Sex Crimes Against Children
Florida has a national reputation for taking aggressive approaches to crimes against children. Criminal charges are determined by the specific acts, whether in-person or online, the child’s age, and often, the defendant’s age.
There are several crimes that include sexual acts against children, including other forms of sexual abuse, failing to report sexual assault, and failing to register as a sex offender once convicted of a sex crime. Sexual battery and internet sex crimes are associated with the heaviest penalties.
Florida Sex Crimes Against Children Attorney
Allegations of child molestation, sexual abuse, or sex with a minor should be taken seriously under Florida law. They often result in imprisonment and significant fines. If you have been arrested for a sex crime against children, contact an experienced defense lawyer in Brooksville, FL who can advocate aggressively on your behalf.
In a critical time such as this, turn to The Law Office of Ashley Aulls, P.A. who will utilize their experience and passion to represent you while fighting for the best result. To schedule a free consultation, call (352) 593-4115 today.
The Law Office of Ashley Aulls, P.A. serves clients in Hernando County, Inverness in Citrus County, and Bushnell in Sumter County, FL.
- Sex Crimes Against Children
- Penalties For Sex Crimes Against Children
- Defenses In Child Sex Crime Cases
- Additional Resources
Sex Crimes Against Children
Sexual Battery of a Child Under Age 12: It is a crime to commit a sexual battery upon a child’s organs. It is also a crime to injure a child’s sexual organs in an attempt to commit sexual battery.
Sexual Battery of a Child Over Age 12: It is a crime when a person commits sexual battery without consent, uses or threatens the use of a weapon, or uses actual force that is likely to cause serious personal injuries. Sexual battery could also include situations where a child is physically helpless to resist or is coerced through threats or actual force.
Internet Sex Crimes Against Children: These kinds of crimes vary widely and include
- Solicitation of a minor for sex
- Possession or distribution of child pornography
- Solicitation of a minor for prostitution
- Engaging in a lewd or lascivious manner online
Penalties For Sex Crimes Against Children
Penalties associated with sex crimes against children are very detailed, highly variable, and require the careful explanation of a qualified criminal defense attorney.
Sexual battery of a child: Penalties vary based on the child’s age and the alleged offender. When a child is under 12 years old and the alleged offender is 18 years old or older, the following penalties apply:
- capital felony
- punishable by life in prison with no parole
- death sentence permitted under particular circumstances
When a child is under 12 and the alleged offender is under 18, the punishment is a life felony, punishable by a life sentence with varying factors.
If the child is 12-17 years old, penalties include a first-degree felony, punishable by up to 30 years in prison, and fines up to $10,000.
Internet crimes against children: Depending on the crime, penalties are generally felony-level offenses. Depending on the offense, convicted offenders can serve up to 15 years in prison with fines up to $10,000.
While the legal penalties are severe, the social aspect of sex offenses can be even more damaging. All individuals convicted of sex crimes are required by law to register as sex offenders. In addition to severe social stigma, registered sex offenders usually struggle to find stable housing and employment. Unlike some other states, the state of Florida also requires registry for life, making it particularly difficult to “start over” once time has been served in prison. The registry requires offenders to periodically re-register or update their information. Offenders who do not initially register, re-register, or update information face an additional felony conviction, time in prison, and fines.
Defenses In Child Sex Crime Cases
A prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a defendant committed the allegations listed in the criminal charge. Every crime has elements that must be proven with evidence. Skilled criminal defense attorneys know how to pick holes in prosecutors’ cases by exposing them and presenting counter-evidence. Other times, procedural errors can prevent specific evidence from being presented to the jury.
Criminal defense attorneys can present defenses that show that the defendant did not commit the crime as charged. Defenses include:
Mistaken Identity: Perhaps it is clear that a child was sexually assaulted, but the person accused is not the person who committed the crime. A strong defense might show that someone other than the defendant is the actual perpetrator.
False Accusations: Sometimes, defendants are falsely accused of a sex crime. False accusations are more likely to occur when relationships end and involve children. One parent will try to prevent the other parent from seeing the child by accusing them of sexual abuse towards the child.
Diminished Capacity: A defendant without the mental state required to commit sexual assault cannot have committed the crime. In cases where a defendant lacked mental stability during the crime or had diminished capacity, defenses heavily focus on more severe mental illnesses.
Impossibility: Just as the name implies, the impossibility defense relies on proof that it was physically impossible for the defendant to sexually assault the child. In this defense, proof is required to show that the defendant lacked the physical ability to assault the child in the way that is alleged or that the defendant was not physically near the child at the time of the assault.
Consent, while a defense for some kinds of sexual acts, rarely pertains to children under age 18.
Because penalties can be so severe, a highly skilled and knowledgeable criminal defense attorney is the best way to build the best defense for the accused individual. Defenses are highly dependent upon the circumstances of each case.
Florida Computer Pornography and Child Exploitation Act – Charged as separate crimes from in-person sexual acts, internet sex crimes against children are outlined in the Florida Legislature’s FCPCEA.
Florida Sex Offender Registry – Individuals convicted of sex crimes are legally required to register as sex offenders in Florida. Under “Notice to Offenders,” the website serves as the place to register and update information.
Brooksville Sex Crimes Against Children Attorney | Hernando County, FL
If you have been accused of committing a sex crime against children in Hernando County, FL, The Law Office of Ashley Aulls, P.A. can develop a strong defense strategy calculated to minimize penalties, get charges reduced, or get charges dropped. We understand how the prosecution builds its cases, and we can easily identify the weaknesses and flaws in their case.
To schedule a free consultation to discuss all of your legal options, call (352) 593-4115 today. The Law Office of Ashley Aulls, P.A. represent clients in communities all over the Hernando County area, including Wildwood, Brooksville, Weeki Wachee, New Port Richey, Inverness, Spring Hill, and many others.