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Orlando Sex Offense Law Blog

Advancing technology and the law: Both complicated, both changing

As technology continues to change and expand, it changes the way we interact with others. Communication can happen with the click of a button and online exchanges offer a certain sense of anonymity in a seemingly endless network of social interaction.

But this environment can come with its share of problems, from privacy issues to accessibility. Many people do not understand how the relatively new technological advances impact their individual rights. This can certainly be the case when it comes to accusations of Internet sex crimes.

Will you have to register as a sex offender?

A criminal conviction can be devastating and ruinous for anyone. Spending any amount of time in jail or having a stain on your criminal record can make it very difficult to rebuild your life after a bad decision. But for the people convicted of a sex crime, the damage of a conviction can be even more severe.

Many people convicted of a sex offense in Florida are required to register as sex offenders. This means that they must report to the sheriff's office and submit several pieces of information, including a photo, driver's license, address, employer and email addresses. This information is then made public. Appearing on the list of sex offenders can take a dramatic toll on a person's life and impact where they can live, work and spend time for as long as they are required to register. 

Sex stings in Florida: Controversy over tactics, reporting

Being convicted of a sexually-related offense can do untold damage to a person's life. In some cases, a person could spend the rest of his or her life in prison or bound by the restrictions of the sex offender registry. Even those who are convicted of minor offenses can live for years with the stigma of a sex crime conviction.

Unfortunately for any person facing accusations of sexual misconduct, law enforcement agents are more determined than ever to round up suspected sex offenders, and claim to have the results to support their efforts. However, when those efforts are put under the microscope, there is a very different picture being painted.

Teen 'sexting' case resolved with probation

Kids and young teens are growing up in a much different environment than in previous generations. With cellphones, Internet and social media, they are more connected than ever. But because they are still young and developing effective decision-making skills, they can often fail to understand the true consequences of their interactions online. 

Unfortunately, law enforcement and prosecutors can lose sight of this fact. Across the country, authorities are more aggressive than ever when it comes to cracking down on unlawful behaviors online, even when it involves juveniles. In their quest to "send a message" to others, they can cross some serious lines that can call their methods into question. For example, one case in another state recently came to a close, but not until after police tried to use a highly controversial method of identifying their suspect.

Jury: Man accused of sexual misconduct not guilty

Being accused of a sexually inappropriate or abusive act can be devastating. However, when the person making the accusation is a friend, acquaintance or family member, it can make an already complicated and embarrassing situation even worse. Relationships can be destroyed when a person is accused of a sex crime, regardless of if those allegations turn out to be true or not. In either case, a person's life can be destroyed.

Should a person be convicted of sexual abuse charges, he or she can spend years in prison and lose any relationship with family members or friends. If the charges are ultimately dismissed or a person is found guilty, there can still be irreparable damage caused by the accuser and lives can be permanently changed. No matter what the result of a case is, there may be no winners.

After Disney World arrests, Florida lawmakers race to change laws

There are certain serious crimes that have a tendency to grab the spotlight in national news and make people feel outraged. Authorities and citizens may be shocked and demand that action be taken to prevent similar situations from occurring again. This is certainly the case with sexual offenses involving children.

However, there are many times when the actions that people propose are misdirected or overly aggressive. It is crucial that these steps be carefully considered in terms of the big picture so that one problem is not created in an attempt to resolve another. One very strong example of this is the recent move to allow employers to conduct polygraph tests on potential employees after a sting at Disney World in Orlando resulted in numerous arrests.

Computer and child pornography laws in Florida

Generally speaking, most people are not familiar with specific laws regarding serious offenses like sex crimes. People may just assume something is unlawful without really understanding the extent to which they can be charged for committing an offense. 

This can mean people often find themselves in much more trouble than they may realize if and when they are arrested for crimes involving sexual misconduct. For example, the act of visiting a website with the intent of meeting a minor can quickly result in a person being charged with multiple offenses. And when a person is facing multiple charges, there could be an increased likelihood of a conviction on at least one charge and serious consequences. 

Man accused of sexual assault in stepdaughter's college essay

Claims of sexual assault and abuse are among the most troubling and devastating claims of which a person can be accused, especially if the alleged victim is or was a child at the time. People who are charged with these types of sex crimes are aggressively pursued by authorities and publicly condemned by members of a community. Those who are ultimately convicted can face brutal conditions and threats to their physical safety if they are sentenced to prison.

That is the situation one man says he has experienced since he was accused of sexually assaulting his stepdaughter about 10 years ago. According to reports, the girl initially recounted her experiences in a college application essay.

Dozens arrested in Florida during federal sex trafficking sweep

Facing any type of criminal charge can be a truly upsetting experience. People can be looking at prison time, enormous fines, probation and a destroyed career and family if they are convicted. However, if these charges stem from an incident involving a sex crime, such as prostitution or child pornography, there can be additional penalties and even harsher treatment.

One reality of sex-related offenses is that they are extensively investigated by authorities who are determined to make as many arrests and file as many charges as they can. Law enforcement agents and prosecutors often spare no expense when it comes to sex crimes because of the nature of the crimes. However, this means that many people can get caught up in the extensive enforcement efforts, no matter how minor their role might be.

Florida woman facing charges for including minors in sex party

There are people in Florida and all across the country who do not approve of pornographic or sexually explicit materials. But even though it might be considered inappropriate or lewd, pornographic material is not illegal. The creation or distribution of the material is also not illegal in many circumstances.

However, the story changes dramatically if pornographic videos or photos involve minors. One young woman in Florida is learning that very harsh lesson after she was arrested for a number of charges stemming from a pornographic video she made with five other people.

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