Sex crimes are among the most socially stigmatized, and often carry draconian penalties.
Suspects who cooperate with law enforcement absent the guidance of an experienced sex crimes defense lawyer are effectively killing their case – regardless of guilt or innocence.
At The Ansara Law Firm, our sex crimes defense attorneys know well the many tactics investigators use to prove their cases, and we have successfully guarded our clients against them. Understand that Florida law tends to favor the accuser in sex crimes cases.
That means detectives will twist a defendant’s words or misquote their statement. They will believe the accuser, even when he or she has an obvious reason to lie. They will also ignore exculpatory evidence favorable to the defendant.Choose a Defense Lawyer With Experience
Even when the evidence seems overwhelming, there are always options to negotiate for dismissal of certain charges or reduction of overall penalties.
A successful defense requires a lawyer who has specific experience in sex crimes defense, understands the specialized legal framework, has sharp negotiation skills and proven trial experience.
We work tirelessly to protect the rights and best interests of those facing such serious accusations. We understand that the typical reaction is shame, embarrassment and, of course, fear about the future. Our team offers confidential, non-judgmental representation. Often, allegations fall flat because they are either untrue or cannot be proven.What is a Sex Crime?
The term “sex crime” is a generic one applied to any criminal act involving sexual activity. Crimes under this umbrella include:
- Child Sex Crimes
- Statutory Rape
- Dissemination or Possession of Obscene Matter
- Prostitution/ Solicitation
- Failure to Register as a Sex Offender
- Human Trafficking
- Harassment/ Stalking
- Lewd, Wanton and Lascivious Acts
- Child Pornography
Florida has some of the harshest sex offender punishments in the nation. Penalties will vary depending on the nature of the offense, how many charges defendant faces and prior criminal history. In general, though, potential punishments may include:
- Prison or Jail
- Community Service
- Mandatory Counseling
- Sex Offender Registration
- House Arrest
- Indefinite Civil Commitment
An important element of sex crime penalties that deserves spotlight is the indefinite civil commitment of sex offenders – long after one has served his sentence. This is codified in F.S. 394.912 , also known as the “Jimmy Ryce Act,” which went into effect in 1999.
The Jimmy Ryce Act involves an involuntary commitment of sexually violent offenders who allegedly suffer “mental abnormality or personality disorder” making them more likely to engage in further acts of sexual violence. In a sense, we are confining people for crimes they may – but haven’t yet – been committed. The civil action is initiated following a review by the Florida Department of Corrections, the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) and state attorneys.
The idea is repeat offenders will receive intensive treatment before being released into society. The Florida Civil Commitment Center in Arcadia houses nearly 700 at any given time. There have been numerous constitutional challenges, but this type of indefinite commitment was upheld in the 1997 U.S. Supreme Court decision of Kansas v. Hendricks . Further, the Florida legislature acted in recent years to strengthen the law, making it even tougher for sex offenders to obtain timely release. The law isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. As a result, the stakes are even higher for someone convicted of a sex crime, especially if there is any kind of prior criminal history.Effective Sex Crime Defenses
From a strictly constitutional standpoint, defendants are innocent until proven guilty. But the reality is, sex crime suspects must fight vigorously to prove their innocence.
The approach to sex crimes defense in Florida is unique because both laws and public perception tend to favor the accuser. That means one of the best ways to defend a case is to mount a good offense. We work to gather exculpatory evidence that supports our client’s innocence and challenges the integrity, credibility and motives of the accuser.
If at all possible, we like to start with the pre-filing investigation, before charges are formally filed. It’s often easier to convince a prosecutor not to file charges than it is to persuade them to drop charges that have already been filed.
Beyond that, we carefully analyze every aspect of the accuser’s story for potential holes. It’s also necessary to comb through the methods used by investigators to determine whether any evidence was improperly obtained.
Of course, there is no one-size-fits-all defense that’s going to work for every case. We are staunchly committed to the zealous defense of every client.
Contact the experienced Fort Lauderdale criminal defense lawyers at The Ansara Law Firm by calling (954) 761-4011 or toll-free at (877)-ARREST-0 (277-3780).