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Orlando Sex Offense Law Blog

One state may eliminate felony sex crime statute of limitations

Statutes of limitations are powerful protections built into state and federal laws. These limits are set to preserve the integrity of the case and give people accused of a crime a reasonable opportunity to defend themselves. Without these time restrictions, people could make allegations from something so long ago that evidence no longer exists to support a defense.

However, these statutes of limitations can change. For instance, the state of California is considering eliminating the statute of limitations that is currently in place for felony sex crimes. The change has been sparked by situations like that involving Bill Cosby, who is accused of sexual assault crimes against dozens of women 30 or more years ago. Instead of having 10 years to pursue charges stemming from sexual assault, alleged victims would be able to pursue charges at any time.

Felony drug offenders in Florida get little help

There is no doubt that people convicted of a drug offense will face harsh penalties. This is true whether the offense was violent or non-violent and whether it was a person's first or fifth offense.

Life doesn't necessarily get easier for a person once he or she has fulfilled the terms of a punishment, either. There are many restrictions and obstacles a person can face if they have a felony drug conviction on their record, especially in Florida where there are some that most other states no longer observe. For instance, did you know that you are banned from receiving government nutrition assistance if you are a drug felon?

Age: much more than just a number

Imagine you are on your computer chatting with someone you met via an online video game. You are from the same area, are the same age and seem to connect and share the same interests. The relationship grows and eventually, you both decide you want to meet and take your relationship to a physical level. Once you meet, you engage in sexual activity and the relationship seems to progress normally.

Now imagine the police showing up at your door and informing you that you are being charged with statutory rape. As it turns out, that person you connected with and shared so much with failed to share one critical piece of information with you: his or her real age.

Sometimes the best defense is a weak offense

Being accused of sexual abuse or misconduct can destroy a person's life. Even before a case heads to court, the person accused can face the judgment and scrutiny of the public, an employer and even his or her loved ones. However, in the eyes of the law, you are innocent until proven guilty.

The importance of defending yourself against wrongful allegations of sexual misconduct cannot be overstated. However, too many people feel like they are fighting a losing battle or they assume they will lose because they don't know how to defend themselves. Thankfully, there are criminal defense attorneys who can help people in this situation by crafting a defense strategy. In some cases, the best defense can be proving that the offense is simply too weak.

A drug dog's sniff can turn up more than just drugs

Using dogs trained to sniff out drugs is not a new practice for Florida or federal law enforcement agencies. However, there have been widespread concerns over the use and efficacy of these dogs over the years, particularly when it comes to their success rate.

This controversy over the reliability of drug-sniffing dogs has not led to a reduced reliance on them. In fact, as we examined in this article, the Florida Supreme Court issued a ruling that actually expanded the power of police to use these dogs. As troubling as this may seem, it may be more so when you realize that even when the dogs are wrong about drugs, a person can still wind up losing.

Sex offenders can't catch a break (or a Pokémon)

We have discussed the various strict and often life-altering restrictions placed on registered sex offenders numerous times on this blog, but it is worth repeating. A person convicted of a sex crime who is required to register as a sex offender will have to comply with a whole host of restrictions, from where they can live to what they can do online.

These requirements can make it all but impossible for a person to live a normal life and try to move on past an offense. And some states aren't trying to make it any easier. Recently, it was announced in New York that registered sex offenders will also now be banned from playing PokémonGo.

Can I plead no contest to a criminal charge?

The criminal justice system in the U.S. is far more complex and complicated than most people realize. For instance, did you know that a person accused of a crime doesn't have to plead either guilty or not guilty to the charges? A number of different pleas can be entered, including a plea of no contest.

No contest pleas are not uncommon, including in cases where a person is accused of prostitution or solicitation. However, there are some critical elements of pleading no contest that you should understand should you find yourself in a position to enter a plea.

3 parties that can face penalties for forged prescriptions

Prescription drug abuse is one of the nation's most pervasive health issues. Millions of people struggle with or have struggled with abusing prescription drugs, from painkillers to tranquilizers; there is no shortage of demand when it comes to these powerful medications.

Those who are addicted to these medications often rely on illegal ways of procuring a supply. However, they are not the only ones who can face serious drug charges and penalties when these controlled substances are obtained unlawfully. 

Why sexual misconduct often leads to several charges

When you read stories about someone facing criminal accusations related to sexual misconduct, chances are that person is not just looking at a single offense. In most cases, a single incident can lead to numerous charges and multiple counts, compounding the penalties that can be handed down.

This can happen for a few reasons we will explore below.

One failed motion doesn't have to spell defeat in sex abuse cases

Comedian Bill Cosby has seen his reputation as one of the country's most beloved personalities destroyed in the months following numerous allegations that he sexually assaulted several women. However, it is the story of one alleged victim that matters most in the eyes of the law, as it is the only one recent enough to have resulted in criminal prosecution.

Considering all that is on the line in this case, it is no surprise that it is being closely followed and scrutinized by people all over the country. It is also no surprise that Cosby's legal team is being aggressive in their challenges of the prosecution's case. Most recently, it has targeted the apparent violation of Cosby's right to confront his accuser.

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