohibited from arguing that the victim consented to unlawful conduct or that the defendant was ignorant of the child’s age.

What should I know about Human Trafficking: F.S. 787.06 before hiring a West Palm Beach Sex Crime Attorney?

Florida law defines the crime of human trafficking as occurring when “…a person [1] knowingly, or in reckless disregard of the facts, [2] engages in or financially benefits from [3] transporting, soliciting, recruiting, harboring, providing, enticing, maintaining, or obtaining another person for [4] the purpose of exploitation of that person for labor, services, or commercial sexual activity.”

Human Trafficking, F.S. 787.06
Human Trafficking, F.S. 787.06

What are the penalties for Human Trafficking?

  • Human Trafficking for labor or sexual reasons is, under Florida law, a first-degree felony, punishable by up to 30 years in jail and up to $10,000 in fines.
  • Florida law classifies Human Trafficking of a child, or a person with a mental disability, for sexual reasons, as a “life felony,” punishable by up to life in prison.

What common defenses would a Sex Crime Attorney use for a Human Trafficking charge?

Where the State alleges human trafficking for commercial sexual activity, the facts might show that the alleged victim knowingly and voluntarily engaged in prostitution. In addition, if the defendant, through his lawyer, can show the State obtained its evidence in violation of the Constitution (an occurrence that frequently happens in criminal prosecutions), the State may drop the case or offer a highly desirable plea offer to resolve the matter.

What is Voyeurism: F.S. 810.14?

Florida law describes voyeurism as a crime that occurs when a person, with lewd, lascivious, or indecent intent, “secretly observes another person (or a person’s intimate area) when the other person is located in a dwelling, structure, or conveyance and such location provides a reasonable expectation of privacy.”

The law defines “intimate area” as any part of a person whose body or undergarments are covered with the intent to protect that area from public view.

Voyeurism, F.S. 810.14
Voyeurism, F.S. 810.14

What are the penalties for voyeurism?

  • A first-degree misdemeanor, voyeurism, is punishable by penalties ranging from a term of probation up to one year in the county jail.
  • If convicted twice or more of the same offense, the crime, now classified as a third-degree felony, is punishable by up to five years in state prison.

What are the defenses for voyeurism?

A common defense to voyeurism is that the person being watched had no reasonable expectation of privacy, such as a person who appears naked on a nudist beach.

In addition, and perhaps of greater importance, if the State obtained its evidence in violation of the Constitution, the defendant, through his attorney, should move the judge to exclude such evidence from the case. When the judge grants such motions, the State commonly drops the case or offers a desirable plea agreement to resolve the matter.

What is Video Voyeurism: F.S. 810.145?

Florida law defines the crime of video voyeurism as “…intentionally permit[ing] the use or installation of an imaging device to secretly view, broadcast, or record a person, without that person’s knowledge and consent, who is dressing, undressing, or privately exposing the body, at a place and time when that person has a reasonable expectation of privacy… “

The law applies equally to recordings made for private use and those created by others for financial gain or seeking debasement of the individual who is the object of the recording.

Video Voyeurism, F.S. 810.145
Video Voyeurism, F.S. 810.145

What are the penalties for video voyeurism?

Video voyeurism can be a grave crime that can result in the imposition of drastic penalties.

  • Video voyeurism committed by someone under the age of 19 is a first-degree misdemeanor; hence, the person convicted is subject to a term of probation of up to a maximum of one year in the county jail.
  • The same crime committed by someone over the age of 19 is considered a third-degree felony, with punishment by penalties ranging from a term of probation up to 5 years in state prison.
  • A second conviction by a person over the age of 19 is a second-degree felony, with punishment by penalties ranging from a term of probation up to a maximum of 15 years in state prison.
  • Video voyeurism of a child, a second-degree felony, subjects the convicted to punishment ranging from probation up to fifteen years in state prison. In addition, the person convicted will be classified as a “sex offender,” a highly onerous designation that will require, among other things, periodic registration of his address for the rest of his life.

What are the defenses for video voyeurism?

The charge of video voyeurism might be improperly brought when the video camera of a security surveillance system films activity and the filming was not intended to record for sexual purposes. However, it is illegal for security cameras to be installed in public dressing rooms or restrooms. Additionally, it is unlawful to use or sell a video recording of a person’s appearance on a nudist beach if that use or sale serves the purpose of sexual gratification.

Arrested? Call West Palm Beach Sex Crimes Attorney Josh LeRoy Because Experience Wins. Can You Afford to Lose?

If you, or someone you know, needs a sex crimes attorney in West Palm Beach County (Palm Beach County from Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Lake Worth, West Palm Beach, and up to Jupiter), or any of the surrounding areas, use the form below to drop me a note.

Tell me about yourself, what’s happened, and a good time to contact you.

-Joshua LeRoy, Esq.

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