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Articles Posted in Sex Crimes

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If you are convicted of Internet solicitation in Florida, you may be sentenced to prison. However, under certain circumstances, a defendant in a Miami sex crime case may be sentenced to sex offender probation. There are specific rules that must be followed when the court imposes a sentence in connection with sex offender probation. In a recent Florida case, the court considered whether the lower court must orally pronounce every term of sex offender probation set forth under Florida Statute section 948.30 in situations in which there isn’t a conviction of an offense specified under the statute. The defendant had been charged under Florida Statute section 847.0135(3) with two counts of lewd computer solicitation of a child. He was also charged with traveling to meet a minor for illegal sexual activity.

He pled no contest and asked the court to depart downward when sentencing. Specifically, he hoped not to be sentenced to prison. Instead, he hoped to be put on sex offender probation with house arrest.

The lower court denied the motion and sentenced him to 48 months’ incarceration, after which he’d need to serve sex offender probation for the first count for a year. He also had to serve sex offender probation for 15 years that would run back to back, rather than concurrently, with the first count.

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In a recent opinion, the Florida Second District Court of Appeal discussed the implications of discriminatory practices during the jury selection phase in a criminal trial. In Florida, potential jury members and the parties to a case are entitled to be free from discrimination during the jury selection process. Despite this, an attorney may believe that his or her client will receive more sympathy from a particular race, ethnicity, gender, or other group.

During the jury selection process, an attorney has a limited number of “peremptory challenges” that allow the attorney to exclude a particular tentative jury member from serving on the jury without having to give a reason as to why the attorney does not want that person serving on the jury. When an attorney uses his or her peremptory challenge to excuse a potential juror based on race, ethnicity, or gender, the attorney violates the Equal Protection Clause, denies the parties their right to an impartial jury, and denies the potential juror his or her right to serve on a jury. 

Initially, lawyers were prohibited from excusing potential jurors based on their race under the Equal Protection Clause. In a 1993 case, the State of Florida extended this protection to individuals of a particular ethnicity. In 1994, the Florida Supreme Court ruled that the Equal Protection Clause also prevented attorneys from excusing potential jurors based on gender.

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Being falsely accused of child molestation is perhaps one of the most horrifying experiences that anyone can face. Sex crimes, especially against a minor, are serious offenses with heavy penalties and consequences. While child sex abuse is certainly a real issue that must be dealt with, the reality is that false accusations are becoming more and more common in the state of Florida, especially when a custody battle is ongoing in the midst of a divorce.

Aside from the legal repercussions and punishment, the social stigma of sex crimes is extremely damaging. This is why it’s crucial to fight untrue allegations of child sexual abuse with the help of an experienced and knowledgeable criminal attorney. Because child molestation cases are the easiest crime to accuse and perhaps the hardest to defend, you need an expert on your side fighting for your rights.

So how can you fight against false allegations of child sex abuse? 

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Often referred to as “The world’s oldest profession”, prostitution has indeed been around since the beginning of civilization.  Today in most places in America including Florida, prostitution is illegal, but is still not too uncommon.

How is prostitution defined?

Under Florida law, the offense of “prostitution” can be committed in several different ways. The most commonly charged offenses are: (1) Offering to Commit, Committing, or Engaging in Prostitution, Lewdness, or Assignation, and (2) Soliciting for Prostitution, Lewdness, or Assignation.

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I’ve been charged with criminal solicitation but I’m not sure what it means or what I should do…?

A variety of acts can be defined as solicitation, but the general definition of criminal solicitation is when one person strongly encourages another person to engage in a criminal act.  Criminal solicitation commonly involves crimes such as prostitution and drug dealing.  Politicians are on occasion convicted for solicitation of a bribe. The crime of solicitation is completed if one person intentionally entices, advises, incites, orders, or otherwise encourages another to commit a crime. The crime solicited does note need to actually be committed for solicitation to occur.

In the case of prostitution, both the prostitute and the “client” can be charged with solicitation if each person encouraged the other to engage in the criminal act regardless of whether any sex act occurred.  Solicitation is the act of asking someone to engage in a criminal act, not the act itself. Additional charges may also be brought to either party, depending on the particular circumstances or whether any sexual act occurred.

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Sex crimes are serious offenses, and are vigorously prosecuted in Florida, in particular. Your involvement in such charges can cause you to contract rigid penalties and can ruin your reputation, whether you are acquitted of the crime or not. If you do not have experienced, high-caliber legal help, you may find yourself facing the prospect of losing a monumental legal battle. The best way to fight this battle is to employ the services of a proficient Miami Criminal Lawyer who has your best interest in mind.

If you find yourself in this alarming situation, do not panic. The Hoffman Firm has an expert legal team lead by Miami Criminal Lawyer Evan Hoffman, who is a former prosecutor and an experienced criminal lawyer. The Hoffman Firm can help you if you are wrongly accused. Pick up the phone and call us today for a FREE consultation (305) 249-0090 or contact us online.

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