West Palm Beach Sex Offense Lawyer
Potent defense for state and federal criminal charges
The state of Florida carries some of the harshest penalties in the nation for those convicted of sex offenses, but for the accused, the punishment begins almost immediately. Because of the intimate nature of these crimes, police, investigators and prosecutors take accusations very seriously and work tirelessly to pile up charges against the accused, whose reputation could suffer irreversible harm long before a trial begins. If you’re facing these serious charges, it is critical that you retain an aggressive, experienced sex crime defense lawyer immediately after your arrest to help ensure that your rights are protected every step of the way.
Often, those arrested on sex offense charges underestimate the importance of retaining counsel right away, and make the mistake of letting investigators intimidate them into relinquishing their right to remain silent. At that point, a successful defense becomes much harder. On the other hand, if a sex crimes lawyer is retained quickly, the accused likely won’t be coerced into self incrimination, and the chances of a reduction in charges or dismissal become infinitely better.
Penalties vary by case type
In addition to tarnishing your reputation, a sex crime conviction carries severe consequences including jail or prison time. Offenses involving a child carry even harsher penalties. Additionally, after paying fines and serving jail sentences, all persons convicted of a sex crime must register with Florida’s sexual offenders list for at least 25 years – and possibly for life. A criminal conviction can prevent you from working in certain professions, attending certain educational institutions or living in certain areas.
With your freedom on the line, you need the best possible chance of gaining a favorable outcome. Our criminal defense lawyers proudly represents those accused of state or federal offenses in West Palm Beach and throughout the state of Florida.
At Ohle Law P.A., our West Palm Beach sex offense attorneys have a solid reputation for providing high-quality, personalized representation for those accused of all types of federal or state charges.
- CHAT ROOM CHARGES: In the earlier days of the internet, law enforcement agencies conducted sting operations in live, real-time chat rooms for the purpose of catching sex predators in the act. Today, chat rooms still exist, but web discussion forums and social media platforms are far more common. Nevertheless, police still use the internet to investigate sex crimes and make arrests. If you believe your online presence has been targeted for a sex crimes investigation, call us first before speaking to law enforcement.
- HUMAN TRAFFICKING: With increased awareness about human trafficking across the United States, federal and state law enforcement have stepped up their efforts to find human traffickers and bring their operations to a halt. Determining whether a person has participated in human trafficking may seem straightforward, but in some cases, people may be charged without even knowing they have been involved. For example, a company that rents vans for transportation may have a client who transports trafficked women and children without making the company aware of the illegal activity. The police may charge the company owner and possibly some employees for playing a role in facilitating human traffickers. While the company owner may think he or she can easily clear things up with the police with s simple explanation, the company owner and anyone else who has been accused should first hire a lawyer as these matters tend to become complicated very quickly.
- CHILD MOLESTATION: Facing accusations of child molestation can especially take a toll on an individual’s personal relationships. The victim and the accused often know each other through mutual family, friends, or a community setting that encourages some level of trust. Child molestation charges are rightfully prosecuted aggressively by the state and sometimes federal government. The accused may have an especially difficult time if he or she is the subject of false child molestation accusation, which occasionally arise from a variety different situations, including contentious divorce cases in which one or both parties have malice toward the other party, mental illness, or even situations in which the identity of the perpetrator is unknown. No one should attempt to handle a child molestation accusation without the help of a Florida child molestation defense lawyer.
- CHILD PORNOGRAPHY: Cases that involve the possession of child pornography are also aggressively prosecuted. However, proving an individual knowingly possessed the explicit material can sometimes present insurmountable difficulty for prosecutors. Under these circumstances, a person may be accused of possessing illegal images of children simply because he or she had shared access to a computer or misplaced or allowed someone to borrow his or her computer or device. In other cases, people may mistakenly click a link or receive a virus file that downloads child pornography without the person’s knowledge. These cases may seem like a matter of one person’s word against the prosecutor. However, a skilled defense lawyer can utilize the expertise of data and forensic specialists who can piece together the important facts and help the attorney prove the defendant’s case in court.
- SEXUAL BATTERY: Sexual battery is a very general term that is used in Florida law to broadly describe different types of rape and sexual assault. Cases that involve sexual battery can be prosecuted in criminal court, and the victim may also file a claim against the accused in civil court to receive compensation for his or her injuries.
- SEXUAL ASSAULT: Under Florida law, sexual assault generally refers to crimes that involve sexual touching and may include attempted rape, but fall short of the state’s legal definition of rape. These offenses vary in severity depending on the age of the victim and whether the perpetrator used a deadly weapon or level of force likely to cause serious bodily injury or death.
- RAPE: Florida law categorizes rape and other offenses that are typically described as sexual assault under the broad category of “sexual battery.” A false rape accusation can have a devastating impact on a person’s personal and professional reputation as well as personal and professional prospect for the future. Anyone who has been accused of rape will likely feel tempted to begin talking to clear his or her name. However, it is important to resist the urge to talk about the case before seeking legal advice. Instead, parties who are being investigated for rape and those who have been formally accused should immediately contact an attorney and seek legal advice on how to proceed in a manner that will be least damaging.
- DATE RAPE: The intimate, familiar nature of date rape lends this particular type of crime to a couple different logistical hurdles. First, date rape is largely underreported because victims are often afraid to report their attacker. On the other hand, for people who are falsely accused of date rape, disproving a false accusation can be difficult as the alleged rape typically takes place in a more intimate setting with no witnesses. Nevertheless, false accusations do happen in some cases. An experienced West Palm Beach date rape defense lawyer can help a person who has been wrongfully accused protect his or her rights and reputation in the community while building a case for the individual’s defense.
- FAILURE TO REGISTER: Individuals in Florida who are convicted of certain offenses must maintain their personal information on the state sex offender registry. Registry requirements are usually imposed on people who are convicted of rape, sexual assault, or child molestation. The individual is generally required to register within 48 hours of moving into a new residence or being released from jail or prison. Failure to maintain an up-to-date record with the registry constitutes a criminal offense and may result in the individual being charged with a third degree felony and being sentenced to prison. In some cases, the person may be unaware that he or she is required to register or that he or she must update information that has recently changed. A Florida defense attorney can help people who have been convicted of a crime understand state sex offender registry requirements and address legal issues that may arise as a result of a lapse in remaining in compliance with the registration requirement.
- FEDERAL SEX CRIMES: Some offenses can result in charges in state and/or federal court. Federal crimes are prosecuted by very experienced prosecutors and are typically accompanied by longer prison sentences imposed by seasoned federal judges. Therefore, people who face federal charges require the help of a lawyer who is also very established, knowledgeable, and experienced in winning federal court cases. We offer the elevated level of legal experience, service, and strong professional relationships clients who are charged with federal crimes need to help them put their best foot forward in court.
- INDECENT EXPOSURE: The penalties for indecent exposure in Florida are not as severe as other sex crimes; however, sentencing can have longstanding consequences for the average person. Most people are also unaware of how easily a person can violate the indecent exposure law. Walking around naked at home in front of windows and playing a prank that involves nudity can result in conviction. In most cases, basic indecent exposure is a misdemeanor that is punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000. In some cases, charges may be elevated in severity if the person is accused of appearing naked in front of a child in a manner the court deems inappropriate.
- LEWD & LASCIVIOUS: Compared to Indecent Exposure, Lewd and Lascivious offenses include an additional element of distasteful, lustful, or unchaste behavior. Skinny dipping or streaking might be considered indecent exposure, whereas simulating sexual activity while naked would be lewd and lascivious. Intent is very important in these cases; therefore, a person may have appeared to be exhibiting lewd and lascivious conduct, but he or she may not have been aware other people could see the behavior, or it may not have been the person’s intent to behave in an manner that was perceived as lustful or unchaste. A Florida defense lawyer who has successfully handled lewd and lascivious cases can help the accused establish his or her lack of intent in addition to other facts that may help his or her case.
- PIMPING & PANDERING: In Florida, people who are not married to each other may not buy, sell, offer, solicit, or agree to exchange sexual favors for compensation. Pimping and pandering is an offense that applies to prostitutes and johns. It is not uncommon for pimping and pandering arrests to occur as a result of a sting operation. In some cases, the accused may not have been intending to exchange money for sexual favors, or the individual may have been entrapped or induced by an undercover police officer to commit an illegal act he or she may not have otherwise committed.
- PROSTIUTION: In Florida, prostitution is a general term that is further divided into more specific offenses. Penalties for prostitution may range from a couple months in jail to more than 10 years in prison, depending on the parties involved. Related offenses that involve minors are punished more severely. Prostitution is treated as a serious crime by local law enforcement; therefore, anyone who has been arrested or who may be under investigation for more severe prostitution-related offenses should immediately contact a Florida prostitution defense lawyer.
- SEXTING: As a newer crime of a sexual nature, the law is still evolving in the area of sexting. In recent years, teenagers and young adults have found themselves facing charges for sending, receiving, and mass distributing sexually-themed text messages that depict minors. Parents should closely monitor their children and teens’ texting habits. Nevertheless, teens are unable to control the messages they may receive, and due to youth and immaturity, they may engage in exchanging messages that could land them into serious legal trouble.
Proven defense strategies in West Palm Beach
Utilizing our extensive knowledge of the Florida criminal law, a West Palm Beach sex crime attorney from Ohle Law P.A. can help determine whether the charges against you are false, or if any searches and seizures of your property were carried out illegally by the police. Either of these could lead to a dismissal of charges. When you are accused of a sexual offense, take solace in the fact that our team of paralegals, private investigators and lawyers will provide individualized service, guiding you through the legal process with respect. Above all, we stand ready to ensure that your rights aren’t trampled by those who may have already decided that you’re guilty.