TAMPA SEX CRIMES LAWYER
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Sex offenses are taken very seriously in the state of Florida, and those accused stand to face severe penalties. Any type of unlawful sexual activity carries with it a harsh stigma and requires aggressive defense from an experienced criminal attorney to protect the accused’s freedom and future. If you’re facing a sex crime charge in Florida, you need a Tampa sex crime defense attorney like Andrew Buda on your side to fight these very serious charges.
Buda Law is a criminal defense law firm based in Tampa, Florida that provides legal representation for individuals charged with sex crimes. Sex crime defense is a complex area of law, and the attorneys at Buda Law have extensive experience defending clients against these types of charges. They understand that being accused of a sex crime can have a devastating impact on a person’s life, and they work tirelessly to ensure that their client’s rights and future are protected.
Types of Sex Crimes We Handle
As a Tampa sex crime defense attorney, Andrew Buda has experience handling a wide range of sex crime charges. This includes sexual assault, sexual battery, child pornography, prostitution, lewd or lascivious conduct, and indecent exposure, among others. Attorney Andrew Buda understands that being accused of a sex crime can be a traumatic experience, and he is dedicated to providing his clients with the legal representation they need to defend themselves against these charges. He believes that every person deserves a strong defense, and he is committed to advocating for his client’s rights and interests at every stage of the legal process.
Andrew Buda has the knowledge and legal experience necessary to handle even the most complex sex crime cases, and he works tirelessly to ensure that his clients receive the best possible outcome in their cases.
Sexual assault refers to any non-consensual sexual conduct between two individuals, whether threatened, attempted, or actual. Depending on the circumstances of the case, sexual assault can be classified as a first-degree felony punishable by up to life in prison or a second-degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
Additionally, individuals convicted of sexual assault in Florida may be required to register as sex offenders and comply with strict reporting requirements. It’s important to note that consent is a crucial factor in any sexual encounter in Florida and that lack of consent is a fundamental element of sexual assault cases.
Sexual battery law in Florida can be found under Florida Statute § 794.011 and is defined as oral, anal, or female genital penetration by the sexual organ of another or by any other object without the person’s consent. Depending on the facts of the case, such as the age of the victim and the defendant’s prior criminal record, sexual battery may be charged as a second-degree felony, first-degree felony, life felony, or even capital felony. This means those convicted of sexual battery may face anywhere between 15 years to life imprisonment.
Lewd or Lascivious Act
Lewd or Lascivious Battery
Lewd or lascivious battery, also known as statutory rape, is a type of sex crime that involves engaging in sexual activity with a child who is between the ages of 12 and 16. Specifically, it is defined as engaging in sexual activity with a child who is at least 12 years old but younger than 16 years old when the offender is 18 years of age or older.
Lewd or lascivious battery can include any sexual act, such as intercourse, oral sex, or touching of intimate body parts. This crime is considered a second-degree felony offense in Florida and is punishable by up to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. The offense may be raised to a first-degree felony if the offender has a prior record of sexual crimes against children.
Lewd or Lascivious Molestation
Lewd or lascivious molestation in Florida is defined as intentional touching of the genitals, genital area, buttocks, or breasts, either directly or through clothing, for the purpose of sexual gratification. The touching may be committed by the offender or by the child on the offender’s instruction. Lewd or lascivious molestation is a felony offense in Florida, and the severity of the penalty depends on the circumstances of the crime.
If the offender is 18 years or older and the victim is below the age of 12, it is considered a life felony. If the victim is between the ages of 12 and 16 or the offender is below the age of 18, it is a second-degree felony. If the offender is below the age of 18 and the victim is between the ages of 12 and 16, it is a third-degree felony. The offense may also be raised to a first-degree felony if the offender has a prior record of sexual crimes against children.
Lewd or Lascivious Conduct
Lewd or lascivious conduct is defined as intentionally touching a person under the age of 16 in a lewd or lascivious manner or soliciting a person under the age of 16 to commit a lewd or lascivious act. The penalties for this crime also depend on the age of the offender. If the offender is 18 or older, it is a felony in the second-degree. If they are below the age of 18, it is considered a third-degree felony.
Lewd or Lascivious Exhibition
Lewd or lascivious exhibition, also known as indecent exposure, is a sexual offense that occurs when a person masturbates, exposes their genitals, or intentionally commits a sexual act “that does not involve actual physical or sexual contact with the victim” in the presence of a person who is below the age of 16. An offender 18 years or older who commits lewd or lascivious exhibition commits a second-degree felony, while an offender less than 18 years of age commits a third-degree felony.
Child pornography is defined as any image depicting a minor (below the age of 18) engaged in sexual conduct. Possessing, transmitting, manufacturing, and distributing child pornography are all illegal under Florida Statutes §§ 847.0135, 847.0138 and 827.071. Child pornography charges are typically classified as a third-degree felony.
Under Florida law (Statute § 985.701), sexual misconduct refers to “fondling the genital area, groin, inner thighs, buttocks, or breasts of a person,” the “oral, anal, or vaginal penetration by or union with the sexual organ of another,” or “the anal or vaginal penetration of another by any other object.”
The crime of sexual misconduct is reserved for employees working in a department program who commit a sex offense against a juvenile offender (that is, a person who is detained or supervised by the department in question). Those guilty of sexual misconduct in Florida face a second-degree felony, punishable by up to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
Prostitution is illegal in the state of Florida and carries severe penalties for those convicted. In Florida, prostitution is defined as the exchange of sexual acts for money or other items of value. The penalties for prostitution charges in Florida depend on the specific circumstances of the offense. For a first offense, the penalty may include fines, community service, and a mandatory HIV test. For subsequent offenses, the penalties may be more severe and can include jail time, a permanent criminal record, and mandatory enrollment in a diversion program.
Consequences for a Sex Crime Conviction in Florida
Being convicted of a sex crime in Florida can have severe and long-lasting consequences. Depending on the severity of the crime, the potential consequences can include lengthy prison sentences, large fines, and sex offender registration. Below, we’ll list the maximum penalties for sex crime convictions based on the degree of the felony:
- First-Degree Felonies: Up to 30 years in prison and a maximum of $10,000 in fines.
- Second-Degree Felonies: A max of 15 years in prison and $10,000 in fines.
- Third-Degree Felonies: Up to 5 years in prison and $5,000 in fines.
- Life Felonies: Life in prison and a maximum fine of $15,000.
- Capital Felonies: The death penalty or life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Additionally, a conviction for a sex crime can damage your reputation, limit your employment opportunities, and restrict your ability to live in certain areas or be near schools or other public places. In Florida, those on the sex offender registry are required to register with law enforcement and regularly update their information, including their name, address, and photograph. This information is then made available to the public, potentially leading to harassment, discrimination, and social stigma.
These consequences can make it challenging to move on with your life after a conviction for a sex crime. It is crucial to take any sex crime charge seriously and seek the help of an experienced Tampa felony defense lawyer to protect your rights and minimize the potential consequences.
Possible Defenses to Sex Crime Charges
The sex crime lawyers at Buda Law employ a variety of defense strategies to help their clients achieve the best possible outcome in their cases. They understand that each case is unique and requires a tailored approach, which is why they work closely with their clients to develop a strong defense strategy. This may include challenging the evidence presented by the prosecution, questioning the credibility of witnesses, or arguing that the alleged conduct did not meet the legal definition of a sex crime.
There are a variety of other defenses that can be used to challenge charges for crimes of a sexual nature in Florida, depending on the specific circumstances of the case. Some more examples of possible defenses for sex crime cases include:
- Consent: If the alleged victim willingly engaged in sexual activity, it may be possible to argue that the activity was consensual.
- Mistaken identity: If the defendant can prove that they were not present at the time of the alleged offense or that they were mistaken for someone else, they may be able to avoid conviction.
- Lack of evidence: If the prosecution does not have enough evidence to prove that the defendant committed the crime, it may be possible to have the charges dropped or reduced.
- Coercion: If the defendant was forced or coerced into engaging in sexual activity, they may be able to argue that they were not acting of their own free will.
- Mental incapacity: If the defendant has a mental illness or disability that prevents them from understanding the nature of their actions, they may be able to use this as a defense.
It is important to note that every case is unique, and the defenses that are available will depend on the specific facts of the case. An experienced Tampa criminal defense attorney like Andrew Buda can help assess the circumstances of the case and determine the best sex crimes defense strategy.
Why You Need a Tampa Criminal Defense Lawyer When Charged With a Sex Crime
If you are charged with a sex crime in Florida, it is essential to hire a criminal defense lawyer to help with your case. Sex crimes carry severe penalties, including lengthy prison sentences, fines, and the potential requirement to register as a sex offender, which can have lasting consequences on your personal and professional life.
A criminal defense lawyer who specializes in sex crimes understands the laws and legal procedures involved in these cases and can help you navigate the legal system. They can help you understand your rights and develop a defense strategy tailored to your unique situation. A skilled lawyer can also work to minimize the charges against you, negotiate plea deals, or work to get your charges dismissed entirely. Ultimately, a criminal defense lawyer is your best chance of obtaining a favorable outcome in a sex crime case and protecting your future.
Facing Sex Crime Charges in Florida? Call Tampa Sex Crime Lawyer Andrew Buda at Buda Law Today
If you are facing sex crime allegations in Hillsborough County, Pinellas County, or the surrounding areas, it is absolutely imperative that you hire an experienced sex crime defense lawyer like those at Buda Law. As you know, these charges carry extreme consequences, and a conviction can change the course of your life forever. To speak with a skilled Tampa criminal defense attorney at Buda Law about your sex crime charges, give us a call today at (813) 352-2217 or complete our online intake form for a free consultation.