When it comes to sex crimes and state law, Florida has a very serious and punitive stance on charges involving illegal sexual acts. While the main purpose of Florida law is to protect the innocent from true predators, there have been cases in when exaggeration and/or false accusations have occurred and resulted in unnecessary arrests.
Regardless of the circumstances surrounding your sex crime case within West Palm Beach County or the surrounding areas, you still have rights as an American citizen and are innocent until proven guilty. A skilled and qualified criminal defense lawyer in West Palm Beach can help you protect your rights and work for you against any sex offender bias in the court system.
West Palm Beach Sex Crime Defense Attorney
A conviction for a sex crime can and will have life-long effects on your future. If you have been arrested for a sex crime in West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Greenacres, Jupiter, Lake Worth, Palm Beach Gardens, Riviera Beach, Royal Palm Beach, Wellington, or anywhere else in Palm Beach County, contact Andrew D. Stine, P.A. immediately. When considering an attorney as part of your defense strategy for sex crimes, it is best to contact him as soon as possible after your arrest.
Andrew Stine is an experienced West Palm Beach criminal defense attorney whose prior service as an army medic and a public defender give him a militant detention to detail and a strong knowledge of the Florida criminal justice system that could be beneficial to your sex crime case. With over 10 years of experience serving criminal defense clients like you, he knows what you’re up against as an alleged sex offender and how to fight both to protect your rights and to achieve a favorable outcome.
To find out more about what Andrew D. Stine, P.A. can do for your sex crime case in Palm Beach County, call 561.880.4300 today and schedule your free initial case consultation.
Palm Beach County Sex Crime Information Center
- Florida Sex Crimes in Palm Beach County
- Penalties for Sex Crimes in Florida
- Sex Crime Resources in Palm Beach County
Florida code is very punitive when it comes to the sensitive nature of sex crimes and how to govern them. The statutes for these offenses are often very detailed, and they are spread out within Florida law. Prosecution in West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, and the surrounding areas have pursued many different types of cases involving sex crime, including the following:
- Prostitution Fla. Stat. § 797.067 – Prostitution, which is also known as solicitation, is the giving for hire and/or receiving for hire a person’s body for the purpose of sexual contact. In the state of Florida, it is against the law to offer another person or offer to secure another person for the purpose of paid sexual contact, to offer to commit prostitution, to solicit, induce, entice, or procure another person to engage in prostitution, or to purchase services of prostitution. Related prostitution offenses include:
- When a person chooses to establish, own, maintain, acquire, or operate any location, place, structure, or conveyance (such as a brothel) for the purpose of paid sexual contact
- When a person chooses to enter, reside, or remain in a place, structure or conveyance for the purpose of prostitution
- When a person chooses to assist with directions, take, transport, or offers to assist with directions, take, or transport a person to a location with knowledge or reasonable cause to believe it promotes prostitution
- Sexual Battery: Fla. Stat. § 794.011 – Also known as rape, sexual battery is when there is penetration, whether that penetration be oral, anal, vaginal by or union with the sexual organ of another or object. Rape/sexual battery offenses are felonies, with the degree pending factors like age and condition of the victim, if there was use of force, and the relationship of the offender to the victim. When the act is an instance of gang rape, known as sexual battery by multiple perpetrators in Fla. Stat. § 794.011, the offense is reclassified to be one degree higher.
- Lewd Conduct: Fla. Stat. §§ 800.02-800.34, 800.09 – Committing any unnatural and lascivious act is considered an offense of lewd conduct under Florida Code. Generally, lewd conduct means the commission of any blatant or sexually suggestive activity in public. Under Fla. Stat. § 800.03, indecent exposure of one’s sexual organs is considered lewd conduct – the only exception being when a mother is breastfeeding her child. Other offenses classified under lewd conduct include:
- Lewd or lascivious battery
- Lewd or lascivious molestation (Fla. Stat. § 800.04(5))
- Lascivious or lewd exhibition
- Lascivious or lewd conduct with a minor under the age of 16
These and other sex offenses are handled very punitively under Florida law, and thus come with extremely serious penalties. Due to the highly sensitive nature of these offenses, you are strongly encouraged to quickly hire an experienced West Palm Beach sex crime defense attorney. When considering a skilled and knowledgeable defense lawyer as part of your Palm Beach County sex crime defense strategy, it is best to contact him as soon as possible after your arrest so he can begin to build your case immediately.
Depending on the offense, the classification of sex offenses ranges all the way from a second-degree misdemeanor sex crime penalized with jail time and fines to a capital felony sex crime which may qualify for the death penalty. A second-degree misdemeanor sex offense in West Palm Beach County, such as prostitution, is punishable by a maximum of 60 days in jail and a fine of $500.
The next class up of sex crimes are first-degree misdemeanors with up to a year in jail and/or fines up to $1,000. Felony sex crimes come with additional required Florida felony sanctions like the loss of certain civil rights and the ineligibility for specific government aid on top of presumptive prison and monetary penalties.
Florida defines felonies according to two different types: those classified by degrees, and those classified by penalties. The majority of felony sex crimes in Florida are classified by degrees. For instance, a sex crime that is punishable as a third-degree felony carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $5,000 fine, while a sex offense that is a second-degree felony comes with a maximum of 15 years in prison (generally with a five-year mandatory minimum) and a $10,000 fine.
First-degree felony sex crimes, such as certain instances of rape, are punishable by up to 30 years in prison or a life sentence and up to $10,000 in fines. The following are some of the types of Florida sex offenses and their specific offense class that determines the related penalties:
- Unnatural, lewd or lascivious acts with another person
- A resolution or verdict that doesn’t render acquittal or dismissal results in $5,000 fine
- Indecent exposure
- Lewd conduct
- Minor exhibiting lewd or lascivious acts towards victim under 16 years of age
- Minor conducts lewd or lascivious act on victim under 16
- A minor molests a victim 12-16 years of age
- Lewd or lascivious conduct in a federal/local correctional facility in front of state employee
- Rape or sexual battery of a minor by a person with family or custodial authority, regardless of consent given
- Lewd or lascivious exhibition or conduct by an adult to victim under 16
- Conduct by a minor of lewd and lascivious acts with victim under 12
- Molestation or battery by an adult with victim between 12-16 years of age
- Lewd or lascivious battery with prostitution, sexual abuse, or other sexual acts
- Rape/sexual battery of victim 12 years old or older, no signs of force or violence used
- Sexual battery/rape of victim 12 years old or older:
- Who is physically helpless to resist
- Who is physically incapacitated
- When offender knows or should know victim is mentally defective
- Who is threatened with force, violence or retaliation
- With involvement of date rape drug or other substances
- When offender is a law enforcement officer
- By a person with family or custodial authority, regardless of consent
The other type of felony sex crimes are those classified by penalties. This included life felony sex crimes and capital felony sex crimes. A life felony sex crime carries a fine of up to $15,000 and a strong likelihood of spending life in prison without parole. If the case involves a capital felony sex crime, it is eligible for the death penalty, or possibly life in prison without parole. Generally, life felony sex crimes and capital felony sex crimes are those that involve a victim under the age of 12, the use of force, or the use of a deadly weapon.
Following the conviction of a sex crime, sex offenders and sexual predators are required by law to register with their county’s sheriff’s office. This is in accordance with Chapter 775 of the Florida Statutes. Registration must be done four times a year, for the rest of their natural life, for felons who are convicted of sexual battery, rape, and other related offenses. An experienced and knowledgeable West Palm Beach sex crime defense lawyer can help you protect your rights and fight the stigma and potential bias of sex crimes while defending your sex offense case in and around Palm Beach County.
Florida Department of Law Enforcement Sex Offender Reporting Requirements – The FDLE is the statewide agency in Florida that regulates reporting requirements for sex offenders in this state. Follow this link for more information on the specific registering requirements for Florida sex offenders as presented on the FDLE’s website. The FDLE regional office for Palm Beach County can be contacted at:Miami Regional Operations Center
1030 NW 111th Avenue
Miami, FL 33172
West Palm Beach Field Office: (561) 740-7010
Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers, Florida Chapter – The Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers (ATSA) is a national organization that aims to prevent sexual abuse through research, shared learning, and evidence-based practice. Visit this link to the website for the Florida State Chapter of ATSA, whose members offer evaluations and treatment of sex offenders, sexual predators, their family members, and their victims.
Florida Statutes Chapter 794 – When facing a sex crime in Florida, it is important to understand the specific statutory offense you are charged with. Follow this link to Chapter 794 of the Florida Statutes, provided online by the Florida Legislature. This is the chapter that deals with rape, sexual battery, statutory rape, gang rape, and other related sex crimes.
Andrew D. Stine, P.A. | Sex Crime Defense Lawyer in Palm Beach County
If you have been arrested and charged for a sex crime such as prostitution, indecent exposure, or rape anywhere in Palm Beach County, including West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Greenacres, Jupiter, Lake Park, Lantana, North Palm Beach, Pahokee, Palm Beach, Palm Springs, Tequesta, and the surrounding areas, contact Andrew D. Stine, P.A. as soon as possible after your arrest to immediately begin exploring your defense options. Andrew Stine has over 10 years of criminal defense experience and knows what it takes to advocate for clients like you. Your first consultation is free, so call 561.880.4300 today and schedule yours.