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Orlando Sex Offense Law Blog

How big of an issue is recidivism in Florida?

The penalties and limitations that are put in place for people convicted of a sex crime are particularly harsh. Authorities and supporters of these measures argue that they are effective ways at reducing recidivism, or a relapse in criminal behaviors.

However, this has been a point of contention when it comes to sex offenders. It has been argued that many people convicted of sex crimes are not at a significant risk of engaging in repeat behaviors. They may have made a mistake, but there is no reason to suspect that they would continue to pose a danger to others. But the fear associated with these crimes can distort some of this information.

How time can be a factor in sexual abuse cases

Many people have been following the dramatic stories of sexual abuse that have been told about iconic actor and comedian, Bill Cosby. Currently, reports state that there are more than 20 women who have made statements that Cosby engaged in unlawful sexual conduct with them at some point. In some cases, the alleged events took place decades ago.

It has only been in recent weeks that several of the women who have accused Cosby of sexual misconduct spoke publicly about interactions that were alleged to have happened as long as 50 years ago. The fact that the events are said to have transpired so long ago could -- and likely will -- have a dramatic impact on the charges that Cosby may or may not ultimately face.

How can I prove that my criminal charges were due to entrapment?

Some of our recent posts have focused on the use of sting operations, which are a common law-enforcement tool used to catch would-be offenders. Most people are familiar with drug and prostitution stings, in which an undercover officer poses as a drug dealer or prostitute. Suspects are arrested after they attempt to buy drugs or sex.

Sting operations are also a very common practice when it comes to certain internet sex crimes. Officers may pose as a minor in a chat room or on a personal services website as a way to catch individuals who seek to solicit minors for sex.

Florida students involved in alleged prostitution ring

Teenagers can make some bad and dangerous decisions, no matter how much parents try to steer them in the right direction. Young people want to be treated like adults but they can still be impulsive and immature. They may also lack the capability to appreciate the consequences of their actions, which puts them in a difficult and confusing spot.

While teens want to be treated like adults, this desire to be seen as one could seriously work against them if they are accused of a serious criminal offense. This is the difficult lesson that two teenagers and one adult are learning after their recent arrests.

Prostitution stings: What law enforcement agents are looking for

State and federal law enforcement agencies are aggressive in their pursuit to track down and "bust up" alleged prostitution rings. Sometimes we read about these stings in the news or see them played back on TV shows that document police activity; but while these stings can often be sensationalized in the media, the fact is that they have very real consequences for real people.

Many people caught up in these enforcement efforts may not fit the description of what the police are really looking for. They may be first-time offenders, non-violent people who have made a bad decision or people who would have not engaged in such behaviors without the enticement of a law enforcement agent (entrapment). What police are typically looking for, and the reason they are so aggressive in their actions, is juveniles. 

Charges can pile up when you are accused of sex crimes

If you are accused of sexual misconduct, especially when it involves minors, the fact is that you could be in some very serious trouble. In many cases, you will be looking at several charges, each with its own potential for severe consequences.

For example, a person accused of traveling to meet a minor for the purposes of engaging in illicit behaviors will likely be charged with multiple offenses in conjunction with this act. It can be crucial that each charge be taken seriously and aggressively defended with the help of an attorney.

Civil commitment: Another measure of control for sex offenders

We have discussed the many ways a person's life can be affected after being convicted of a sexually-related crime. Any criminal conviction can be devastating and significantly upset a person's family, career and future, but conviction of a sex offense can result in additional measures that can seem extraneous.

For instance, convicted sex offenders can be required to register as such with the state. They can be prohibited from holding certain jobs and living in certain areas. Involuntary Inpatient Placement in mental health treatment facility could also be ordered. This last measure of control is allowed under the terms of the Baker Act and is referred to in some areas as civil commitment.

Sex offenders in Florida: What you need to know about Halloween

Many people look forward to Halloween as a time to carve pumpkins, dress up in a costume or hand out candy to trick-or-treaters. But for people who have been convicted of a sex offense, Halloween can be just another reminder that they made a mistake and are still paying the price for it.

Numerous states in the U.S., including Florida, have laws that limit the activities of sex offenders on Halloween. Some states require people who are registered as sex offenders to put out a sign saying "No candy;" other states permit police to randomly check on registered sex offenders to make sure they are home and don't have their lights on; in Florida, paroled sex offenders are prohibited from wearing a costume on Halloween or passing out candy. All these measures are aimed at protecting people and preventing recidivism, but are they even effective?

Florida man facing federal charges after undercover investigation

While criminal charges of any kind can be devastating, few are as potentially ruinous as those involving child pornography allegations. Charges of making, having or distributing these materials can destroy a person's family, reputation and career, and a conviction can mean extremely harsh penalties, including lengthy prison sentences.

This is the situation one Florida man is facing after an undercover FBI agent launched an investigation into child pornography networks in Jacksonville. The man was recently arrested and charged after the investigation reportedly tied him to unlawful activities.

How often do sex offenders have to re-register in Florida?

Of all the consequences that are associated with a criminal conviction, being required to register as a sex offender is one of the most devastating. Prison sentences can be bad enough to seriously damage a person's future, career or family, but people who are also required to register as a sex offender can find it all but impossible to move on from a conviction when they have to regularly comply with sex offender registry requirements.

Being a registered sex offender often involves much more than simply checking in with law enforcement agents after moving or being released from a correctional facility. Depending on the nature of a crime for which a person has been convicted or found delinquent, a sexual offender or predator will need to re-register two or four times every year unless or until the requirement to register is lifted or expires.

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