If you have been accused of committing a sex crime and require legal representation to defend yourself, get in touch with a reputable sex crime lawyer in Sarasota.
Sex crime allegations can destroy your reputation and strip you of your freedom. An aggressive legal defense is necessary to ensure you clear your name and are able to get back to your life. There are many different types of sex crimes, and the type of crime you have been charged with will determine how your case should be defended.
Michael Fayard, Attorney at Law has the experience and drive you can count on. With years of experience as a former prosecuting attorney, I am uniquely qualified to help the accused overcome the odds and avoid a conviction that has the potential to ruin lives.
Types of Sex Crimes You Could Be Facing
There are many different types of sex crimes you could be charged with under Florida law. Some of the most commonly seen types of sex crime cases include:
- Sexual assault
- Sexual battery
- Statutory Rape
- Molestation of a child
- Child pornography
- Lewd and lascivious acts
- Indecent exposure
- Sex trafficking
- Internet sex crimes
Sex crimes include a wide variety of cases. For this reason, the penalties will also vary considerably, depending on the details of your case. If you have been charged with any of the previously mentioned types of sex crimes—or another sex-related crime—contact a sex crime lawyer in Sarasota to discuss your options.
Penalties for Sex Crimes in Sarasota
The consequences of a sex crime conviction are not uniform. Every case is different, and the penalties will be as well. For example, someone who is charged with prostituion as a habitual offender could face fines of up to $5,000 and be sentenced to a maximum of five years in prison.
But someone who is charged with rape may face far more severe consequences. If convicted of second-degree felony rape, you could be sentenced to as much as fifteen years in prison, and pay fines of up to $10,000. One of the sex crimes that has the harshest punishments is sex trafficking. This is considered a first degree felony and is punishable by life in prison without the possibility of parole.
In addition to the legal penalties of a sex crime conviction, you could also face other consequences you hadn’t previously considered. Your personal and professional reputation will likely be ruined, you may find it impossible to find a good job or a safe place to live with your criminal record, and could permanently damage the relationships with your friends and family.
It is critical that you get help defending your case so you can avoid suffering the catastrophic impact associated with a sex crime conviction.
How to Defend Yourself When Accused of a Sex Crime
In order for you to be found guilty of a sex crime, the prosecuting attorney must be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you are guilty of the allegations against you.
There are some defenses in sex crime cases that are used more frequently than others. Often, claiming innocence, the alleged victim having given their consent, or a lack of mental stability are the defenses used.
Claiming innocence may be a good option in a variety of circumstances. Maybe there is no way you could have committed the crime because you were somewhere else at the time of the incident (your alibi).
Or perhaps the alleged victim misidentified you, and you have been wrongfully accused. If DNA evidence is present and can clear you of all charges, pleading your innocence may be the best option for you.
In a number of sex crime cases, you can only be found guilty if the alleged victim did not give their consent to participate in the sexual act. The “he said, she said” approach has placed many innocent individuals behind bars. But if you are able to establish that the alleged victim gave their consent or was a willful participate in the sex act, you may be able to avoid being found guilty.
Lack of Mental Stability
In order for a mental incapacity (insanity) defense to stand up in court, your sex crime lawyer in Sarasota will need to be able to show that you either did not understand what you were doing or what unwanted sexual contact was under Florida law.
Sarasota Sex Crime FAQ
Being arrested and accused of a sex crime can have a catastrophic impact on your life. You more than likely have many questions about what to expect from your defense, and your case as a whole.
With this in mind, I have provided the answers to a couple of the most frequently asked questions concerning sex crime allegations in Sarasota below. If you have additional questions or concerns that have not been addressed on this page, you can schedule a free consultation so we can discuss the individual details of your case.
What does it mean if I have to register as a sex offender?
If you are found guilty of a sex crime, it is quite possible you will be required to register as a sex offender. This means you will need to contact law enforcement in Sarasota and register your personal information with the police department.
This is not a temporary registration, either. Every six months you may need to appear in person and confirm that the information your sex offender registration contains is accurate. You may be able to have your sex offender registry requirement removed after twenty-five years if you have not been accused or convicted of any crimes since your initial conviction.
Should I accept a plea bargain?
That’s difficult to say without reviewing the specifics of your case. In some instances, accepting a plea agreement may be a better option than attempting to defend a charge that has inexplicable evidence against you.
Ultimately, it is up to you whether you want to continue with a trial or accept a plea agreement. Your Sarasota criminal defense lawyer will always be prepared to defend your case to the best of their abilities.
Will I be able to get my record expunged?
The only way to get your record expunged of a sex crime is if you were acquitted of the charges against you. Those who are convicted of sex crimes are disqualified from expungement and can expect to have their records reflect their conviction for the rest of their lives.
They may also be required to register as sex offenders as part of their sentencing, which is also required for the remainder of their lives in most cases.
Contact a Sex Crime Lawyer in Sarasota
To learn more about how a qualified Sarasota sex crime lawyer could help you dodge a conviction, schedule a free, no-obligation consulation with Michael Fayard, Attorney at Law. You can reach my office through the convenient contact form I have provided below or by phone at 941-306-1310 when you are ready to get started on your case.