Being charged with or convicted of a sex crime can disrupt and ruin every aspect of a person’s life. In the State of Florida, “sex crimes” is a general term. It essentially refers to any criminal charges involving sexual activity that are brought against a person. This definition includes rape, child sexual abuse and molestation, prostitution, indecent exposure, and other related offenses.
Sex crimes can also include attempted sexual misconduct arising out of police internet “stings” that don’t involve real people. Some examples of charges commonly associated with these internet stings include soliciting a child to engage in sexual activity or traveling to meet a minor to engage in unlawful sexual activity. Being charged with or convicted of a sex crime can severely limit a person’s reputation, liberty, associations, and living arrangements. These charges and convictions are sure to affect every aspect of life.
For more information on Florida sex crimes and the related statutes, you can peruse Florida state law here.
Penalties and the National and State Sex Offender Registries
The State of Florida imposes very severe penalties for felony sex crime convictions. Penalties can range in severity, depending upon the nature of the charge and extend up to a life prison sentence. If an individual is convicted of a sex offense, he or she will usually have to register for the national and/or state sex offender registries. This requires that the defendant’s picture be posted online in a searchable database.
The Necessity for Legal Representation in Sex Offense Cases
If you’ve been charged with a sex crime, it is absolutely essential that you contact a lawyer as soon as possible. You should always talk to an experienced defense lawyer before speaking with the police, admitting anything to the police, or answering any of their questions. Anything that you say to a police officer or detective can be used against you in a negative way. You have the constitutional right to speak with legal counsel before answering any questions, and you have an absolute right to legal representation at all stages of your case.