Being accused of a sex crime in can ruin every aspect of your life. Your personal freedom, professional reputation, child custody agreement, restrictions on where you live, where you drive, and whether you can own a firearm can all be taken away from you if you are convicted of a sex crime. Unfortunately, many sex crimes are a result of a misunderstanding or a false accusation by an angry former partner or spouse. You need an experienced sex crimes attorney who can defend your rights and reputation in court.
Types of Sex Crimes
The U.S. considers a variety of illegal acts under the umbrella of sex crimes that involves any criminal allegation involving sexual activity. Florida statutes Chapters 775, 794, 796, 800, and others detail the definitions and penalties associated with different sex crimes in the state. These acts include:
- Sexual battery
- Sexual assault
- Statutory rape
- Date rape
- Child molestation
- Child pornography
- Lewd and lascivious conduct
- Indecent exposure
- Failure to register as a sex offender
Sex Crime Penalties
Florida was recently named the harshest state in terms of sex offender punishments. Even for a first time offense, the penalties for a sex crime in this state can be severe. Common consequences of a conviction for a sex crime include fines, community service, probation, court ordered counseling, registration as a sex offender, and restitution.
In addition to serving a prison sentence, prosecutors can now force sex offenders to also serve time in a civil commitment facility after their criminal sentence is complete. Known as the Jimmy Ryce Civil Commitment Act, this law allows state prosecutors, the Department of Corrections, and the Department of Children and Family Services (DCF) to determine the level of risk for reoffense for sex offenders in the state. Upon release from prison, you may be subject to civil proceedings and commitment to a secure facility for treatment, with no set release date.
Being placed on the sex offender registry will affect you for the rest of your life. The sex offender registry is made public, so anyone can see who is on the list. After registering as a sex offender, you must check in multiple times per year and update your driver’s license to reflect your new status.
As a sex offender, restrictions are placed on how close you can live to a park, school, or other location where children are usually found. Your ability to gain employment, government benefits, and vote can all be restricted, as well. If you are a parent, child custody decisions will also be affected by your new status, and it remains with you for life.
Contact a Sex Crimes Defense Attorney
Very few criminal accusations can destroy a person’s life quicker than an allegation of a sex crime. These charges are pursued very aggressively by prosecutors for many reasons, including the heightened attention by the news media in recent years. If you or someone that you know has been accused or arrested for a sex crime, reach out to an experienced attorney immediately for help with your case.