Clearwater Sex Crimes Lawyer
Sex crimes are among the most serious crimes chargeable in Florida. Defendants convicted of sex crimes can expect to face significant jail time, expensive fines, and other extremely harsh, life-altering penalties. Forced registration as a sex offender can affect the rest of your life, from where you can live to where you can work to what you have to say to your neighbors. Unfortunately, despite the serious nature of the charges, whether or not a defendant is convicted can wind up depending on a “he-said she-said” dispute.
If you have been accused of a sex crime, you need to talk to a seasoned Tampa Bay criminal defense attorney as soon as possible for advice and representation. A Clearwater sex crimes lawyer at King Law Group can help protect your rights and work to avoid the most serious consequences of a sex crime conviction. If there’s a lesser charge available, or if your charges should be dropped entirely, a zealous criminal defense lawyer at King Law Group will fight for the best resolution possible.
What Constitutes a Sex Crime?
Sex offenses generally involve forced or nonconsensual sexual acts, but they may involve consensual sexual acts with parties who are not legally able to consent as well as certain other consensual activities such as prostitution. At King Law Group, our Clearwater sex crime defense lawyer defends clients accused of a wide range of sex crimes, including:
- Sexual assault
- Sexual battery or rape
- Prostitution or solicitation
- Indecent exposure
- Failure to register as a sex offender
Sex Offender Registry
Defendants convicted of a sexual felony in the State of Florida are required to register as sex offenders. The aim of the requirement is to protect society, especially children, from alleged sexual predators. Sex offender registration is mandatory for defendants convicted of many sex crimes including:
- Sexual battery (including rape, spousal rape, and other forcible sex acts)
- Kidnapping and false imprisonment
- Offenses involving children
- Indecent exposure and other related offenses
Convicted offenders must provide their name and address as well as a variety of personal identifying information, including their physical appearance, employment, birthdate, contact information, social media, social security number, and fingerprints. Registered offenders must also obtain a new driver’s license listing their registration status. Offenders will either be registered for life or may petition the court for removal from the registry after 25 years with no criminal convictions.
Under Florida’s “Romeo and Juliet” law, there is a limited exception to the sex offender registry. If a defendant has consensual sex with a minor aged 13 to 17, and the defendant was no more than four years older than the minor, then the defendant might not be required to register as a sex offender. They may still be subjected to fines and/or imprisonment. A seasoned Clearwater criminal defense attorney can walk you through your available defenses and build your defense case.
Common Defenses to Sex Crime Charges
Defending against sex crime charges is a delicate matter that depends on the nature of the charges and the specific circumstances of the case. A defendant may be able to rebut the prosecution’s charges with a variety of defenses, including but not limited to the following: showing alibi or mistaken identity, proving the alleged victim consented to the sex act or demonstrating that the accused did not use force, the threat of force, or other means of duress. In some instances, the case can be undermined from the start by showing polygraph test results or proof that the alleged victim is making and/or has previously made false allegations.
Some defenses are simply not available, even if they might seem reasonable. For charges involving statutory rape even a reasonable mistake as to the victim’s age is not a defense. A defendant may be convicted so long as the sex act took place and the parties were of the requisite ages.
Sex Crime Defense Attorney Representing Clearwater Criminal Defendants
If you’ve been arrested or charged with a sex crime in the Tampa Bay area, you need to act now. A conviction for a sex crime can derail the rest of your life if you don’t put forth a proper legal defense. A knowledgeable Clearwater sex crime defense lawyer at King Law Group is ready to hear your case. At King Law Group, we put our clients first, and we make sure that they get the individual attention their case deserves. If you’ve been arrested or charged with sexual assault, sexual battery, indecent exposure, prostitution, rape, or other sex crimes in Clearwater, St. Petersburg, New Port Richey, Tampa or anywhere else in the Tampa Bay Area, call the Clearwater criminal defense legal team at King Law Group today for a free consultation.