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Sarasota Sex Crimes Defense

What is a "sex" crime?

Sex crimes are among the most serious of charges someone can face. They all involve the touching or abuse of genitalia or other sexual body parts (such as breasts). There are two basic types of sex crimes. The most serious is sexual battery, more commonly known as rape. This charge involves a forced sexual act with actual penetration. The other set of charges falls under the "lewd and lascivious" title. Charges here include lewd and lascivious battery and molestation. While these are not as serious as sexual battery, they still are taken seriously by the State and can come with a heavy sentence.

What are some consequences of a sex crime?

If you are facing a sex crime charge, you should hire a lawyer immediately. The consequences are serious and the charges are extremely complicated. As with most charges, possible sentences vary depending on which charge is used. The highest charge is capital sexual battery, which is the sexual battery of a child under the age of 12. Capital sexual battery carries a mandatory life sentence upon conviction. Sexual battery and lewd and lascivious charges are all high level felonies for score sheet purposes, so while one may not be facing a mandatory prison sentence, one may score out to prison automatically on the charge alone. There are also hefty collateral consequences to a conviction for a sex crime. One is that it is likely that an individual will likely have to register as a sexual offender or predator for the remainder of his life. Another is that if ever put on probation for a sex crime, or any other crime after a conviction of a sex crime, the Jessica Lunsford Act requires the individual to wear an ankle electronic monitoring device. One of the most extreme consequences of a sex crime is that it opens an individual up to being placed in a civil commitment center, better known as a "Jimmy Ryce" facility. If one is civilly committed, it means that the individual must remain in a commitment center for the rest of his life after being released from prison.

Is failing to register as a sexual offender/predator a sex crime?

Technically, no. Obviously one must be first convicted of a sex crime and required to register, but the failure to register in and of itself is not a sex crime. One may be charged with this crime if one does not register timely with the local sheriff's office or with DHSMV or fails to update an address. While this is not a sex crime, it still often carries a heavy prison sentence because the charge itself will score to prison and often the underlying sex crime will be scored as well often resulting in two to three years of prison as a bottom of the guidelines offer.

How can Soler and Slack help?

We will investigate every possible angle and defense on your behalf. We will depose witnesses, file all appropriate motions, and fight for you until the end. If the State files a sex charge, it will most likely go to trial because of the heavy sentences the charges carry. Soler and Slack are highly trained and experienced trial attorneys and are prepared to hold the State to their burden while actively defending the accused.

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