Aggressive prosecution of alleged sexual assault charges is definitely not new news, especially to readers of this blog. Yet a recent appeal brought by a Florida man convicted for an alleged sexual assault provides new context for a discussion of the sentencing often applied in cases involving alleged sex crimes.
The man was charged for the alleged sexual assault of a boy and a girl in the late 1990s. The man had no prior record before the allegations. For this first offense, the judge sentenced the man to a minimum sentence of almost 23 years, with the potential of serving up to 45 years in prison.
Recently, the man requested his sentence be reduced. The local public defender’s office filed a post-sentence motion on the man’s behalf. In the motion, the man claims that the length of his imprisonment may be up to twice the mandatory amount required under Florida law. The man also claims that the judge may not have considered other factors in determining the man’s sentence. An upcoming hearing on the motion is scheduled in mid-May.
This post demonstrates the importance of consulting with an experienced criminal defense attorney when facing sexual assault charges. An attorney can provide valuable assistance throughout the entire process of a criminal trial. At each step of the way, from the grand jury proceeding all the way up to sentencing, an attorney can look for evidentiary flaws and mitigating factors. Even so-called scientific forms of evidence, such as DNA, may be subject to avenues of attack. Without the help of an assertive criminal defense attorney, the prosecutorial zeal of local officials might produce overly severe, and potentially unfair results.
Source: triblive.com, “Florida man appeals sex assault sentence,” Feb. 15, 2013