A conviction for a sex crime in Florida is forever. Under Florida law, if you are convicted of a sex crime, your name must be placed on the state’s sex offender registry and it will likely never be removed. Even a misdemeanor offense will remain on your record for future employers and the general public to see. If you have been charged, it is critical to get the most aggressive defense representation available.
Too often, those charged with a sex crime are presumed guilty in the public eye from the beginning. This is not acceptable. Our justice system is built on the idea that we are all innocent until proven guilty. When those accused of committing a sex crime are prejudged, it can affect their ability to get a fair trial and threaten their livelihood. A highly-skilled Tampa criminal defense lawyer is needed to help cut through the noise that surrounds such an accusation.
I am Tampa sex crime lawyer Mike G. I started my legal career as an Assistant State Attorney, where I prosecuted hundreds of people for sex offenses ranging from solicitation and prostitution to felony aggravated sexual assault, including minor-aged victims. During that time, I saw firsthand how police and prosecutors overstep their constitutional authority when gathering evidence, misinterpreting witness reports and pressing their cases aggressively to seek a conviction. They showed little interest in what an arrest and conviction would do to a person’s future, even if their cases were dubious. This is harmful and unacceptable.
As a Tampa sex crime attorney, my insight into the legal system serves to protect my clients from unfair prosecution. My experience as an Assistant State Attorney allows me to zero in on any issues with a prosecutor’s case so I can provide the best possible defense for my clients, or help them strike a plea deal when necessary.
Get the right criminal defense attorney. Call my office in Tampa right away at 813-221-4303.
Call me if you or a member of your family has been charged with any level or type of sex crime in the Tampa Bay area, including:
- Aggravated sexual battery (rape).
- Sexual assault of a minor.
- Prostitution or solicitation of a prostitute.
- Internet child pornography.
- Solicitation of a minor.
- Statutory sexual assault of a minor (statutory rape).
I WILL Defend You
Many criminal defense law firms say they offer an aggressive defense. But when it comes to sex crimes, the best many will do is to try to get the best possible outcome while attempting to keep the case at a low profile.
I will not make empty promises about an outcome except this—I WILL defend you aggressively.
I have earned the respect of local prosecutors for coming to the table and to court with a well-prepared case to avoid a conviction. That may mean thoroughly investigating to determine whether the evidence and charges against you are legitimate. It may also mean pursuing a reduced charge to a non-sex crime. Through it all, we will work together to make sure your rights are protected.
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Call 813-221-4303 or use this convenient email contact form to arrange a free initial consultation to discuss your case.
As a criminal defense attorney, I represent individuals charged with:
- Sexual battery / aggravated sexual battery / rape. If you are charged with sexual battery, it is imperative that you get a Tampa sex crime attorney to represent you. This is a very serious charge and a conviction can have lifelong consequences. Related charges (or aggravating circumstances) include aggravated sexual battery (when the victim is helpless or incapacitated), sexual battery with a deadly weapon, sexual battery on a child under 12, and sexual battery likely to cause serious personal injury (when force is used to subdue a victim). If an individual is found guilty of a sexual battery charge, their punishment will depend on their age, their criminal record, the age of the victim, and any aggravating circumstances. In addition, a person found guilty of sexual battery must register as a sexual predator.
- Sexual assault of a minor / sexual battery of a minor. This is considered an aggravated charge of sexual battery because of the age of the victim and is generally prosecuted harshly. Assault will be punishable by a sentence of up to 15 years, while battery can result in a sentence of up to 25 years.
- Prostitution or solicitation of a prostitute. In Florida, prostitution remains illegal, as does running a brothel, soliciting a prostitute, or pimping. Punishment depends on the particular act. For example, solicitation is covered under the John Statute and will result in a $5,000 fine. For all prostitution charges, multiple offenses will lead to additional punishment. For individuals who have fallen into prostitution because of addiction, drug court may be an option. However, it is important to secure a Tampa sex crimes attorney who is knowledgeable about the system.
- Internet child pornography. If you’ve been charged with possession of child pornography or distributing child pornography, a conviction may lead to large fines, Prison time is determined by each count of child pornography. For example, if charged with four counts of possession, you may be sentenced to a maximum of 20 years and a fine of $20,000. In addition, you will be required to register as a sex offender and have limits placed on where you can live.
- Solicitation of a minor. In cases where the alleged victim is a minor, expect heavy prosecution. Soliciting a minor for sex online carries a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison, however, each instance of solicitation can be charged as a separate count, increasing potential prison time.
- Statutory sexual assault of a minor, also known as statutory rape. Those over 24 who engage in sexual relations with a child of who is 16 or 17 may be charged with statutory rape as the child has not yet reached the age of consent. This charge is tried as a second-degree felony and conviction may result in a sentence of up to 15 years.
If you have been charged with any of these offenses, you need a Tampa criminal defense lawyer! Contact Mike G Law today to secure legal representation.
Consequences of a Sex Crime Conviction
A conviction on a sex crime charge can alter the course of one’s life. Conviction may lead to:
- A long prison sentence.
- High fines.
- Sex-offender registration.
- The possible loss of friends, family, and employment.
- The inability to find work due to conviction.
- The inability to obtain a professional license, student loans, or government assistance.
- The inability to rent a home.
- Restrictions on where you can live.
- The possibility of an ankle tracking device.
Possible Legal Defenses For a Sex Crime in Florida
Every case is different and the way in which I pursue your case will depend on the unique factors of your case. Together, we can determine which is the best course of action for your situation. This may include seeking to prove your innocence after a non-guilty plea, negotiating a plea deal wherein you plead guilty or no contest for a reduced sentence, or pleading no contest, wherein you don’t admit guilt but do not choose to fight the charges. Each plea carries its own consequences and it is important that you understand them before proceeding.
With a not-guilty plea, we may try to show your innocence in a variety of ways. This may include pointing out holes or issues with the victim’s story, highlighting your alibi, making a case for mistaken identity, illustrating that there was, in fact, consent, showing that you yourself were of diminished capacity at the time of the alleged act, finding procedural mistakes committed by the police or prosecutor, or showcasing how the allegations are a result of a false accusation.
In some cases, it’s advisable to make an arrangement with the prosecutor and enter into a plea deal. Often, this includes pleading guilty or no contest to the accusations in exchange for a reduced sentence. This can lessen the impact of a trial on everyone involved, including you and your family. Some defendants find this is an effective way to avoid having to register as a sex offender.
A plea of no-contest may be beneficial for those who are willing to accept the facts of the case, but not willing to admit guilt. Defendants who choose to plead no contest can avoid a trial if the judge accepts the plea and the ruling cannot be used against you in future proceedings.
Ultimately, the best defense for your case will be arrived at by diligent investigation by your attorney in conjunction with the circumstances surrounding your case. To determine which legal defense may be in your best interest, consult with a qualified sex crime attorney. Schedule your consultation with Mike G Law today.