West Palm Beach Sex Crime Lawyer

West Palm Beach Sex Crime Lawyer

West Palm Beach, FL Sex Crimes Attorney

What Happens to Sex Offenders in Florida?

Attorney King has counseled many clients on the intricacies of sex crimes defense as they face a wide variety of potential sentences, some reasonable and many unreasonable. Not only are most sex crimes felony offenses that come with lengthy prison sentences, but the stigma of being labeled a sexual offender could also be arguably worse than the threat of prolonged incarceration. Restrictions on your choice of housing, employment, and travel can seriously impact your daily life following incarceration. Further, if you have been convicted of a serious offense and are forced to register as a sex offender, you will be constantly monitored by law enforcement, and your photo, address, and details of your offense will be posted on the internet by various databases.

Additionally, if you are sentenced to prison for a sex-related offense, before being released you could face civil commitment under Florida Statutes Section 394.912, commonly referred to as the Jimmy Ryce Act. The Ryce Act is a statutory scheme where you can be committed indefinitely, post-incarceration, to a state institution while being forced to undergo psychosexual therapy. This consequence alone makes a sex allegation very serious in the state of Florida.

Your best defense against any sex crime accusation is to obtain legal representation immediately. The long-term consequences of a sex crime conviction are severe, and early involvement by an experienced West Palm Beach sex crime attorney like Nellie King is recommended to ensure that all your rights are protected and your charges handled fairly. If you have not yet been arrested and are under investigation, contact the firm before contacting the police so that you can receive the benefit of early representation.

False Allegations of Sexual Abuse

Sex crime accusations sometimes occur in the context of an ongoing divorce, out of anger or spite, or when there are other issues occurring within a family setting. There have been numerous reported cases of false allegations of sexual abuse, particularly when law enforcement employs poor investigation techniques that taint the interview process. Attorney King has handled cases involving false reports before and understands the stress associated with a false accusation against you.

There are several crimes that fall under the category of sexual offenses. Attorney Nellie L. King can represent you if you are facing arrest or accusation for:

  • Capital Sexual Battery
  • Child Abuse
  • Civil Commitment under the Jimmy Ryce Act
  • Failure to Register as a Sex Offender
  • Human Trafficking
  • Indecent Exposure
  • Lewd and Lascivious Conduct
  • Luring a Child
  • Molestation
  • Online Solicitation or other Internet Sex Crimes
  • Possession or Distribution of Child Pornography
  • Rape – Statutory Rape, Spousal Rape, Date Rape
  • Sexual Battery
  • Solicitation of Prostitution
  • Unlawful Sex with a Minor
  • Violation of Probation Involving a Sex Offense
  • Voyeurism

If you have been arrested or are under investigation for a sex-related offense, you may believe that speaking with the police will aid in your effort to clear your name. You may also believe you are obligated to talk to law enforcement. However, the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution guarantees your right to remain silent, and you have absolutely no obligation to speak to the police. In fact, speaking with anyone other than your lawyer can have negative long-term consequences, as everything you say may be used against you in court. Namely, law enforcement commonly will set up controlled phone calls to entice you into making potentially incriminating statements. So, instead of talking about the allegations with law enforcement, immediately contact a lawyer to represent you. You have the right to speak to an attorney and should always exercise this right before speaking to the police, especially if the allegations are completely false.

sex crime lawyer west palm beach fl

The Romeo and Juliet Exception

While one of the severe penalties mentioned earlier is the requirement to register as a sex offender, Florida passed the “Romeo and Juliet” law to address concerns about high school age youth being labeled as sexual offenders or sexual predators after engaging in consensual sexual relationships. The stigma and consequences that come with that registration have lifelong consequences that affect things such as an alleged offender’s future employment opportunities, ability to attend their child’s school functions, and where they can live. The Romeo and Juliet Exception removes the requirement to register as a sexual offender or predator under special circumstances, and those who qualify can file a motion or petition in state court for removal of the registration requirement if they meet certain criteria.

What Evidence Is Needed to Defend a Sex Crime Accusation?

When it comes to sex crimes, there is no one-size-fits-all piece of evidence that will be able to defend against an accusation. Every sex crime case is unique and will require its own investigation to identify what will be most effective in defending the accused. However, some types of evidence are commonly used in sex crime cases, which include:

  • Alibi witnesses: Often in family units or a circle of friends, there will be people who can attest to your specific whereabouts at the time the crime is alleged to have occurred or who can speak to your character. Specific things they may be able to testify to include whether you have a history of sexual misconduct, whether you were with them at the time the crime is alleged to have occurred, or what kind of person you are in general. These character and alibi testimonies can help persuade a jury of your innocence.
  • Physical evidence: In some cases, there may be physical evidence that can help to acquit the accused. This could include DNA evidence, video footage, or anything else that can place the accused at a different location from where the crime is alleged. Because it can provide concrete proof that you were not at the crime scene, this form of evidence is often critical in helping to convince a jury of your innocence.
  • Inconsistencies in the accuser’s story: In many cases, an accuser’s story will have inconsistencies that can be used to impeach their credibility. This could include changes in their story over time, inconsistencies with other witness statements, or anything else that calls into question the accuser’s version of events. Highlighting these inconsistencies can help persuade a jury that the accuser is not credible.
  • False accusation: It is not uncommon for people to be falsely accused of sex crimes, mainly if there is a personal motive. In these cases, evidence that can show that the accuser has a reason to lie or that they have made false accusations in the past can be very helpful in convincing a jury of the accused’s innocence. However, sharing previous false accusations can be a delicate balance, as it may also serve to further victimize the accuser. This should only be done with the guidance of an experienced attorney.
  • Electronic communications: In many cases, electronic communications between the accused and the accuser can be beneficial in establishing a defense. These could include text messages, emails, social media messages, or anything else that can help to show the nature of the relationship between the two parties. This type of evidence can be very useful in showing that the accused did not have a sexual motive or intent, which is often key in these types of cases. Even more compelling would be any digital messages sent after the alleged crime occurred stating that the encounter was consensual. This can be incredibly helpful in defending against the accusation.
  • Medical records: Medical records can be used to show that the accuser did not sustain any injuries consistent with the alleged crime. This could include a lack of DNA evidence, no injuries to the genital area, or anything else that would be inconsistent with the accuser’s story. This form of evidence can be very persuasive in showing that the alleged crime did not occur, or at least not in the way that the accuser claims. This alone will not be enough to convince a jury, but in combination with other forms of evidence, it can be very helpful.
  • Therapist records: The accuser may have discussed the alleged incident with a therapist before ever going to the police. If this is the case, the therapist may have records that can be subpoenaed and used as evidence. This could include the accuser’s account of what happened, which may be different from what they later told the police, or anything else that can be used to impeach their credibility. These records can be very helpful in showing that the accuser is not to be believed. However, they can be difficult to obtain due to patient confidentiality laws. You need an experienced attorney on your side to help you legally obtain them.

What Qualities Make a Strong West Palm Beach Sex Crimes Attorney?

When you’re facing sex crime charges, it’s important to have an experienced and aggressive attorney on your side. Here are some of the qualities you should look for in a West Palm Beach sex crimes attorney:

  • Experience: A good sex crimes attorney will have experience handling cases like yours. They will know the ins and outs of the legal system and will be able to navigate the complexities of your case. To ensure your prospective attorney has the experience you need, ask them:
    • How many sex crime cases have you defended?
    • What types of sex crime cases have you defended?
    • What was the outcome of these cases?
  • Aggressive: Sex crime cases can be complex and difficult to win. You need an attorney who is willing to fight for you and who won’t back down in the face of adversity. An aggressive attorney will be prepared to take your case to trial if necessary and will do whatever it takes to get you the best possible outcome.
  • Compassionate: Being accused of a sex crime can be a challenging and emotional experience. You need an attorney who is compassionate and understanding and who will be there for you every step of the way. A good sex crimes attorney will take the time to get to know you and your story and will fight tirelessly to protect your rights.
  • Knowledgeable: A good sex crimes attorney will be knowledgeable about the law and will know how to use it to your advantage. They will be able to explain the charges against you and will work with you to develop a strong defense. To assess their knowledge, ask your prospective attorney:
    • What kind of experience do you have with sex crime cases?
    • What are the possible defenses to the charges against me?
    • What are the likely outcomes of my case?
  • Reputable: When you’re facing sex crime charges, your reputation is on the line. You need an attorney who is respected by their peers and has a good legal reputation. To find out if your prospective attorney is reputable, ask around and see what other people are saying about them. You can also check their ratings on websites like Avvo.

Tenacious and Personalized Representation

Sex crimes are different from every other type of criminal charge. Being accused of a sex crime is a very serious situation because of the lengthy prison and probation penalties a conviction carries, as well as the damage it will do to your reputation if you are required to register as a sexual offender or sexual predator.

Public reaction to those charged with sex crimes creates a complicated legal situation because the case is often driven by emotions, rather than by facts. Bias against the accused is common in these cases. However, a good attorney like Nellie L. King has the background, experience, and professionalism necessary to dispel the frenzy surrounding this process and litigate the issues at hand to help protect your future.

Attorney Nellie L. King is an aggressive West Palm Beach attorney with years of experience in sex crimes defense. There are several different forms of sex crimes, from child internet pornography to prostitution, from rape to criminal sexual contact. If you are facing arrest or prosecution for a sex offense, your focus should be on obtaining the legal assistance required to handle the upcoming days, weeks, and even months. Attorney King will work one-on-one with you to thoroughly analyze your case, evaluate the evidence against you, and work aggressively to map out a personalized and tenacious defense framed around the specific facts of your situation.

She will work with you one-on-one to develop a personalized strategy based on your individual situation, and she can argue for a range of outcomes, such as lower sentencing or removal from the sexual offender registry. As Attorney King gets to know your side of the story and understands you on a more personal level, she can better assess the circumstances of your case and determine whether you could be eligible under the Romeo and Juliet Exception, should you be required to register.

Contact the Law Offices of Nellie L. King, P.A. at (561) 833-1084 or by filling out a form online to schedule your free initial consultation today.

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