Sex crime charges are potentially the most destructive criminal charges in Florida. A conviction can land you on Florida’s sex offender registry for life, keeping you from finding a decent place to live or work or ever enjoying a reasonable quality of life. For some, conviction means never getting out of jail, or trading jail for an involuntary civil commitment for an indefinite period of time. Even a false accusation without any conviction can tarnish your reputation and leave you with a stigma that destroys your professional, social and even family life.
Sex offenses are a serious and sensitive matter that should be approached with the aid of a seasoned Orlando sex crimes defense lawyer who understands what is at stake and how the charges should best be dealt with. At the O’Mara Law Group in Orlando, you’ll find a Florida board-certified specialist in Criminal Trial Law and a team of well-qualified attorneys ready to advise and assist you to achieve the best outcome possible when you’ve been charged with a Florida sex crime.
Sex crime charges are embarrassing, but don’t let that keep you from fighting them
The police and prosecutors know how embarrassing it is to be charged with a sex crime, be it lewdness, solicitation of prostitution, possession of child pornography, sexual assault or statutory rape. Law enforcement agencies use that knowledge to pressure you into a confession and guilty plea to avoid the embarrassment of a public trial. They aren’t trying to do you any favors, though; they are trying to clear the case and secure a conviction as easily as they can. The truth is the evidence they have against you may not be strong enough to get a conviction on the charges they filed, and you may have valid defenses against the charges. Defenses often available in sex crime prosecutions include:
Pleading guilty may or may not be in your best interests. You’ll benefit from the advice of an experienced criminal defense attorney who can get you the best result whether you decide to fight the charges or take a plea. Pleading guilty without the help of an attorney can result in excessively severe punishment, including a lifetime on the Florida sex offender registry.
Florida Sex Offender and Predator Registry
Conviction of any number of dozens of sex offenses can put you in the Florida Sex Offender and Predator System. This is a public database with your name, picture and address. Anyone can search you by name or find you by the neighborhood you are living in. People can print out flyers and post them around the neighborhood or hand them out on your street.
Placement on the registry is a lifetime commitment. You must report to the sheriff regularly forever and update any change in your address within 48 hours. Failure to register or update changes is a federal crime that can send you to prison. Even a year after you are dead, your name and likeness still appear on the registry.
Even worse, if you are convicted as a repeat sexual offender or of an offense involving physical violence or a minor, you could be sentenced under the Florida Sexual Predators Act. This could result in your involuntary civil commitment to a Florida mental facility for an indefinite period, and you may never get out.
Get the Help You Need after a Sex Crime Arrest in Orange County
People charged with sex crimes in Florida have more at stake than almost any other criminally accused defendant. Make sure you talk with an experienced Orlando sex crime lawyer who can advise you on your options and help you find the best solution possible in your situation. In Orlando, contact the O’Mara Law Group at 407-634-6604 for a no-cost, confidential consultation with a team of top-notch criminal defense lawyers led by a certified expert in Florida criminal law.
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