St. Petersburg Sex Crimes Defense for Sexual Assault and Rape
Rape and sexual assault in the State fo Florida are crimes that the criminal justice system takes very seriously. Florida law refers to these crimes as Sexual Battery. They are a felony and prison sentences can start at five years and if the rape of a minor is involved, a person may be sentenced with the death penalty.
Because of the high degree of seriousness of these crimes, a defendant needs the help of an experienced St. Petersburg criminal justice attorney such as at The Law Office of William B. Bennett, P.A. We have handled criminal cases including sexual assault cases for over 20 years and we are prepared to construct a defense case to protect your rights.
If you or a loved one has been charged with sexual assault, call us right away at (727) 821-8000 for a free consultation.
What Is Sexual Assault?
Sexual assault includes any sexual activity that is forced on an alleged victim without their permission. This may include inappropriate touching, child molestation, forced penetration, intercourse or even kissing. Sexual assault can be a more broad category that includes rape. Rape, under Florida law, is defined as penetration with any body part or object or oral penetration without the consent of the victim. The definition includes both genders and also takes into consideration the lack of ability of the victim to express consent, such as with alcohol or even age.
What Happens If I am Convicted Of Sexual Assault?
A sexual assault crime may not necessarily result in prison time. However, almost all convictions will require some kind of compliance with state and federal sex offender laws.
After a prison sentence has been served, a judge will likely order you to complete sex offender probation, which could take up to 15 years. Under this order you will have to comply with the following orders:
- You won’t be able to live within 1,000 feet of schools, parks or any common public area where children congregate.
- You may be required to participate in a sex offender treatment program at your own expense.
- You may be subject to frequent searches without a warrant.
- You will not be able to work at a place where children frequent including, pet stores, toy stores, libraries, etc.
A sexual assault conviction can not be expunged and will remain on your record permanently. If you don’t keep your records updated with the sex offender registry, you may face additional criminal charges, as well.
How to Defend Sexual Battery Crimes
Most sex crimes often lack witnesses except for those involved. These cases are tried based on the victim’s testimony and forensic evidence. In many cases, it is found that the charges were falsely claimed. Some defenses may include:
A Pretrial Defense
A person who has been falsely accused of a sex crime may be able to avoid an indictment by presenting evidence counter to the charge such as a polygraph test, psychological evaluation or proof that the victim has made false accusations in the past.
If a case goes to trial, some common defenses that can be considered may be an alibi that proves the defendant was not present when the crime was committed, mistaken identity or a psychological review that proves the defendant was unaware of what was happening. Forensic evidence may also work in a defendant’s favor to prove their innocence.
An affirmative defense is an acknowledgment of the act committed, but with explanation as to why it is not a crime, which may include evidence that the victim consented or that the defendant did not use force. This is not an admission of guilt. Instead, it is a defense that explains how it is not a crime.
St. Petersburg Sex Crimes Defense Lawyer
At The Law Offices of William B. Bennett, we are aware that sexual assault is often falsely accused when there are bitter disputes during divorce proceedings or child custody cases. Our defense team will work to try to refute the evidence and prove your innocence or at the very least, pursue lesser charges to avoid a sex offender registration.
Being accused of a sex crime is a serious matter. It could have a lifelong effect on your ability to find a job or a place to live. Having an aggressive legal team on your side will make or break your case. Call The Law Offices Of William B. Bennett today at (727) 421-8000 if you or a loved one has been charged with sexual assault or contact us here on our website for a free consultation.