In Jacksonville, Florida, you are entitled to a solid legal defense if you get charged with a crime. Sex crimes carry significant penalties and cultural stigma, so you should work with an experienced legal expert.
Some of the punishments you may face include jail time, steep fines, registration on the sex offender registry, and numerous other restrictions. If you get suspected of perpetrating a sex-related offense, you need to work with a sex crime defense attorney, regardless of whether you think you are innocent or guilty.
At Leon Law Firm, we have a dedicated, non-judgmental, compassionate, and hard-working team available to assist you every step of the way. We are intimately familiar with the strategies used by prosecutors and detectives, and we can position you to put forth the strongest defense possible.
Know that investigators and detectives will often overlook exculpatory evidence to earn a conviction; that is why you need a legal expert in your corner. Contact Leon Law Firm today for a consultation, and learn more about how we can help you by exploring some information below.
Our Experienced Jacksonville Sex Crimes Attorney Can Help You Beat Sex Crime Allegations
If you get convicted of a sex crime, you could face some draconian punishments. For example, you could be in jail for an extended time. You might find it difficult to obtain housing, it may be tough to find a job, and you may have to register on the sex offender registry for the rest of your life. It can lead to tremendous social stigma and irreparably damaging relationships with your family and friends.
At Leon Law Firm, we are here to defend you without judgment or reservation. Even if you think the facts of the case are on your side, the stakes are high whenever you set foot in a courtroom. We have experienced sex crimes attorneys who can vigorously defend your rights and protect your interests. What do you need to know about sex crimes in Florida?
Different Types of Sex Crimes in Florida
In Florida, there are numerous types of sex crimes with which someone can get charged. Each crime is different, and each carries a different set of penalties. Some of the sex crimes in Florida with which you might face assessment include:
Fla. Stat. 794.011 defines sexual battery as vaginal, oral, or anal penetration by a sexual organ or object. If a penetration didn’t occur, it might not charge as a battery. Instead, the charge could be lewd and lascivious conduct. As long as the alleged victim is not a minor, providing evidence of consent could be a defense against this sexual offense.
The definition of sexual assault is not as straightforward as a battery. There is a lot of conduct that could fall under this category. In general, sexual assault refers to any sexual act committed without the other party’s consent. As long as the alleged victim is not a minor, providing evidence of support could be a defense.
Indecent exposure is typically a misdemeanor as long as any possible witness is not a minor. The act must have occurred publicly to achieve a conviction if there are no witnesses. The burden also falls on the prosecution to prove that there was a committed exposure with lewd intent.
Child pornography is investigated and prosecuted vigorously in Jacksonville, FL. Any person convicted of creating, managing, or advertising any material related to child pornography, defined as a participant under 18 years of age, could be charged with a second-degree felony.
Under Fl. Statute 775.0847, the possession of child pornography is considered a felony offense and could result in multiple years in prison, depending on the nature of the pornographic content.
Under Florida Law, a minor cannot consent to a sexual act. Therefore, if a minor individual gives verbal consent, these words are meaningless, and the individual could face charges of statutory rape.
If there is a small age gap between the individuals involved, and one of them is a minor, this could be considered a mitigating factor at sentencing. However, this might not be a valid defense under the FL Romeo and Juliet Law, depending on the age gap between the parties. It is essential to work with an experienced Jacksonville sex crimes lawyer who can defend you vigorously.
Other Sex Crime Charges
There are several other possible sex crime charges as well. These include the following:
Regardless of the nature of the charges, it is vital to work with an experienced defense attorney who can help you.
Sex Offender Registry in Florida
If you’re facing sex crime convictions in Florida, you might be required to enlist on the sex offender registry. It is typically a different requirement when compared to fines, jail time, and probation. In many situations, it is up to the judge to sentence the convicted individual to decide whether that person has to register as a sex offender.
The purpose of the Sexual Predators Act is to stop someone from committing further sexually-based offenses. There are some situations when someone required to register as a sex offender cannot use the internet.
One of the most significant consequences of registering as a sex offender could be housing. If you are forced to register as a sex offender, there are specific locations where you might not be allowed to live.
The sex offender registry in Florida is further discussed under Florida Statutes Section 775.215, but you might be required to live at least 1,000 feet away from a daycare, school, or park. Given that there are a lot of schools, parks, and daycares in Florida, it could be more difficult for you to find housing. We will do everything in our power to limit the chances of you landing on the sex offender registry in Florida.
The Legal Process of Sex Crime Cases in Jacksonville
If you believe you are under investigation for a possible sex crime in Jacksonville, you need to reach out to a defense attorney as quickly as possible. Even if you are yet to face a charge with a crime, the police could build a case against you. If you reach out to a defense attorney as soon as possible, they may be able to intervene in the case to prevent charges from being filed.
Time is one of your most valuable resources, so you should not wait until you are charged with a crime to reach out to a lawyer who can assist you. If the detectives believe they have a strong case, they may ask the prosecutor to file formal charges. That is when the rest of the legal process will begin. The steps in this process include the following:
The first step is arraignment. After being arrested, you will go before a judge. That is where the court will formally inform you of the exact nature of the charges against you, and the judge will ask you to file a plea before setting your bail. Leon Law Firm can help you file any required legal documents on your behalf, and we recommend you enter a plea of not guilty.
The next step in the process is called a preliminary hearing. It is where the evidence is reviewed to see if the evidence meets the burden of probable cause. If there is enough evidence, the case can proceed to trial. If there is not enough evidence to establish probable cause, the case may not be allowed to proceed to trial. Our Jacksonville sex crimes defense attorney can use the preliminary hearing to have specific evidence thrown out. Then, with that evidence, there might be probable cause to proceed with the trial.
If the case continues to move forward, discovery will take place. Our Jacksonville sex crimes defense lawyer can, while discovery motions to, take a look at all of the evidence used against you. That is your right as a United States citizen, which will allow us to review the nature of the case. We can establish the strongest possible defense by looking at all evidence before trial. There is also an opportunity to discover specific evidence you should keep from being used against you. Then, we can get that evidence thrown out.
We may also file several pre-trial motions to change the landscape, tilting it in your favor. For example, we may file a motion to dismiss your case if there’s insufficient evidence to move forward. We may also file a pre-trial motion to arrange a deal with the prosecutor if it is in your best interests. We want to keep you in the safest possible position while also controlling the narrative of your case as it moves forward. We can use pre-trial motions to maintain control and dictate the outcome of your case.
There are some situations where it is beneficial to strike a plea bargain. A plea bargain means we ask for a specific outcome in exchange for certain concessions.
For example, we may get your case bumped down to a lesser charge that may not require jail time or a sex offender registry. We could also use a plea bargain to avoid the stress of a trial, which would likely be public and expensive.
You are in control of your case, and we will only ask for a plea bargain after consulting with you first.
Trial and Sentencing
Our Jacksonville sex crimes lawyer at Leon Law Firm always works as hard as possible to ensure an equitable, reasonable outcome for everyone we defend. There are plenty of situations where a trial is unnecessary, but if a trial is required, we will use every ounce of experience to help you.
We have countless years of experience in courtroom environments, and we are intimately familiar with every judge who might preside over your case.
If you are convicted, the final step is sentencing. That is where we will introduce additional evidence to ensure your sentence is as minimal as possible. We want the ordeal to end quickly and painlessly, and we will do everything we can to ensure that outcome.
Possible Legal Defenses Against Sex Crime Allegations
Several possible legal defenses could be formed against sex crime allegations. They include the following:
Count on our team to help you formulate the strongest possible defense.
Schedule a Consultation With Our Jacksonville Sex Crime Lawyers Today
Suppose you believe you are being investigated for a possible sex crime or have already got charged. In that case, you must reach out to a compassionate, trained, and experienced Jacksonville sex crimes attorney who can help you.
Leon Law Firm has an unparalleled level of experience working with individuals who have been suspected of committing sex crimes cases.
We understand that this can have a significant impact on your quality of life, and it can be a stressful situation. We will provide the best defense to ensure your rights are protected and your voice is heard.
You must have an experienced legal professional in your corner, and we will be with you every step of the way. Contact us today at (904) 944 5560 for case consultation, and let us take some of the burdens off your shoulders.