Do you need a sex crimes defense lawyer in Vero Beach, FL?

Florida’s sex crime laws rank among the nation’s harshest, and the penalties can be severe. Anyone charged with a sex crime the state is facing two alarming prospects: the possibility of a lengthy prison sentence, and registered sex offender status, along with reputational damage and the potential loss of fundamental human rights.

If you face sex crime charges in Florida, you must seek experienced legal counsel immediately. Vero Beach Attorney Susan Chesnutt defends those facing a wide variety of sex crime charges, such as:

  • Sexual battery. Oral, anal, or vaginal contact with another person without their consent. Specific sexual battery charges depend on the victim’s age, the circumstances surrounding the offense, and whether the defendant used a weapon or threatened to do so. Aggravated sexual battery charges may be filed if the victim could not resist, was incapacitated or coerced into submission, or if the defendant was in a position of authority over the victim.
  • Lewd and lascivious offenses. Sexual crimes such as indecent exposure, exhibition in the presence of a child or an elderly or disabled person or via technology, sexual molestation, or committing an unnatural or lascivious act.
  • Florida criminalizes the act of prostitution, soliciting for prostitution, and engaging minors in prostitution. Traveling to meet a minor, including when facilitated by a parent, legal guardian, or custodian, is illegal, as is soliciting a child for unlawful sexual conduct via a computer or other electronic device.
  • Child pornography. The knowing possession, control, or viewing of child pornography, including visual depictions, motion pictures, exhibitions, images, data files, computer representations, or other presentations that include sexual conduct by a child, violates Florida law. Providing obscene materials, child pornography, and other harmful materials to a minor physically or through a computer or electronic device is illegal.
  • Sexual misconduct. Sex crimes involving misconduct between people in a position of trust and vulnerable individuals. Acts prohibited include sexual interactions with a patient, forensic client, psychotherapist’s patient, disabled individual, juvenile offenders, or inmates supervised by a correctional officer.

Many potential defenses might apply to sex crime charges, based on the circumstances. These include voluntary consent, false accusations, entrapment, and insufficient evidence. An experienced Florida criminal defense attorney will review the facts surrounding the case against you to build a valid defense to your charges.

Florida Sex Crime Investigations

A Florida criminal investigation into a sex crime may begin without a suspect’s knowledge. A case may arise during a sting operation in which law enforcement officers pose as minors to lure adults into engaging with them. Law enforcement may obtain warrants to tap phone lines or search electronic devices. At some point, they might interview a suspect to acquire evidence, sometimes making promises that cooperation might yield a lighter sentence or eliminate the requirement that they register as a sex offender.

However, those facing sex crime charges need to be aware of their constitutional rights, including refusing to talk to law enforcement or submitting to a search of their home, vehicle, workplace, computer, or other location without a warrant. Those charged with a sex crime also have the right to contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer for guidance.

Registered Sex Offender Status

In Florida, sexual predators are considered the most serious offenders, and lifetime registration is required for those convicted of the following crimes:

  • Child pornography
  • False imprisonment
  • Lewd and lascivious offenses involving a child under 16 or an elderly or disabled person
  • Luring or enticing a child
  • Kidnapping
  • Procuring a minor for prostitution
  • Selling or buying minors into sex trafficking or prostitution
  • Sexual battery
  • Sexual performance by a child
  • Unlawful sexual activity with a minor

Information regarding registered sex offenders is widely available to the public, and sex offenders moving to Florida from another state must also register.

Contact a Qualified Vero Beach Sex Crimes Defense Lawyer

Are you facing serious sex crime charges in Florida? Former prosecutor turned criminal defense attorney Susan Chesnutt knows Florida criminal law and has the experience necessary to protect your constitutional rights. If you are looking for an experienced lawyer to defend you against sex crime charges in Florida, contact our firm online or call 772-242-0524 today.