Florida Sex Crime Defense Attorney
Serving Rockledge, Brevard County & Surrounding Areas
Sex crime charges are among the most serious charges that someone can face. Not only may you have a lengthy jail or prison sentence hanging over your head, but you can also be subject to the stigma associated with sex offenders—and this stigma can be tough to fight even if the charges against you are dismissed.
If you or a loved one are facing a sex crime charge in Brevard County, it’s important to seek qualified legal counsel from a Florida sex crimes defense lawyer as soon as you can. Call James Kontos, Criminal Defense Attorney at (321) 242-9777 today to discuss any Florida sex crime charges you may be facing. During your FREE CONSULTATION, we will evaluate your case, go over the penalties you may be facing, and come up with the best defense strategy to see you obtain the best possible outcome.
What is a sex crime under Florida law?
Florida classifies sex offenses into two categories: forcible and non-forcible. Though both types of sex offenses involve serious allegations, forcible sex offenses are among the highest-level crimes and tend to be punished the most harshly.
Forcible Sex Offenses
Forcible sex offenses include rape and fondling.
- Rape is defined as any non-consensual penetration of the vagina or anus with any body part or object; any oral penetration by another person’s sex organ; or any attempt to commit one of these actions. The circumstances of a rape will dictate the level at which it is charged; raping or sexually battering someone over age 12 while threatening them with a deadly weapon is a life felony under Florida law, while raping someone between ages 12 and 18 without the use of physical force is a first-degree felony and raping someone over age 18 without using force is a second-degree felony.
- Fondling involves the touching of another person’s breasts, genitals, or backside with a body part or object. Fondling is often forcible, but non-forcible contact can also be classified as fondling if the victim is asleep, incapacitated, or too young to consent. Like rape, the level of a fondling charge will depend on the age of the victim and whether force was used. Most fondling charges are first- or second-degree felonies.
Non-Forcible Sex Offenses
Non-forcible sex offenses include a wide range of offenses such as statutory rape, solicitation, indecent exposure, possession of child pornography, prostitution, incest, and obscene telephone calls.
- Statutory rape occurs when a person who is age 24 or older engages in any sexual activity with a person who is younger than 17. This crime is a second-degree felony in Florida.
- Indecent exposure is the exposure of someone’s private body parts in a public place, where at least one other person sees the body parts. This crime is a first-degree misdemeanor for the first offense and a third-degree felony for any subsequent offense.
- Possession of child pornography is among the most serious non-forcible sex offenses. Someone can be charged with possession of child pornography if they are in possession of any media (photos or videos) depicting someone under 18 in a sexual manner. Someone who downloads this media or transmits it to someone else, can be charged with transmitting child pornography. Possessing, transmitting, or creating child pornography is a third-degree felony in Florida.
- Incest is sexual contact between two people who are so closely related they can’t be legally married (such as parents/children, siblings, first cousins, and aunts/uncles with nieces/nephews). Incest is classified as a third-degree felony under Florida law.
- Obscene telephone calls or online communications involves making or transmitting a “lewd, indecent, or lascivious” telephone call or other communication (including text). This crime is generally a second-degree misdemeanor.
Florida Sex Crime Charges that we defend:
- Statutory Rape
- Failure to Register as a Sex Offender
- Child Pornography
- Indecent Exposure
- Sexting with or between minors
- Internet Sex Crimes
- Traveling to Meet a Minor
- Sexual Battery
- Child Exploitation
- Human Trafficking
- Sexual Abuse
- Revenge Porn
What are the penalties for a sex crime charge in Brevard County, Florida?
Florida’s sex crime laws are some of the harshest in the country, and judges have the discretion to sentence defendants to any sentence that falls within the sentencing guidelines.
- A life felony (committed on or after October 1, 1983) is punishable by up to 40 years in prison. If a life felony was committed on or after July 1, 2008, and is the defendant’s second or subsequent commission of any “lewd or lascivious offenses” (which can include statutory rape or fondling a child), the defendant could face life in prison.
- A first-degree felony is punishable by up to 30 years in prison.
- A second-degree felony is punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
- A third-degree felony is punishable by up to 5 years in prison.
- A first-degree misdemeanor is punishable by up to 1 year in jail.
- A second-degree misdemeanor is punishable by up to 60 days in jail.
The length of your sentence will depend on the circumstances of your crime and whether you can prove any mitigating factors (like good character, remorse, young age, or a lack of criminal history). An experienced Florida sex crimes attorney can thoroughly evaluate the facts of your case and help you build the strongest possible defense.
In addition to the fines and prison sentences that a sex crime charge can carry, there are collateral consequences that go beyond just damaging your reputation, including:
- Job loss
- Inability to work in certain fields
- Loss of relationships with family and friends
- Permanent criminal record
- Requirement to register as a sex offender
- Inability to receive certain government scholarships or funding
Should I hire a sex crimes defense lawyer?
If you are charged with a sex crime in Florida, you absolutely should hire an attorney. The potential penalties you face when charged with a sex crime in Florida are extremely severe. A sex crime conviction in Florida will most certainly turn your life inside-out. An experienced criminal defense attorney that specializes in Florida sex crime charges can help ensure your come up with the best defense possible and give you the best shot at retaining your freedom and good reputation.
If you are facing charges of committing a sex crime in Florida-or have reason to believe that charges may be brought against you-retaining an experienced attorney who has a track record of defending against charges of a sex crime is your best chance of a positive outcome.
If you or a loved one are facing a sex crime charge in Florida, contact James Kontos, Criminal Defense Attorney immediately! We have over 30 years of experience defending the rights of those accused of sex crimes in Florida. Our law office will meet with you to evaluate your case and go over all possible defense strategies! With our FREE CONSULTATION you have nothing to lose!