Florida’s mandatory sex offender database contains photographs, physical descriptions, addresses and detailed personal information on over 39,000 individuals convicted of offenses such as lewd and lascivious behavior involving a child victim, statutory rape and forcible rape or sexual battery committed with a deadly weapon. This number is higher than several states with populations comparable to Florida’s. Expressed as a percentage of population, the rate is among the highest in the country. Once an individual is required to register, he or she will likely remain there for life, and must re-register periodically and update any changes in residence or other information.
According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, in 2011 nearly 10,000 forcible sex offenses (for example, sexual battery and attempted sexual battery) were reported statewide. Whether it is primarily a cause or a result of these sobering statistics, there is no question that today more Florida police and prosecutorial resources than ever are dedicated to the apprehension and conviction of sex offenders. Some commonly charged sex crimes include:
- Sexual battery
- Possession of child pornography
- Lewd or lascivious conduct
- Solicitation of prostitution
- Date rape
Merely being accused of nearly any type of sex crime in Florida – especially if the alleged victim was underage – can adversely affect your employment, family relationships and friendships. A conviction can mean incarceration for periods up to and including life and otherwise affect virtually every aspect of your life. Worse, although DNA analysis and other forensic evidence techniques have advanced tremendously in recent years, many sex crimes are still prosecuted exclusively or predominantly on the testimony of the alleged victim. In these cases, the jury must determine guilt or innocence based almost entirely on the credibility of the victim and defendant. Unfortunately, this creates the very real possibility of convictions based on honest mistakes in identification or other facts as well as those resulting from deliberately false accusations. The testimony of victims and witnesses, especially children, can be subtly influenced or “coached” by prosecutors or police. Moreover, if you’ve been accused of any sex crime, you may also encounter particular hostility and even outright prejudice from police, prosecutors and even judges and juries. Even if the charges are entirely false, you can’t assume that the truth will come out. Prosecutors are after convictions, even when a conviction doesn’t’ constitute justice.Being accused of a sex crime is a frightening and disorienting experience. You will at times feel that the full weight of the system is being brought down on you. You need a skilled and experienced attorney on your side during each step in the case to obtain the best possible outcome.
The criminal defense attorneys at Orner Law, LLC have many years of combined experience in representing South Florida residents accused of sex crimes. In order to help you present the most aggressive possible defense against these charges, we will carefully investigate the facts and the events leading to your arrest. We will work to uncover inconsistencies or other flaws or weaknesses in witness statements or other evidence that can be critical to your defense. With offices conveniently located in Boca Raton and Fort Lauderdale, Orner Law, LLC represents South Florida residents charged with serious crimes. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.