Tampa Sex Crimes Lawyer
Because of the stigma attached to sex offenses, the eagerness among prosecutors and juries to exact retribution or revenge on behalf of victims, and the lifelong consequences of sex offender registration, sex crimes can be notoriously difficult to defend against. Don’t resign yourself to accept your fate and punishment far harsher than you deserve. Don’t let a misunderstanding or being in the wrong place at the wrong time ruin your life. Take the time to talk to an experienced Tampa sex crime defense lawyer. You likely have defenses available or strategies you can employ to avoid the harshest consequences of a sex crime conviction. If you have been arrested for a sex offense in Tampa, call Scriven Law, P.A., at 813-226-8522 for a no-cost, confidential consultation.
How Can You Defend Against Sex Crime Charges?
Sex offenses range from the embarrassing to crimes of life-altering seriousness. Even just an arrest itself can damage your relationship at home or work or your standing in the community. Prosecutors count on this and hope you will quickly plead guilty to any charges they put in front of you just so you can make the matter go away as quickly and quietly as possible. Such a strategy is not likely to be in your best interest. You might have any number of defenses available that will enable you to fight the charges in court or negotiate a plea from a strong bargaining position and come out better than if you left yourself to the mercy of the prosecuting attorney. Here are just a handful of the defenses that may work in your favor when charged with a sex offense in Tampa:
- You were mistakenly identified as the perpetrator
- The sexual act was consensual
- The facts don’t support the offense charged
- Witness testimony is unreliable
- You were entrapped
- The prosecution has mishandled evidence
Remember that regardless of the serious nature of the offense you are charged with, you are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. You have the right to defend yourself against these charges, and you have the right to be advised and represented by a knowledgeable and skilled criminal defense attorney who is duty-bound to defend you and dedicated to obtaining the best result in your circumstances. Don’t think twice about calling Scriven Law, P.A. for a no-cost, confidential consultation after a Tampa sex crime arrest.
What Is the Sex Offender Registry?
The Florida Sexual Offender/Predator Registry is a searchable database containing the names, addresses, pictures and other information about people who have been convicted of a broad range of sex crimes. Anyone with a computer can search by name to find out where you live, or they can search by their own address to find out if any registered sex offenders live in their neighborhood. Members of the public could then print out a flyer with your picture on it and post it around the neighborhood.
Placement on the sex offender registry is a lifetime registration. Once on, you must forever inform the local sheriff wherever you live about your registration. If you move or change your name, you have 48 hours to notify the sheriff of your updated information. Failure to register as required is a separate felony offense you could be jailed for as well as a federal crime that you could be additionally prosecuted for. Even a year after you die, your information will still be up on the Florida Sex Offender Registry. You want to avoid getting placed on the Sex Offender Registry whenever possible.
Qualifying adult convictions include:
- Sexual misconduct
- Kidnapping where the victim is a minor
- False imprisonment where the victim is a minor
- Luring or enticing a child
- Human Trafficking
- Sexual battery
- Unlawful sexual activity with certain minors
- Procuring a person under the age of 18 for prostitution
- Selling or buying of minors into sex trafficking or prostitution
- Lewd/lascivious offense committed upon or in the presence of persons less than 16 years of age
- Video Voyeurism of a minor
- Lewd/lascivious offense committed upon or in the presence of an elderly person or disabled adult
- Sexual performance by a child
- Computer pornography
- Transmission of child pornography by electronic device/equipment
- Transmission of material harmful to minors to a minor by electronic device/equipment
- Selling or buying of minors (for portrayal in a visual depiction engaging in sexually explicit conduct)
- A violation of a similar law of another jurisdiction (i.e. federal, military, other state or country)
Qualifying juvenile convictions include:
- Sexual battery
- Lewd/lascivious battery where the victim is under 12 or the court finds sexual activity by the use of force or coercion
- Lewd/lascivious molestation, victim under 12, where the court finds molestation involving unclothed genitals
- Lewd/lascivious molestation, victim under 16 but more than 12, where the court finds the use of force or coercion and unclothed genitals
- A violation of a similar law of another jurisdiction
Under Florida’s Romeo & Juliet law, some youthful offenders can be removed from the requirement to register if the victim was between the ages of 13 and 17, the offender was not more than four years older than the victim, and the sexual activity was consensual.
Involuntary Civil Commitment of Sexual Predators
Conviction of a sex offense involving a minor or physical violence, or conviction as a repeat sexual offender, can lead to your designation as a sexual predator under the Florida Sexual Predators Act. If this happens, not only can you be sentenced to a hefty term in prison, but upon release, you could be immediately transferred to a secure treatment facility through an involuntary civil commitment proceeding under the Jimmy Ryce Sexually Violent Predator Act. Once committed, there is no guarantee that you could ever be released.
Help With Sex Crime Charges in Tampa
For help staying off the registry or getting removed from it, fighting a sex crime charge in court, or negotiating a guilty plea in exchange for probation, a reduction in charges, or some other favorable outcome in your case, call a Tampa sex crime lawyer at Scriven Law, P.A., in Tampa at 813-226-8522.