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Gainesville Sex Crimes Lawyer

Sex Offenses

Individuals in Florida are often charged with sexual offenses after a false accusation, they committed an offense without the intent to, or they were unaware their acts were illegal. No matter the reason, sexual offenses in Florida can result in serious repercussions, including social stigma, a criminal record, sex offender registration requirements, fines and/or a jail or prison sentence. A few of the most commonly prosecuted sexual offenses in Florida include, but are not limited to:

Sex Crime Defense Lawyer in Gainesville, FL

If you have been charged with any sex crime in Gainesville, or any of the surrounding areas in Florida, including Ocala, Alachua, and Lake City, contact the Galigani Law Firm. He also represents students during sex crime related college disciplinary hearings. Call the Galigani Law Firm today for a free consultation with a Gainesville sex crime attorney at (352) 375-0812 about your alleged sex crimes charge.

Galigani Law Firm accepts clients throughout the greater Alachua County area including Gainesville, High Springs, Alachua, Archer, La Crosse, and Waldo. 


 

Florida Sex Crimes Information Center


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Sexual Offenses in Florida

Some of the most common sex crime charges in Florida are:

Sexual Battery – Fla. Stat. § 794.011 – A person can be charged with this offense if they commit any non-consensual oral, anal or vaginal penetration with their sexual organs or any other object to another person that is not for a medical purpose. This offense is also commonly known as rape and can result in a conviction for a felony of the first degree, life felony or capital felony, depending on the age of the victim, whether the victim had any disabilities, and whether a weapon was used during the commission of the offense.

Rape – Fla. Stat. § 794.011 – A person commits rape in Florida if they commit a sexual battery. Sexual battery is defined as any non-consensual oral, anal or vaginal penetration by the sexual organ of another person or any other object that is not for a medical purpose. This offense can result in a conviction for a felony of the first degree, life felony or capital felony, depending on the age of the victim, whether the victim had any disabilities, and whether a weapon was used during the commission of the offense.

Unlawful Sexual Activity with a Minor (Statutory Rape) – Fla. Stat. § 794.05 – A person can be charged with this offense if they are at least 24 years old and engage in sexual activity, or oral, anal or vaginal penetration, or union with the sexual organ of another, who is 16 or 17 years old. This offense is punishable as a felony of the second degree.

Exposure of Sexual Organs (Indecent Exposure) – Fla. Stat. § 800.03 – An individual can be charged with this offense if they expose their sexual organs in public in an indecent manner, or are naked in public. This offense is punishable as a misdemeanor of the first degree.

Lewd and Lascivious Acts (Lewd Conduct) – Fla. Stat. § 800.02 – An individual can be charged with this offense if they commit conduct with sexual connotations or they engage in crude and indecent behavior. A conviction for this offense can result in a misdemeanor of the second degree.

Sexual Performance by a Child (Child Pornography) – Fla. Stat. § 827.071 – An individual can be convicted of this offense if they knowingly use or promote a child less than 18 years old to engage in a sexual performance. This offense is generally punishable as a felony of the second degree.

Forcible Fondling – The Florida Statute for forcible fondling can be found under section 800.04(5) and (6), which are legally coined as lewd or lascivious conduct or molestation. The law states a person is guilty of lewd or lascivious molestation if they touch a person under the age of 16 in a lewd or lascivious manner on the breast, genitals, genital area, buttocks, or any clothing covering those areas. The crime of lewd or lascivious conduct occurs if a person intentionally touches someone under the age of 16 in a lewd or lascivious manner. They could also be charged with lewd or lascivious conduct if they solicit someone under the age of 16.


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Penalties for Florida Sex Crimes

A conviction for a sex offense in Florida can result in the penalties listed below. However, these penalties are the statutory minimum penalties and can vary depending on the type of offense, the age of the victim, whether the victim had any disabilities, whether a weapon was used during the commission of the offense, and whether the alleged offender has previously been convicted of any offense.

  • A conviction for a misdemeanor of the second degree can result in a jail sentence up to 60 days and/or fines up to $500.
  • A sexual offense that is a misdemeanor of the first degree can lead to jail time up to one year and/or a fine up to $1,000.
  • A conviction for a felony of the third degree can result in a prison sentence not more than five years and/or a fine not exceeding 5,000.
  • A sexual offense that can result in a felony of the second degree can result in up to 15 years in prison and/or a fine up to $10,000.
  • A felony of the first-degree offense can lead to a prison sentence up to 30 years and/or a fine up to $10,000.
  • A life felony in Florida can result in a prison sentence from 30 years to not more than life in prison and/or a fine not exceeding $15,000.
  • A conviction for a capital felony in Florida can result in a death sentence.

If an individual is convicted of a sexual offense in Florida, they can also face the following collateral consequences:

  • Damage to their reputation
  • Job loss or inability to work in certain occupations or fields
  • Loss of relationships with friends and family
  • Requirements to register as a sex offender
  • Criminal record that could be permanent
  • Loss of certain educational opportunities
  • Inability to receive certain government funding or scholarships

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Average Sentence for Sex Offenders in Florida

The penalties for sexually motivated crimes rely on the offense, the age of the victim, if violence was involved, and if the offender has a criminal record. The sentencing for sex crimes can range drastically based on what crime was committed and the facts of the case. Although there aren’t many, there are some misdemeanor sex crimes where you’re likely to avoid jail time. 

Crimes such as indecent exposure or exposure of sexual organs is a first-degree misdemeanor. Some sex offenses such as lewd and lascivious acts are charged as a misdemeanor if the offender was under the age of 18 during the commission of the offense. However, most sexually motivated crimes are felonies and will result in prison time upon conviction.

For instance, two of the most common sex crimes in Florida are sexual battery and sexual assault. Both sexual assault and sexual battery are classified as felonies in Florida. Sexual assault without any aggravating factors is a second-degree felony, while sexual battery without aggravating factors is a first-degree felony in Florida. Since Florida uses minimum statutory sentences, the average jail time for a sex offender could be from 6 to 35 months in jail.


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What Are the Laws for Sex Offenders in Florida?

The state of Florida has some of the most stringent laws for sex offenders in the U.S. Generally speaking, a sex offender is a person who was convicted of a sex crime that requires them to be placed on the Sexual Offender Registry. It’s important to understand that Florida recognizes similar conviction and sentencing requirements in other states. So, if you’re a registered sex offender in another state and move to Florida, you’ll be required to still maintain your registration at the Florida registry. 

Sex offenders are required to register with their local county sheriff’s office at least twice a year. Once during their birth month and then every 6 months thereafter. Some sex offenders are required to register four times a year depending upon on their offense. Sex offenders must also update their driver’s license within 48 hours of any change of resident whether it’s permanent, temporary, or transient. In addition, all qualifying sex offenders will be listed on a public registry site. Often this is what disrupts sex offenders lives the most as their employers, peers, and neighbors can all access their sex offender status.

The worst part about Florida’s sex offender registry laws is that if you’re a sex offender you’re one for life. Unfortunately, Florida offers very few options for removal from the Florida’s sex offender registry. These include:

  • The offender moved to Florida and their registration was removed in another state
  • Post-conviction relief, which is a request that a conviction or sentence be vacated or overturned
  • The offender meets the requirements for Florida’s “Romeo and Juliet” law
  • The offender was given a full pardon
  • After 25 years, the offender petitioned the court for removal with strict limitations

The “Romeo and Juliet” exemption only involves certain offenses where a person, who was no more than 4 years older than the alleged victim, engaged in consensual sexual activity with another person when they were at or between the ages of 13 to 17.

In addition, only a few offenses qualify for removal from the registry which include: 

  • Lewd or Lascivious offenses committed upon or in the presence of a child under the age of 16 during the commission of the offense;
  • A lewd or lascivious exhibition using a computer or electronic device; or
  • Sexual performance by a child

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Sexual Offender Registration Requirements

Under the Florida Sexual Predators Act in Chapter 775 of the Florida Statutes, anyone who has been convicted of a sexual offense is required to register with the sheriff’s office for certain periods of time depending on the offense they have been convicted of.

A sexual predator is defined as an individual who has been convicted of a felony sexual offense where the victim is a minor.

If an individual has been convicted of indecent exposure, lewd conduct, child pornography or statutory rape, they are required to register with the sheriff’s department two times per year for the remainder of their life.

If an individual has been convicted of sexual battery or rape, they are required to register with the Florida sheriff’s department four times per year for life.


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Can a Minor Register as a Sex Offender in Florida?

It might be surprising to learn that a large majority of people who commit sex crimes are under the age of 18. Although it isn’t common, juveniles can be registered as sex offenders in Florida. They are required to register as a sex offender if they fit one of the following: 

  • Were convicted as an adult for a qualifying sex offense and also meets the criteria to register as sex offender or predator; or
  • Was adjudicated as a delinquent for qualifying sex offenses in Florida or any other jurisdiction when they were 14 years of age or older at the time of the offense

The following are qualifying offenses that require registration as a sex offender upon conviction if the juvenile was 14 years of age during the commission of the crime.

  • Lewd or lascivious battery by forcing, enticing, encouraging any person less than 16 years of age to engage in sexual bestiality, prostitution, sadomasochistic abuse, or any other act that involves sexual activity.
  • Lewd or lascivious molestation where the victim was 12 years old or older, but less than 16 years old at the time of the offense. Additionally, the court must find that the use or force or coercion was involved as well as unclothed genitals.
  • Lewd or lascivious molestation and the victim was under the age of 12.
  • Sexual battery
  • Any similar offense committed in Florida that has been redesignated from a former statute number to one listed under Section 943.0435(1)(h)(d)

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Sex Crime Resources in Florida

Florida Statutes Online – This website contains all the rules and regulations pertaining to sexual offenses in Florida. This link is direct to Chapter 794, which pertains to sexual battery offenses, penalties and any statutory defenses to sexual battery.

The Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers – This national organization is dedicated to preventing sexual abuse through education, learning and shared research on public policies and community strategies.

FDLE Sexual Offender Reporting Requirements – The Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s (FDLE) website contains the reporting requirements for offenders who have been convicted of sexual offenses in Florida. The Gainesville office of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) can be contacted at:

Phone: (352) 373-0566

Gainesville Police Department (GPD) – This Florida governmental agency provides service to the community, protects citizens of the community and enforces laws of the state. This website permits users to access information about the GPD and police-related activity in the community, including crime prevention, online forms, and services, frequently asked questions and victim services. The Gainesville Police Department is located at:

413 NW 8th Ave
Gainesville, Florida 32601
Phone: (352) 955-1818

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Gainesville Sex Crimes Attorney in Florida | Galigani Law Firm

Contact the Galigani Law Firm today for a consultation about your sexual offense throughout Alachua County in Florida. Dean Galigani is an experienced attorney for criminal defense in Gainesville who will make every effort to help you achieve the best possible outcome for your particular situation. Don't wait another moment to secure an experienced Florida sex crimes attorney today. Contact the Galigani Law Firm at (352) 375-0812 for a consultation about your alleged sex crime throughout the counties in Florida, including Alachua County, Marion County, Levy County, Columbia County and Gilchrist County.

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Galigani Law Firm proudly serves Gainesville and surrounding areas of
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