Miami Sex Crimes Attorneys

Miami law prohibits a variety of different sex crimes ranging from the solicitation of prostitution and possession of child pornography to sexual assault and rape. Defendants who are convicted of these crimes may face jail time and in some cases, mandatory inclusion on the state’s sex offender registry.

Child Pornography Law in Miami

As defined by Florida Statute Chapter 847, child pornography is considered any image that shows a minor engaged in sexual conduct including:
  • Intercourse
  • Deviate intercourse
  • Bestiality
  • Lewd exhibition
  • Masturbation
  • Sadomasochistic abuse of any kind
  • Physical contact with a person’s genitals, breast or buttocks
  • Sexual battery or simulated sexual battery
Miami child pornography law encompasses the possession, distribution, manufacturing, production, and transmission of child pornography as well as the sexual performance of a child.

Solicitation of Prostitution and Other Solicitation Crimes in Miami

Before a person can be convicted of any kind of solicitation, prosecutors must be able to establish that the defendant induced, bribed, or solicited someone to engage in any of the following kinds of activities:
  • Prostitution
  • Lewdness, which includes any indecent or obscene act
  • Assignation, which occurs when someone makes an appointment with another person to engage in sex for hire.
Unlike standard solicitation accusations, defendants who are accused of soliciting a minor are automatically charged with a second-degree felony. Using the internet to solicit a minor is also unlawful in Miami. In fact, under Florida Statute 847.0135 a person can be found guilty of soliciting a child over the internet even if the other party was not actually a child. Generally, soliciting a minor over the internet is charged as third-degree felony, which could mean up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

Internet Sting and Computer Sex Crimes in Miami

In Miami, Florida, there is a large number of computer sex crimes that are committed every single day. Some of the more common forms of computer sex crimes include:
  • Computer pornography
  • Soliciting minors
  • Transmitting prohibited material to people underage
To help eliminate some of this problem, the Computer Pornography and Child Exploitation Prevention Act was passed by Florida Legislature in addition to a series of other laws aimed at protecting people from online predators. In addition to legislature changes, Florida law enforcement agencies often put internet sting operations into effect.

Miami Child Molestation Law

In Miami, child molestation law falls under the crime of lewd or lascivious molestation. Chapter 800 of the Florida statutes declare that lewd and lascivious are synonyms and have been defined as intent that is:
  • Lustful
  • Wicked
  • Licentious
  • Unchaste
  • Sensual
You can be convicted of these crimes if you intentionally touch a minor under the age of 16 years old in a sexual manor; or force a minor under the age of 16 years old to touch you in a sexual manner.

Sexual Assault and Battery Law in Miami

Sexual Assault Law in Miami can be defined according to Florida Statute Chapter 775. It is also referred to as Sexual Battery. Sexual battery (and consequently sexual assault) is defined as the oral, vaginal, or anal penetration by the sexual organ of another or by any object. The severity of a sexual battery charge depends on a number of factors, including the ages of the victim and the accused. For example, a defendant who is over the age of 18 years old and is accused of committing a sexual battery against a child under the age of 12 years old can be charged with a capital felony, which is punishable by life in prison, while defendants who are over 18 years old, but whose victim was over the age of 12 years old will be charged with a first degree felony. During sentencing, judges will also take the following factors into consideration:
  • Whether the victim was physically incapacitated
  • Whether the offender coerced the victim by threat or force
  • Whether the defendant administered a drug to the victim
  • Whether the victim had a mental defect
  • Whether the defendant was an elected official or a law enforcement officer

Lewd and Lascivious Crimes

In Miami, Lewd and Lascivious Crimes are defined by Florida statute chapter 800 and can be broken down into:
  • Battery
  • Molestation
  • Conduct
  • Exhibition

Indecent Exposure

Indecent exposure in Miami, Florida is defined as displaying, exhibiting, or exposing their sexual organs in a public place or while in public view. According to Statute Chapter 800, a defendant must demonstrate specific elements including:
  • Exposing his or her sexual organs
  • It took place in public, on someone else’s private property, or in close proximity to and within sight of private property
  • It was done in a vulgar manner

Voyeurism in Miami

Under Florida statute 810.14, a person can be convicted of voyeurism if he or she, with lewd or lascivious intent:
  • Secretly observes someone else while that person is located in a dwelling or a conveyance where they have a reasonable expectation of privacy
  • Covertly observes another person’s intimate areas when that person is in a public or private dwelling
Those who are arrested for voyeurism face first-degree misdemeanor charges, which are punishable by up to one year in prison and a $1,000 fine. However, if a person has previously been convicted on two or more occasions for this offense, he or she will face third-degree felony charges, which could mean up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

Formulating a Defense

Because sex offenses are considered so serious in Miami, creating a solid defense is critical in these types of cases. However, the type of defense formulated by a defendant will depend on a number of factors, including the specific crime involved. For example, those who are accused of soliciting prostitution or soliciting a minor are often arrested after being targeted during a sting operation. In these situations, the accused may be able to raise the defense of entrapment, which occurs when defendants are enticed by a police officer to commit a crime that they ordinarily would not have committed. Introducing evidence of investigative mistakes can also help establish that a defendant’s rights were undermined and can lead to the charges being dismissed or reduced.
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