Former State Prosecutor
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Alleged juvenile sex crime offenders are subject to facing a life span of severe consequences if deprived of adequate representation. The Morris Law Firm represents juveniles charged with sex crimes. In the case of innocent alleged juveniles, experienced legal defense is extremely important to fight your child's rights during this difficult time. As with any sex crime, juvenile sex crimes generate an emotional response in the general public.
Before communicating and making statements to any law enforcement agencies, or Department of Children and Families concerning allegations of sexting, sexual abuse / battery, lewd acts, or other forms of sexual misconduct, contact the Morris Law Firm, P.A.. The State of Florida penalties for juvenile sex offenses are very stern. Often these types of cases may be denied bond. It is important to understand that you have one chance to defend yourself; the Morris Law Firm is available to aggressively defend your child. Contact us today at, (727) 388-4736 or fill out our online form to be contacted for a Free Initial Consultation.
The State of Florida laws regarding juvenile sex crimes varies in a broad sense affecting the penalties. Penalties for a misdemeanor sex crime, such as indecent exposure, may be jail time of less than a year or probation, a fine, and community service. Penalties for a felony offense, such as aggravated sexual assault, can include a long prison term followed by a lifetime of sex offender registration.
Former State Assistant Attorney and Juvenile Task Force Officer, Attorney Melinda Morris is an experienced criminal defense attorney that is willing to work diligently to defend your child against the following juvenile sex crimes:
Senate Bill 2560 for Sexting Offenses provides that a minor commits the offense of sexting if he or she knowingly uses a computer, or any other device capable of electronic data transmission or distribution, to transmit or distribute to another person any photograph or video of himself or herself which depicts nudity and is harmful to minors, or knowingly possesses such a photograph or video that was transmitted or distributed to the minor from another minor, etc.
Although few people associate teenagers sending sexually explicit pictures as a felony offense, the offense is categorized under child pornography. Sexting is defined as the act of sending sexually explicit messages or photographs, primarily between mobile phones. This crime typically involves minors sending text messages with graphic sexual content. Many of the individuals charged are teenagers in relationships with minors. School administrators and parents may file charges if they witness this offense.
Currently, in the State of Florida, sexting is a felony charged as child pornography. According to §847.0135, any individual who knowledgeably utilizes internet, local bulletin board services, or any other devices capable of electronic data storage or transmission to seduce, solicit, lure, or entice a minor to commit any unlawful act to engage in any illicit sexual conduct with a minor can be charged for child pornography.
Sexting, and What it Means to Be a Girl - Read more from the ACLU Blog of Rights article dated January 15, 2011, about the case of teenage girls who took a cell phone pictures of themselves in a bra or topless. No sexual activity or context was involved. The girls were threatened by the county's district attorney with prosecution for child pornography unless the girls agreed to probation, drug testing, and an essay on "what it means to be a girl in today's society." Several of the girls hired the ACLU which obtained a temporary restraining order against the prosecutors from proceeding with the threatened prosecutions. The case is now pending on appeal.
Lewd and lascivious behavior crimes are charged for any sexual behavior on or around a minor under 16 years old. Sexual behaviors include lewd and lascivious conduct, exhibition, battery or conduct around a minor. The penalties for the offense are contingent on the age of the victim and the perpetrator. All lewd and lascivious offenses are felonies carrying sentences from probation to a life prison sentence.
According to §800.04, an offender less than 18 years of age who commits lewd or lascivious conduct commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
Offenders convicted of Sexual Battery in Florida will face a maximum lifetime prison sentence and a minimum sentence of 9 years in prison. Depending upon the physical and mental state of the victim, penalties may increase severely. In addition to jail time, convicted offenders will be mandated to comply with the state law and register as a sexual offender in Florida and throughout the United States.
Defenses to Sexual Battery are based on consent and false allegation. The victim is not obliged to provide evidence of physical resistance; a jury may be the deciding factor to determine whether the sexual interaction was consensual or coerced submission. On the other hand, sexual battery and rape will be considered coerced if force, threats, or intimidation is used to compel any sexual interaction.
The distinction is vital because if the victim alleges they feared for their life, physical safety, or the life and safety of a loved one, they will be able declare that they had no other alternative than to submit to a sexual act, therefore they did not consent under the law. False Allegations of sexual battery are common in Florida. It is critically important to investigate the victim and expose any motive for making a false accusation of sexual battery or rape.
According to Sexual Battery §794.011, non-consensual oral, anal, or vaginal physical penetration or union with the sexual organ of a person and/or non-consensual oral, anal, or vaginal penetration of another person with any object. As denoted in section (b), a person less than 18 years of age who commits sexual battery upon, or in an attempt to commit sexual battery injures the sexual organs of, a person less than 12 years of age commits a life felony, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, s. 775.084, or s. 794.0115.
If your child has been contacted by law enforcement, has been arrested, or is facing charges relating to a juvenile sexual offense in Pinellas County, Florida, contact the Morris Law Firm, P.A., St. Petersburg juvenile attorney. We are also able to answer your questions about juvenile sex offender laws and sex offender registration in St. Petersburg and Clearwater, Pinellas County, Florida including areas in Manatee, Pasco, Sarasota, and Hillsborough Counties. Provide the Morris Law Firm, P.A. with you situation details in our online form, or give us a call today at (727) 388-4736.
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