Polk County Sex Crimes Lawyer

Florida takes criminal offenses involving sexual misconduct exceptionally seriously, even compared to other states. This is evidenced by the recent change to state law allowing sex crimes against children under the age of 12 to be punishable by the death penalty. Less severe charges along these lines can still carry multiple years of prison time as a possible consequence of conviction, as well as mandatory and often lifelong registration as a sex offender.

It is important to understand that you still have important legal rights, and a seasoned criminal defense attorney knows how to enforce those rights. If you have been arrested by the Polk County Police Department for an alleged sexual offense, contacting a Polk County sex crimes should be your number-one priority.

Dealing With Different Types of Sex Crime Allegations

The most common form of sex crime charge that defense attorneys in Polk County see is for “sexual battery” as defined under Florida Statutes § 794.011, which covers various forms of non-consensual sexual activity that can be prosecuted as anywhere from third-degree felonies to capital felonies. However, there are also several more specifically defined offenses which may fall into this fairly broad category. Each of them will require assistance from qualified legal counsel.

Child Pornography Offenses

Anyone who knowingly possesses, intentionally views, or plays a role in distributing, promoting, or producing a visual depiction of someone under 18 years old engaged in any kind of sexual performance has committed a felony offense under Florida Statutes § 827.071. Even a first-time offender found to have possessed only one illicit image could wind up facing multiple years of prison time, thousands of dollars in fines, and lifetime sex offender registration requirements upon conviction.

Solicitation of a Minor

While engaging in prostitution or soliciting the services of a prostitute is generally treated as a misdemeanor and does not qualify as a “sex crime” for the purposes of sex offender registration, the same cannot be said for scenarios involving minors. If someone solicits a person under the age of 16 to commit a “lewd or lascivious act,” FL Stat. § 800.04 classifies their offense as a felony, and allows for harsher sanctions upon conviction depending on how young the minor is.

Traveling to Meet a Minor

Florida state law also treats “solicitation” of sex differently if it involves an adult using a computer or other electronic communication in an attempt to solicit or lure a child—or someone they believe to be a child—into a sexual encounter. Under FL Stat. § 847.0135, both this and the actual act of traveling to meet a minor for a sexual interaction are treated as felony offenses.

What Are the Sex Offender Registration Rules for Polk County?

All the offenses mentioned above, as well as a few others, are considered “qualifying sexual offenses” for the purposes of sex offender registration. This means that someone convicted of one of these sex crimes must register as a sex offender with the state of Florida, check in with local law enforcement regularly, and provide up-to-date identifying information, including but not limited to:

  • Name
  • Social Security number
  • Race, height, weight, hair and eye color, and other identifying details
  • An up-to-date photograph
  • An up-to-date residential address
  • All phone numbers, emails, and online handles
  • Passport information or immigration status, if applicable

This information is publicly viewable, and only certain offenders can sometimes petition to have their information removed if they are not convicted of any other criminal offense for 20 years after their initial conviction. This is just one more reason why it is important to call a Polk County attorney to represent you in your sex crime case.

Call a Polk County Sex Crimes Attorney Now

As harshly as sex offenses tend to be prosecuted in courts all over Florida, the right attorney knows how to help you and fight for your freedom. Without professional legal help, you may have serious trouble avoiding life-altering criminal sanctions, regardless of whether you are a first-time offender or not.

A Polk County sex crimes lawyer can discuss your options and possible defense strategies in detail during a private initial meeting. Call us today and learn why The Umansky Law Firm is a trusted and respected defense firm in Central Florida.

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    Polk County Sex Crimes Lawyer