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Orlando Sex Offense Law Blog

How important is intent when it comes to sex crime allegations?

The answer to the question posed in this headline is, quite simply, very. Intent in regards to the attempt to commit or the act of committing a sex crime can typically make or break a case against you if you are accused of offenses like traveling to meet a minor or online solicitation of a minor for the purposes of engaging in or facilitating a sexual act.

Law enforcement agencies devote massive resources to establishing and arguing that someone in this position knowingly or intentionally engaged in certain behaviors that would ultimately lead to an illegal act. However, with legal support, you can defend yourself and challenge their findings of intent.

Lewd and lascivious behavior: grounds for having to register?

In previous posts on this blog, we have explored some of the reasons why the sex offender registration, while well-intentioned, may actually be less effective than people think. Since the registry was established, people are being required to register for an increasing number of offenses that may not be serious or indicative that a person may be a threat to others. 

For example, people can be required to register as a sex offender if they are in a consenting sexual relationship with someone who is just below the age of consent or if they are caught for an offense like public urination, in some situations. These crimes are very different than violent, abusive or non-consensual sex crimes that we typically think of when we think of the registry. However, they are all crimes that can result in being labeled a sex offender.

Arrested for child pornography? When police can search your phone

Take a second and look around you. Chances are pretty good that your cellphone is within arm's reach. In fact, you may even be reading this blog post on your cellphone as you ride the bus to work, wait for an elevator or sit around the house. Most people have their cellphones on them at all times and use them for everything from getting directions to finding a date.

Because of how much we use our cellphones and how much information is actually stored on these hand-held devices, the consequences of them falling into the wrong hands can be very upsetting. We often take steps to protect them from being accessed by a thief, but what about if a police officer takes a phone during an arrest -- can we protect our information from being accessed by that officer?

Civil commitment: paying for a crime after serving a sentence

There is no doubt that all types of sex offenses are taken seriously by the government and law enforcement agencies. In fact, we have discussed on this blog cases of people facing the heavy-handed penalties of a sex crime conviction even though an offense may have been relatively minor.

However, there are unfortunately cases when an alleged offense is very serious and involves particularly aggressive acts or vulnerable victims. For people in this situation, the consequences can be so harsh that they toe the line between justified and unconstitutional. One such controversial penalty involves civil commitment.

Facing child pornography charges? You need someone by your side

If you are facing charges involving the possession or distribution of child pornography, you are likely feeling like the whole world is against you.

If you are married, your spouse may question your relationship and maybe even consider a divorce. You could lose your job. Your friends and loved ones may distance themselves from you even before your case is resolved. On top of the anxiety, fear and embarrassment you may be feeling, you can also feel very abandoned. But you should remember that you don't have to go through the difficult process of defending yourself alone.

US laws protect children outside of the US

People across Florida should be very clear about the fact that they can get in serious trouble for engaging in sexual conduct with minors. Though there are very exceptions, having sex with someone who is underage can mean some very harsh penalties that can prove to be ruinous.

Unfortunately, people make the mistake of thinking that traveling to a different country to engage in sex with minors will shield them from the reach of U.S. laws. This can be a very costly mistake.

Judge's sentencing for student met with national outrage

People are told that laws and the justice system are in place to protect victims and appropriately punish people who commit a crime. In many cases, this is what happens. However, the system is far from perfect and there are times when the measures designed to protect people actually work against them.

One example of this played out in another state but the story has captured national headlines. The case involves a man who was 19 and a girl he met online. What started as a casual and friendly encounter online spiraled into what is arguably a prime example of a broken system.

Can I get off the sex offender registry?

Being convicted of a sex offense can be ruinous. Not only could it result in serious jail time and financial penalties, but it could also mean being required to register as a sex offender. The stigma of being a registered sex offender can follow a person for the rest of his or her life.

Because of this, figuring out how to get off the registry is a top priority for most people. However, it is not an option for everyone. As this article explains, there are certain classifications of offenders who will have to register for the rest of their lives. Others, however, do have the option to pursue removal of the requirement.

Understanding the elements of a solicitation charge

There is an unfortunate and unfair conclusion drawn when someone is charged with an offense like solicitation. Many people assume that the person charged is guilty because authorities wouldn't arrest and charge someone unless he or she did something wrong.

Not only is this an inaccurate assumption, it is also a dangerous one. One of the fundamental rights that people have in the U.S. is that they are innocent until they have been proven guilty. So while it may seem like conviction is a foregone conclusion, it is not. People have the right to defend themselves against criminal allegations and fight to avoid conviction.

To speak or not to speak: what to know about staying silent

If you are arrested, under investigation for a crime, questioned or interviewed by police, there is no doubt that you are in a scary situation. You can be face-to-face with intimidating law enforcement agents who seem to know an awful lot about you and your behaviors. They use various tactics and seem to alternate between being understanding and being ready to explode. It's an intimidating and frightening experience for any person, regardless of if they've done something wrong.

While it can be difficult, it is crucial to try and stay calm and understand your rights in this situation. Unfortunately, too many people are confused or misinformed about what they can and cannot do; what they should or should not say. For instance, you may know that you "have the right to remain silent" after you have been read your Miranda rights, but your silence before then can say a lot more than you think.

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