The crimes that carry the most stigma and consequences today are crimes involving sex. Just an accusation that you committed a sex crime can impact the rest of your life. While the charges are extremely serious, they are often based on the testimony of one or two people with little other forensic evidence. Many times, the person accused of a sex crime has had no prior dealings with the criminal justice system. There is sometimes DNA and other scientific evidence. It is very important to have someone analyze and investigate the methods taken to get the evidence, the procedures used to test the evidence, and to investigate the person or people interpreting the evidence. Defend yourself with the help of a Fort Lauderdale sex crimes attorney.
Most importantly, if asked to speak to a sex crimes detective, immediately seek the advice of a Ft Lauderdale sex crime defense lawyer. You should never speak to any detective without counsel being present. Law Enforcement officers are trained in the art of interrogation. They are allowed to lie and use trickery in gaining information. They are not there to protect your rights, they are there to build a case. Before speaking to any detective, it is important to speak with a Ft Lauderdale sex crime defense lawyer who will protect your rights.
The penalties can be severe and include jail time or life in prison as a mandatory sentence, registration as a sex offender, and sex offender probation.
Sexual Battery (Rape)
Rape is the commission of non-consensual sexual acts towards another person, and the definition of rape is also wide-ranging. For instance, the technical legal term for rape in Florida is “sexual battery.” There are many forms of sexual battery and most do NOT require the use of force. A touching of a sexual area combined with a lack of consent is enough to be charged with some form of sexual battery. In addition to a lengthy period of incarceration, sexual battery charges come with a Sexual Predator designation which will follow you for the rest of your life.
Statutory Rape Charge
Statutory rape, known in Florida as Lewd and Lascivious is a charge that not only carries significant penalties, but the law is considered “absolute” in that the defendant’s intent, or lack thereof, is not even relevant to the ultimate decision of whether or not that defendant is guilty. Basically, if a defendant has engaged in sexual conduct with a child under the age of majority, and that conduct is proven, the defendant is found guilty, regardless of whether he or she knew or even should have known that the child was under-aged. The age of consent in Florida is 18 years old in some cases, 16 in others where the potential defendant is younger than 24 years old.
The consequences of a conviction for any of these sex crimes is severe, and can include a prison term of many years, substantial fines and restitution, a permanent felony conviction on the defendant’s record and in some cases the requirement for the convicted felon to register as a sex offender wherever he or she lives and/or works.
Do not allow yourself to be defined by these types of allegations. You may rightfully feel that you have not committed a crime. Regardless, you must take any sexual battery accusation or a charge seriously. To successfully defend yourself against such a charge, you must have a Fort Lauderdale sex crimes attorney with considerable experience; indeed, if you have been charged with this or another sex crime, you need to discuss your case Mr. Sobel as soon as possible.