- Helping Clients with Their Legal Challenges for over 30 Years
- More than 10,000 People Helped
- 185 Jury Trials Handled
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Depend on Our Knowledge and Experience
Sexual offenses are among the most harshly prosecuted crimes handled by experienced Tampa sex crimes lawyers. If you’re convicted of a sex crime, you’re at risk of strict and life-altering penalties that are better discussed than experienced. Beyond the legal consequences, you may also face stigma and alienation from society, limited housing and employment opportunities, and many more devastating consequences.
If you have been charged with a sex crime, you need to take action immediately to avoid the impact this charge can have on your life. The most effective way to do this is by contacting an experienced sex crimes defense attorney from Taracks & Associates. When you hire our sex crimes defense lawyer, you can feel confident that we will defend you in and out of court. Our goal is to help protect your legal rights throughout the legal process while working tirelessly to defend your reputation.
Contact our Tampa sex crimes attorney at (813) 344-5079 to schedule an initial consultation now.
Everything You Need to Know About The Sex Offender Registry in Florida
Learn The Essential Facts About Florida Sex Offender Registration
In Florida, a sex crime conviction typically comes with devastating lifelong effects. These often extend beyond prison time or when you complete other penalties. One of the most serious and challenging ones is the risk of being registered on the state’s sex offender list.
Florida maintains a sex offenders registry that contains the names, addresses, pictures, and physical descriptions of most convicted sex offenders in the state. The sex crimes that require you to register as a sex offender are stipulated in Florida Statute 943.0435 and include:
- Sexual battery
- Lewd and lascivious offenses
- Child molestation
- Child pornography
- Child prostitution
- False imprisonment
- Unlawful sexual activity with minors
- Use of a child in a sexual performance
- Selling and buying of minors.
Being a registered sex offender in Florida comes with devastating implications. For example, you may not be allowed to live specific distances from a school or other places with a large population of children. Worse still, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) maintains a public database of registered sex offenders. This means that anyone curious enough to search can find information about your conviction on their website.
It’s worth noting that Florida works to aggressively prosecute sex crimes. So, it’s only wise to hire an even more experienced and tenacious lawyer to help you with a solid sex crimes defense. Otherwise, you’re at high risk of a conviction and, by extension, being in Florida’s sex offender registry.
This is why we recommend that you don’t hesitate to contact our Tampa sex crimes lawyer immediately after an arrest. The earlier you get legal backing, the more time your attorney has to develop a foolproof defense on your behalf. Our team can help with each step of the process, from the investigation and arrest charge to your defense. Regardless of the case you present, we aim to help you achieve the best possible outcomes.
Hiring us means that you have a professional on your side to protect you from a conviction and the serious accompanying penalties. In the worst cases where it’s impossible to get the charges dismissed, we’ll work tirelessly to mitigate them.
What Are The Potential Penalties For Sex Crimes in Florida?
Discover How Severe Your Sex Crime Charge Is
The severity of the crime you are accused of determines the potential penalties that you will face. For many sex crimes, you must register on the state’s sex offender list. Other potential penalties in these cases include:
- Time in prison
- Significant fines
- Payment of court fees and costs
- Involuntary commitment to a treatment program.
Each of these penalties can have lasting negative consequences that impact your life now and in the coming years. The best way to fight a sex crime conviction and avoid these severe penalties is to get in touch with our sex crime attorneys.
At Taracks & Associates, our integrity precedes us, and we wouldn’t deceive you as to what your chances are. So, it’s not possible to guarantee that we will help you get a “not guilty” verdict. However, you can count on our legal team to fight aggressively to help you avoid a conviction. We’ll also do everything we can to ensure that you don’t have to register for the Florida sex offenders list.
Types of Sex Offenses Our Legal Team Can Help You Fight
We Handle A Wide Range of Sex Crime Cases
Florida state laws define an array of sex offenses that range from misdemeanors to felonies. Regardless of the charge you are facing, you can count on our attorneys to aggressively defend you against them.
Some of the cases we commonly handle include:
Sexual Battery (FSS § 794.011)
Sexual battery is also commonly referred to as sexual assault or rape. This offense describes oral, anal, or female genital penetration of a victim without their consent. While many sexual battery cases involve penetration with a sex organ, they also include sexual acts performed with an object. However, acts done for a legitimate medical purpose do not fall under this classification.
Note that there are different classifications of sexual battery depending on their severity and the ages of the parties involved. For example, sexual battery on a victim of 12 to 18 years old is a felony punishable by up to life in prison and $15,000 fines. However, if the perpetrator is above 17 years old and the victim is under 12 years old, it becomes a capital felony.
Child Pornography (FSS § 775.0847)
Transmitting, viewing, or possessing child pornography is a serious sex offense in Florida. Florida’s laws describe child pornography as any image that portrays a minor (a person younger than 18 years old) engaged in a sexual activity. These images may be in photographs, exhibitions, motion pictures, or computer depictions.
According to Florida Law, each child pornography image is treated and prosecuted as a separate crime or count. So, an accused may be charged with numerous counts of child pornography, with four or more counts attracting a mandatory prison sentence.
Meanwhile, it becomes aggravated possession of child pornography when the accused is charged with up to 10 counts of child pornography. Under this category, at least one of the images involves a child less than 5 years old, sexual battery, sadomasochistic abuse, sexual bestiality, or a movie. Aggravated possession of child pornography is a second-degree felony in Florida. It’s punishable by up to 15 years’ imprisonment, probation, and a fine of $10,000.
Sex Crimes Against Children (FSS § 794.011 and 794.05)
Unlawful sexual activity with a minor is an offense in Florida. This category of sexual crime happens between a perpetrator who is at least 24 years old with a victim of 16 or 17 years old. It is a second-degree felony, punishable by up to 15 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Individuals convicted of unlawful sexual activity with a child are also expected to register as sex offenders.
Note that the penalties for this crime may be worse if the perpetrator was an authority figure in the victim’s school. If the sexual misconduct resulted in pregnancy, the perpetrator will also be required to pay child support.
Failure to Register as a Sex Offender (FSS § 943.0435(2))
It’s an offense to refuse to register as a sex offender if you were convicted of a qualifying sex crime. In Florida, failure to meet the sex offender registration requirements is a third-degree felony that carries the following punishments:
- Up to 5 years’ imprisonment
- $5,000 fines
- Revoked probation.
Note that, in some cases, failure to register as a sex offender may be considered a second-degree felony. If this is the case, punishment is up to 15 years’ imprisonment, among other things.
There are various defenses for failing to meet the sex offender requirements in Florida. For example, you can show that the local offender registration office was closed for business on the reporting date. This may have been due to a natural disaster, holiday, or similar occurrence.
Another defense against failing to register is that you were misinformed or prevented from doing so by law enforcement.
Lewd or Lascivious Offenses (FSS § 800.04)
Lewd and lascivious offenses refer to sexual acts done on children of at least 12 to under 16 years old. Individuals can be charged with lewd or lascivious offenses even if the victim consented to the act. It also doesn’t matter if the victim lied about their age at the time the offense was committed.
Also referred to as statutory rape, this offense encompasses a wide range of conduct and can be carried out in many forms. For example, intentionally touching the victim’s buttocks, genitals, and chest or engaging them to do the same is lewd and lascivious molestation. Meanwhile, masturbating or exposing genitals for the victim to see falls under lewd and lascivious exhibition.
Lewd and lascivious acts cut across various degrees of felonies. The penalties in every case depend on numerous factors, including the defendant’s prior convictions and the type of lascivious conduct.
Internet Sex Crimes (FSS § 847.0135(3)(a) and (3)(b))
Under Florida’s laws, it’s an offense to lure a child into committing sex acts over the internet. It’s also a crime to encourage the child’s parent, custodian, or guardian to permit them to engage in sexual conduct.
Internet sex crimes of this nature are third-degree felonies, punishable by up to 5 years in jail and a fine of $5,000. However, if the accused misrepresented their age at the time of the offense, it becomes a second-degree felony. Convicted persons will also be required to register as sex offenders.
No matter what type of charge you are facing, the law provides rights to every accused person. These rights will limit how the police can investigate the crime and the way that prosecutors can present evidence against you.
You can count on our Florida sex crime attorneys to fight for your rights and help you build a strong defense. We’ll carefully scrutinize the prosecutor’s case to discover loopholes that we can leverage to advocate for the best outcome in your case.
What Will My Tampa Sex Crimes Lawyer Do to Defend My Case?
We’ll Leave No Stone Unturned in Fighting for Your Freedom
Every sex crime case is unique and characterized by distinct facts and consequences. As such, our legal team will plan your defense strategy according to your case’s specifics. However, regardless of the special details of your situation, the goal remains to determine the best course of action.
At Taracks & Associates, our first approach is to show the court that you didn’t commit the crime and enter a “not guilty” plea. However, if you have to plead “no contest” or “guilty” to achieve a reduced sentence, we’ll negotiate a plea deal on your behalf. Every plea carries unique consequences. We will ensure that you fully understand what these are before your case goes to court.
Find out below how we’ll painstakingly handle your case based on your plea:
Entering A Not-Guilty Plea
If you choose to plead not guilty to the charge, our team will work to prove your innocence in several ways. This will typically include putting holes in the victim’s story, showing issues for a false accusation, and showcasing your alibi. Depending on the specifics of your case, we may argue mistaken identity or show that the alleged victim gave consent. Other options include proving diminished capacity and finding procedural mistakes made by the prosecution or police in the investigation and arrest.
Working to Negotiate A Plea Deal
In some situations, it’s smart to arrange with the prosecuting attorney to create a plea deal. Usually, this will include your pleading no contest or guilty to the accusations against you to receive a reduced sentence.
Negotiating a plea deal can help to reduce the impact of a trial for everyone who is involved, including your family. Some clients also find it an effective option to avoid the requirement to register as a Florida sex offender.
Entering A No-Contest Plea
If you’re willing to accept the facts of your case without admitting guilt, a plea of no contest may be your best option. By pleading no contest, you can avoid going to trial, and the ruling can’t be used against you during future proceedings.
Besides providing quality legal representation in court, our attorneys will also:
- Offer you sound legal advice and guidance
- Investigate your case to discover hidden facts
- Gather relevant evidence to support your case
- Offer you adequate moral support to boldly navigate the challenges in your case.
Find out more about how we will put up a good fight against your sex crimes charges. Dial (813) 344-5079 ASAP.
Why Choose Us?
Our Aggressive Tampa Sex Crimes Attorneys Are Experienced and Tactful
When you contact our legal team at Taracks & Associates for help with your sex crime case, you can feel confident that you will be treated with respect and dignity. Every professional courtesy will be extended to each client we represent, and our office offers a professional and comfortable atmosphere. Whether you need legal services for yourself or for a loved one who has been accused of a sex crime, our attorneys at Taracks & Associates are ready to help.
As a top criminal defense law firm in the Tampa area, you can count on us to review the details of the charges against you. Our goal is to create an effective defense strategy to help you with your case. If the case the prosecution has built against you is weak, we will work to have the charges reduced or even dropped. If the case against you is more persuasive and a conviction is likely, you can count on us to work hard to have the charge or the penalties reduced. We can also request alternative sentencing for your situation.
Frequently Asked Questions
Channel All Your Questions to Our Competent Tampa Sex Crimes Attorneys
When it comes to sex crimes in Florida, it’s not unusual to have concerns about the charges and how they may impact your life. Fortunately, our legal team is here to answer all questions you have.
Here are our responses to some of the most common questions our clients ask our legal team:
Who Is A Sexual Predator?
Based on the Florida Sexual Predators Act, sexual predators include sex offenders who prey on children. Repeat sex offenders and sex offenders who employ physical violence are also categorized as sexual predators under the Act. These categories of offenders must also have a court order that designates them as sexual predators.
What Is Considered a Sex Crime?
Child pornography, child molestation, sexual battery, internet sex crimes, and several other offenses are considered sex crimes in Florida. Generally, sex crimes refer to categories of offenses where a sexual act is performed on an unwilling victim. In other cases, the victim didn’t have the legal capacity to consent to sex due to their age or mental illness.
Will A Sex Crime Conviction Ruin My Life?
Yes, a conviction for a sex crime will likely ruin your life. If you are charged with a sex crime, it will come with an extensive list of consequences that go beyond just time in jail. When you are registered as a sex offender, this can limit where you can live, who will hire you, whether you can qualify for some loans, and other negative consequences which are devastating and can affect every area of your life.
How Can I Get Off The Sex Offender List in Florida?
Young sex offenders can use the Romeo and Juliet Law to get their names off the sex offenders register in Florida. According to this law, consensual sex with a teenage victim is excused in some situations if the accused was less than 4 years older than the victim at the time of the offense. Ex-convicts may also petition for delisting after 25 years of maintaining a clean record. Other ways to erase a name from the sex offender list include an executive pardon and a successful appeal.
Is A Florida Sex Offense Considered A Federal Crime?
Most sex crime cases that occur in the state of Florida will be tried in state courts. However, in some more serious situations, where there are several states involved, sex crimes may fall under federal jurisdiction. For example, if you cross the state line and have the intent to engage in some type of sexual activity with a minor child, then it would be charged as a federal sex crime. You can find a listing of all the types of sex crimes that fall under federal jurisdiction in Title 18 of the Federal Code.
Our compassionate Tampa sex crimes attorneys are eager to respond to the burning questions on your mind. So don’t hesitate to contact us with all your queries and worries.
Let Our Tampa Sex Crime Attorneys Help You with Your Case
We Understand The Nitty-Gritty of Your Sex Crime Charge
If you’re facing sex crime charges in Tampa, you’re not alone. Many individuals who have been accused of a sex crime are good people. They have jobs and pay their taxes and often don’t have any prior criminal activity. Unfortunately, it takes just one mistake or misunderstanding to result in a serious and life-changing criminal charge.
The good news, however, is that our attorneys are always ready to help you fight your Tampa sex crime charges. No matter the severity of your case, you can count on our legal team to take all necessary steps to mitigate it. At Taracks & Associates, we have several years of experience handling cases just like yours. We’re recognized in our industry for successfully helping our clients achieve the best possible outcomes for their cases.
There’s no question that a sex crime conviction can impact your life in many ways. We are here to help minimize this impact while ensuring you get the quality legal representation you need and deserve.
Do you want to get started on a solid defense for your sex crime charge? Then call our legal team at (813) 344-5079 now. We offer all clients a free initial consultation and are ready to begin the fight for your freedom immediately.