A conviction on a sex crime charge can have some very long-lasting effects on a person. Having such a conviction on one’s record can cause a person to face prolonged difficulties when it comes to finding employment. Being convicted of a sex offense can also cause a person to have to be on a sex offender registry for a very long time, possibly even their entire life. Additionally, the reputation damage from such a conviction can stick around and disrupt various aspects of a person’s life for years or even decades. A guilty verdict in a sex offense case can, in certain circumstances, even impact a person’s future retirement.
An example of this last point is that, here in Florida, a certain class of individuals can face having their retirement benefits taken away if they are convicted of certain types of sex crimes. This class of individuals are public officers and employees.
Under state law, such officers and employees can face losing such benefits if they are convicted of any of the felony offenses in the state’s sexual battery law and certain circumstances are present in relation to the offense. Specifically, the following four circumstances must all apply to the offense:
- At the time of the offense, the victim of the offense was under 18.
- The office/employee held their officer/employee position at the time of the offense.
- The officer/employee used or tried to use their position or their position’s duties, privileges, rights or power in the commission of the offense.
- The offense did not occur before Oct. 1, 2008.
Given that the penalties and consequences related to a sex crime conviction can have effects that last long after the time the conviction is reached and any jail/probation sentence is served, how a person responds to being accused of a sex crime and what defenses strategies and approaches they take during proceedings related to the allegations matter deeply. This is among the reasons why seeking out a skilled sex crimes defense attorney can be critically important when one has been accused of a sex offense.