West Palm Beach Sex Crimes Defense Attorney
Sex crimes are egregious offenses that are taken very seriously in Florida and a conviction can lead to severe penalties including imprisonment, probation and mandatory registration as a sex offender. Even if you are not convicted, the stigma of being accused of a sex crime can damage your reputation for years to come. When your freedom and good name are in jeopardy, having aggressive legal representation is crucial.
Herman Law, P.A., a premier criminal defense law firm conveniently located in West Palm Beach, routinely defends clients against Florida sex crimes charges. Guided by a principle that anyone accused of a crime is innocent until proven guilty, we know how to protect your rights and clear your name. We leverage our in-depth knowledge of the applicable laws and extensive courtroom experience to provide each client with dedicated advocacy.
Florida Sex Crimes
Sex offenses can involve forced or nonconsensual sexual contact, or consensual acts such as prostitution and soliciting. In some cases, the crime may involve sexual contact (e.g. child pornography, indecent exposure). Our attorneys handle a wide range of misdemeanor and felony sex offenses, including:
- Lewd or lascivious molestation/Sexual assault — Non Consensual sexual activity that is forced on the victim — inappropriate touching, child sexual abuse, forced penetration, sexual intercourse, or kissing.
- Sexual battery/rape — Forcing, or attempting to force, another person into sexual intercourse or sexual contact, charges include sexual battery /rape (a first-degree felony), indecent assault, and sodomy.
- Unlawful sexual activity with a minor/child molesation — Any consensual sexual activity involving oral, vaginal or anal penetration with a minor who is 16 or 17 years old. Ignorance of the victim’s age is not a valid defense, sexual activity with anyone 15 or younger, with or without his or her consent, is considered rape.
- Child pornography — Possessing, producing, distributing, selling, purchasing, transporting, electronically transmitting, or viewing any visual depiction of a minor engaging in sexual activity, including virtual images.
- Prostitution/Solicitation — Engaging in sex acts in return for cash or something of value, offering money to another person in exchange for sexual activity.
- Indecent exposure — Exposing the genitals in a lewd or intentionally lascivious manner or engaging in sexual acts in the presence of a minor under the age of 16.
- Failure to register as a sexual offender — As in most states, convicted sex offenders in Florida are required to register with the state. They must also report to the local sheriff’s office regularly to provide details of their current address, occupation, convictions and other relevant information. Failing to register as a sex offender can lead to felony charges.
Defenses to Sex Crime Charges in Florida
Because there are typically no witnesses to sex crimes other than the parties involved, convictions are often obtained based on the victim’s testimony and forensic evidence. Nonetheless, a number of defenses can be asserted against a sex crimes charge, such as:
- Pretrial Defenses — If you have been been falsely accused of a sex crime, it may be possible to prevent an indictment by disputing the allegations with evidence such as polygraph test results, psychological evaluations, previous false accusations made by the alleged victim, or letters supporting your good character.
- Defenses at Trial — The most common courtroom defenses include an alibi (you were not present at the time the crime was committed), the sexual activity was consensual, mistaken identity or psychological issues that may have prevented you from understanding what you were doing.
- Affirmative Defenses — Involves arguing that the offense is not a crime because the victim consented to the sexual act or that you did not use force, threats of force, or place the alleged victim under duress. Such an “affirmative defense” is not an admission of guilt, but rather an explanation as to why the offense should not be considered a crime.
South Florida Sex Crimes Defense Attorney
Ultimately, being accused of a sex crime is a serious matter and a conviction will follow you for the rest of your life, potentially making it difficult to find a job or a place to live. This is why you need an experienced criminal defense attorney in your corner fighting for your rights. At Herman Law, we have defended clients who were falsely accused of all types of sex crimes, including sexual assault and child sexual abuse.
Keenly aware that a conviction can dramatically impact your future, we will leverage our legal knowledge and trial skills to build the best line of defense. Although we typically work to win an acquittal, we will given you an honest assessment of the strength of the case against you. Depending on the circumstances, we may move to have the charges reduced. Above all, we will always put your best interests first and work to achieve the best possible outcome. Call our office today or complete the convenient online contact form to schedule a free consultation.