Being charged with any sex crime can have devastating consequences both in the short and long terms. These penalties could include heavy fines and extensive jail time, as well as additional personal and financial losses. No matter your situation, you have a legal right to defense.
If you were charged with a sex crime, you could benefit from speaking with a Lake Worth sex crimes lawyer from Leifert & Leifert about your options. Working with one of our professional defense attorneys could be the best way to build a strong case to protect your freedom.
Defining Sex Crimes
The term “sex crime” applies to a wide variety of offenses in Florida. A knowledgeable Lake Worth sex crimes lawyer could explain the nature of potential charges you might face. Examples of such crimes include, but are not limited to:
- Child molestation
- Indecent exposure
- Possession of child pornography
- Sexual assault
- Sexual misconduct
Penalties and Consequences in Lake Worth
The specifics of a charge and the Defendant’s criminal history, if any, usually determine what penalties are imposed on anyone who is convicted of or pleads guilty to a sex crime in Florida. In general, all such crimes are categorized as either Misdemeanors or Felonies and are further delineated by degrees, with “first-degree” crimes being more significant and therefore having higher potential penalties.
The potential sex crime penalties in Florida are as follows:
- First-Degree Misdemeanor: up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000
- Second-Degree Misdemeanor: up to 60 days in county jail and a fine of up to $500
- Third-Degree Felony: up to five years in prison and up to a $5,000 fine
- Second-Degree Felony: up to 15 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine
- First-Degree Felony: up to 30 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine
- Capitol Felony: the death penalty or a life sentence without the possibility of parole
Further Penalties for Sex Crimes
In addition to potential fines and a jail term, anyone who is convicted of a sex-related felony in Lake Worth is automatically deemed to be a “sexual offender” and therefore required to register with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s Sexual Offenders and Predators System. These registered offenders are restricted in terms of where they can live and work, must comply with imposed curfews, and attend mandatory sex offender counseling.
Furthermore, some alleged sex crimes, such as possession of child pornography, can also lead to additional charges based on the use of electronic devices and the internet. Because those additional charges often involve actions that cross state lines, it is not uncommon for someone who has been charged with such crimes in Lake Worth to also be charged with one or more Federal crimes.
The Possibility of Civil Commitment
In addition to being subject to incarceration and other criminal penalties, anyone convicted of a sex crime in Florida may also be subject to a “civil commitment” proceeding. Per this process, a sex offender may be detained at a separate mental health/correctional facility after they have completed their sentence of imprisonment. This additional penalty makes Florida a particularly harsh state for convicted sex offenders to be arrested in, making the representation of a dedicated sex crimes lawyer in Lake Worth perhaps all the more critical.
How a Lake Worth Sex Crimes Attorney Could Help
If you were charged with any type of sex crime, you may wish to immediately consult an experienced Lake Worth sex crimes lawyer. Doing so could help to ensure that all your rights are protected as best they can be, and that all the facts and circumstances regarding your case are fully and fairly presented for consideration. For a free consultation and case review by a dedicated Leifert & Leifert attorney, call today.