Sarasota Sex Crimes Lawyer
Sex offense charges are fraught with emotion for everyone involved. These types of crimes often involve conflicting stories and evidence that may be subject to numerous different interpretations, particularly when no one disputes that sexual contact occurred and the issue is whether both people consented. More often than not, sex crime allegations involve people who know each other. Sex offenses often come down to “he said, she said” arguments with each side telling different versions of the same story. An allegation may be based on a misunderstanding — or may be false.
Sex offenses can be very serious crimes in Florida with a lot at stake if you’re convicted. In addition to court-imposed penalties, there are numerous ways that a sex crimes conviction can affect your life in negative and unexpected ways. The potential effects of a conviction can include:
- A lengthy jail or prison sentence
- Expensive fines and court fees
- House arrest
- A requirement to register as a sex offender
- Restrictions on where you can live and work
- The stigma of being a convicted sex offender, which can affect your ability to get a job or damage your relationships with family and friends
- Loss of custody of your children or your visitation rights
- Loss or denial of a professional license, such as to work as a teacher, doctor, nurse, or lawyer
- Loss or denial of your immigration visa or green card, denial of your citizenship application, or deportation
If you’ve been charged with a sex offense, it’s critical to your future that you obtain the help of a skilled Sarasota sexual assault attorney who will listen to your story and fight to ensure that your side is heard in court.
Sarasota criminal defense attorney Erika Valcarcel is dedicated to fighting for the rights of people accused of crimes and helping them to obtain justice in court. She has significant criminal trial experience that includes several years as a prosecutor in Sarasota and Manatee counties before starting her criminal defense practice.
Contact Erika Valcarcel, Criminal Defense Lawyer, P.A. today for a free consultation to learn how Erika Valcarcel can defend you against your Florida sex offense charge.
Types of Florida Sex Crimes
In Florida, sex crimes generally fall into a few categories. Attorney Erika Valcarcel has experience handling all types of sex offense cases, including:
- Sexual Battery — In Florida, the crime traditionally thought of as rape or sexual assault is charged as sexual battery. This offense involves any kind of sexual penetration that is non-consensual and is done through force, threats, coercion, or incapacitation of the alleged victim. Sexual battery is a serious felony offense.
- Sexual Battery of a Child — This crime occurs when a minor victim is compelled to engage in sexual intercourse against their will. Sexual battery of a child is a serious felony and if convicted, you’ll face significant prison time and lifelong registration as a sex offender if you are released.
- Lewd Acts — Crimes of lewdness involves acts such as public masturbation or exposing your genitals to another person, as well as sexual contact with a minor ages 12 to 16, also commonly known as statutory rape. Lewdness offenses can be serious felony offenses in Florida.
- Prostitution — Prostitution involves sex as a transaction. Criminal charges related to prostitution can include the act of exchanging sex for money, receiving the proceeds of prostitution, forcing someone to engage in prostitution, or renting out space to someone when you know it will be used for prostitution. Prostitution-related offenses can be misdemeanors or felonies in Florida, depending on the circumstances.
- Failure to Register as a Sex Offender — Anyone convicted of a sex crime is required to register as a sex offender in the state of Florida. If this requirement isn’t met the possible penalties include costly fines and lengthy periods behind bars.
- Child Pornography — Child pornography is defined in Florida as any image or video displaying a child under the age of 18 engaging in sexual acts. Anyone convicted of a child pornography crime faces fines, jail time and lifelong consequences, including mandatory registration as a sex offender.
Contact a Sarasota Sex Crimes Lawyer
A conviction for any type of Florida sex offense can have lasting consequences and ruin relationships and careers. Simply being charged with a sex offense can change the way people in your community look at you, even though the law says you’re innocent unless proven guilty in a court. If you’re convicted, you may face a lengthy prison sentence, thousands of dollars in fines, and other consequences.
It’s never too early to consult with a skilled Florida sex crimes lawyer when you’ve been arrested or charged with a sex offense — or know that you’re under investigation. A strong defense lawyer can help protect your rights through the entire process, including during police questioning, searches of your person or property, or criminal court proceedings.
Sarasota criminal defense lawyer Erika Valcarcel can use her extensive experience in local criminal courts to fight to preserve your rights and ensure that your story is told to a judge or jury. Because she was a prosecutor in Sarasota and Manatee counties, she understands all sides of the criminal court process and how to build strong arguments in your defense.
Attorney Valcarcel brings a combination of compassion and strong advocacy to each case because she believes that every person accused of a crime has a right to a fair process and a just outcome. Let Erika Valcarcel, Criminal Defense Lawyer, P.A. fight for you when you’ve been charged with a sex crime in Florida.
Call today at (941) 363-7900 to schedule your free consultation and to find out what Erika Valcarcel can do for you.