If you have been charged with a sex crime in Delray Beach, or its surrounding areas, the risks are simply too high to go through your case alone. Delray Beach sex crimes lawyers understand how devastating these types of charges can be, which is why they offer a vigorous defense for their clients. Contact an experienced sex crimes defense attorney right away to begin building your case.
What is a Sex Crime in Florida?
Under Florida law, there are many types of offenses that are classified as sex crimes. Most of these offenses can be categorized as crimes of sexual violence. However, there are a few crimes that are sexual in nature, but that do not necessarily involve the use of or threat of force, coercion, or exploitation.
While some sexually motivated offenses are classified as misdemeanors, the vast majority of sex crimes in Florida are felonies. Crimes of sexual violence are felony offenses of variable degrees, depending on the particular circumstances of the case, whether any aggravating factors are present, prior convictions, and the age of the accuser.
Crimes of Sexual Violence
Sexual violence is not defined by Florida statutes or case law, but it generally means any non-consensual sexual conduct or activity committed by one person against another. The two most common types of sexual violence crime charges are sexual battery and lewd or lascivious acts.
Crimes of sexual violence in Delray Beach, Florida, include, but are not limited to the following:
- Sexual battery
- Human trafficking
- Child pornography offenses
- Lewd or lascivious offenses committed upon or in the presence of persons under 16 years of age
- Lewd or lascivious offenses committed upon or in the presence of an elderly person or disabled person
- Unlawful sexual activity with persons 16 or 17 years of age (statutory rape)
Crimes of sexual violence between adults will often center on the issue of consent. Under Florida Statutes 794.011(1)(a), consent means intelligent, knowing, and voluntary consent, which does not include coerced submission. The age of consent in Florida is 18.
With a few limited exceptions, the age of consent law means that persons under the age of 18 cannot legally consent to sex. Sexual conduct between minors and adults is a violation of the law regardless of whether the minor gave consent. Consequently, ignorance of age is not a valid defense in cases involving an unlawful sexual activity or conduct with a minor.
Other Types of Sexually Motivated Offenses
Florida criminalizes a wide variety of acts that are sexually motivated, but, by their definition, do not constitute crimes of sexual violence. Examples include:
- Sexual cyber harassment
- Solicitation for prostitution
- Committing an unnatural or lascivious act
- Indecent exposure
What are the Potential Penalties Following a Sex Crime Conviction?
Any person convicted of a violation of sex crimes laws in Delray Beach faces the possibility of prison time, significant fines, and having to register as either a sex offender or predator. Florida law distinguishes between the designations of sexual predator and sexual offender.
Sexual offender means someone who has been convicted of a qualifying sexual offense and was released on or after October 1, 1997. A sexual predator designation can be given to anyone who has been convicted of a first-degree felony sex offense or two second-degree felony sex offenses within a 10 year period provided the crimes occurred after October of 2003.
Contact a Delray Beach Sex Crimes Lawyer
Delray Beach sex crimes attorneys are prepared to begin assisting you immediately and will help you fight to obtain the best possible outcome under the circumstances. Contact a skilled attorney today to learn how they provide personalized criminal defense representation for each client.