The penalties for a felony conviction can significantly change your life, and the sooner you contact an attorney upon being threatened with a felony sex offense charge, the better chance you have of mounting a successful defense.
Sex Offense Defense Lawyers
The attorneys of Benjamin, Aaronson, Edinger & Patanzo. P.A. in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, are recognized for aggressively protecting the rights of adults charged with sex offenses in South Florida. With more than 24 years of effective criminal defense experience, we have earned a reputation for excellence. We invite you to learn more about sex crimes defense on this page.
To schedule a free consultation about your specific charges, contact us immediately.
Frequently Asked Questions about Sex Offenses
Q: How are sex offenses punished?
A: Punishment for a sex offense can vary dramatically depending on the category of crime. A misdemeanor sex crime conviction (such as indecent exposure) may receive less than a year of jail time, a fine, community service, counseling or probation. A felony, on the other hand, may be punished by a lengthy prison term (up to a life sentence). Additionally, released sex felons must register as sex offenders and multiple convictions often lead to greater punishments.
Q: Is consent a defense?
A: Consent may be a defense to sex crimes, in some cases. However, some individuals are not considered able to consent to sex under the law. For those individuals, even if they explicitly agree, their agreement is not legally valid. For example, minors, the mentally disabled and unconscious or intoxicated people (even if they willingly became intoxicated) typically cannot provide valid consent. Statutory rape or date rape charges may result.
Sex Offenses – An Overview
Sex offenses include a myriad of criminal sexual behaviors, ranging from prostitution to rape. If you or one of your family members is facing a sex-offense charge, it is very important to obtain the legal representation of an experienced criminal defense attorney like ones at Benjamin, Aaronson, Edinger & Patanzo. P.A. of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The penalties for a sex offense conviction can be serious and life-changing, but many defenses are available. Contacting an attorney as soon as possible allows the evidence to be evaluated and witnesses to be questioned soon after the event.
What Is A Sex Offense?
Sex offenses include all forms of illegal sexual activity, ranging from the crime of rape, usually defined as sexual penetration without consent, to the crime of prostitution, usually defined as sex for hire. The most serious crimes involve the sexual assault of children or include physical injury. Other sex offenses include public indecency, voyeurism, prostitution, solicitation, pornography, date rape, lewd acts, pandering, pimping, statutory rape and unlawful sodomy.
Rape, Sexual Assault, Date Rape and Statutory Rape
Unwanted sex acts are generally regarded as rape. However, these criminal offenses are also commonly referred to as “sexual abuse” or “sexual assault.” A wide range of activities may be included under these definitions. Statutory rape, for instance, is sexual activity with a person under the legal age of consent. Date rape is a nonlegal term for forcible sexual activity between people who know one another during a social engagement. Regardless of the circumstances, there are serious penalties for individuals found guilty of these sex crimes. Prosecutors and the police focus on sexual offenses, so if you or someone you know is accused of or arrested for a sex crime, you need to contact an attorney immediately. Contact an experienced criminal defense attorney to discuss your situation.
Victimless Sex Offenses
A victimless crime, sometimes termed a consensual crime, a crime without victims or a complainantless crime is a “crime that is considered to have no direct victim, usually because only consenting adults are involved.” Black’s Law Dictionary. State laws regarding victimless sex offenses vary greatly, but state statutes typically address victimless sex offenses such as prostitution, pandering, solicitation, indecent exposure and illegal possession of pornography. The penalties for victimless sex offenses, such as solicitation of a minor or child pornography, are severe; often involving felony convictions, jail or prison time, sexual offender treatment programs and lifetime registration as a sexual offender. For other offenses such as indecent exposure, the penalties are generally less severe; they range from fines and community service to felony charges and incarceration. If you have been arrested for a victimless sex offense, contact a law firm immediately to schedule a consultation with a criminal defense attorney who can clearly explain your rights and options.
Sex Offender Registry
All states require sex offender registration of some kind. Individuals convicted as sex offenders must register their addresses with law enforcement. Sex offenders must also send updates whenever they change addresses and must keep their registration information current. Some states require sex offenders to verify information on a yearly basis via mail or more frequently if deemed violent predators. States have different requirements regarding what offenses require registration and for what periods of time. Additionally, some offenses that are more serious may require registration for life. Serious crimes vary by state, but most commonly include repeat offenders, violent sexual offenders and those who commit sexual crimes against children. If you are concerned about your status under these rules, contact a knowledgeable attorney from our firm for help and advice.
False allegations may occur, most often in child sex-abuse situations. An adult may have influenced a child’s allegation or the child may have based his or her accusation on an overactive imagination. Public awareness of child abuse has increased and more reports of possible abuse are being made, but not all reports are substantiated. Also, even good-faith accusations may not be true and false allegations may be made to harm the accused. If you find yourself the victim of false allegations, a criminal defense attorney can help you take immediate action to defend yourself.
Sex Offenses Resource Links
Sections of the United States Code related to sex offenses, provided by Cornell University’s Legal Information Institute.
- CHAPTER 109A—SEXUAL ABUSE (§§ 2241–2248)
- CHAPTER 109B—SEX OFFENDER AND CRIMES AGAINST CHILDREN REGISTRY (§ 2250)
- CHAPTER 110—SEXUAL EXPLOITATION AND OTHER ABUSE OF CHILDREN (§§ 2251–2260A)
Online source for crime prevention and personal protection information.
The Sentencing Project
National leader in the development of alternative sentencing programs and in research and advocacy on criminal justice policy.
Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.)
Education program with an anti-drug, anti-violence message.
Family Violence Prevention Fund
Working to prevent violence within the home and in the community.