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Sexual Offenses

Sex crimes carry both severe punishments and a strong stigma. Thanks to sex offender registration laws, it is a stigma that you could be forced to carry for the rest of your life. Anyone with internet access will be able to see details about the crime for which you were convicted.

It's critical that you act now to stave off these consequences. You can be assured that if you are accused of any type of crime involving sex, you will face aggressive prosecution before a tough jury. It's therefore important that you have an experienced advocate on your side.

West Palm Beach Sex Crime Lawyer

At Meltzer & Bell, P.A., we fight relentlessly for our clients who are accused of a sexual offense. We have prosecutorial experience in our firm, and we will use that to advocate for you. Sex crimes are a very serious matter. With our firm, there will always be an experienced, skilled criminal defense attorney advocating on your behalf.

We will represent you on every stage of this critical and frightening time. We are available to your 24 hours per day, seven days per week. Call us now at (561) 283-3259 so we can start your defense.

We represent any person charged in Palm Beach County court, including residents of West Palm Beach, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Boca Raton, Wellington, Royal Palm Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, Lake Worth, Juno Beach, Greenacres and Jupiter.


South Florida Sex Crimes Info Center


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Sex Offenses Under Florida Law

Sexual Battery

Defined in Florida Statutes Annotated § 794.011, this is the offense that many people consider "rape" or "sexual assault." Under these accusations, the defendant is alleged to have caused the victim's sexual organ, anus or mouth to be penetrated, by a sexual organ or any object, and that the penetration was without the victim's consent.

Sexual battery can involve force or threat of force to deny consent. However, the charges can also involve when a person could not give consent because he or she was drugged, unconscious or physically unable to give it. A victim younger than 13 cannot give consent. This is commonly called "statutory rape."

Sexual battery charges can range from a third degree felony to a capital felony. The grading will depend on a number of factors, including the age of the victim, the age of the accused, the circumstances of the victim and the accused, whether force was used and whether a weapon was used.

Lewd and Lascivious Acts

The full name of these offenses, under Florida Statutes Annotated § 800.04, is Lewd and Lascivious Acts Upon or in the Presence of a Person Younger Than 16. There are four different offenses, and it is never a defense to claim the victim's age was unknown or that the victim gave consent. All except lewd and lascivious molestation of a person younger than 12 by an adult and lewd and lascivious exhibition by a person younger than 18 are second degree felonies.

Lewd and lascivious battery means anal or vaginal penetration, or the penetration of the mouth by a sexual organ.

Lewd and lascivious molestation is touching the victim’s genitalia, breasts and/or buttocks in a lewd lascivious manner. If the victim is younger than 12 and the defendant is 18 or older, then the charge becomes a life felony.

Lewd and lascivious conduct involves the accused touching a person younger than 16 in a sexual manner, or asking a person younger than 16 to commit any kind of sexual act.

Lewd and lascivious exhibition allegations involve intentional masturbation, exposure of the genitals in a lewd manner or committing a sexual act in front of a person younger than 16. If the accused is younger than 18, it is a third degree felony.

Indecent Exposure

Indecent exposure means the accused exposing his or her sexual organs in a vulgar or indecent manner in any public place, on another person’s property or any place that can be seen from private premises. It is a first degree misdemeanor under Florida Statutes Annotated § 800.03.

Child Pornography

Selling, producing, promoting, distributing or even possessing any material that depicts any minor engaging in any kind of sexual act is a third degree felony under Florida Statutes Annotated §§ 847.0135, 847.138 and 827.071. If child pornography is sent via the mail, email or transmits over the internet, it can also be a federal offense.


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Punishment for Palm Beach County Sex Crime Convictions

Though capital felonies are punishable by death under the law, the State of Florida will not execute a person for sexual battery. If convicted, you will be sentenced to life in prison.

For other sexual offenses, the sentences will depend on how the offense is graded under the law:

  • Life Felony: Life in prison, or at least 40 years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000
  • First Degree Felony: Up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000
  • Second Degree Felony: Up to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000
  • Third Degree Felony: Up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000
  • First Degree Misdemeanor: Up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000
  • Second Degree Misdemeanor: Up to 60 days in jail and a fine of up to $500

Additionally, many sexual offenses, including sexual battery and lewd or lascivious acts, can never be expunged from your criminal record.


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Sex Offender Registration Requirements Under Florida Law

If convicted of sexual battery, lewd or lascivious acts, child pornography or other sexual offenses, you are required under law to register as a sex offender. As a registered sex offender, you will not be allowed to reside within 1,000 feet of a school, park, playground or day care.

Your name will also be in a public database, available to anyone with internet access. The database has your name, your picture, your address and details about the crime for which you are convicted. A potential employer can look you up by name, and your neighbor can find you by looking up sex offenders near his or her address.


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Finding a Sex Crime Defense Attorney in Palm Beach County

Sexual offenses are an incredibly serious matter. You can have an aggressive, experienced defense attorney on your side. Call Meltzer & Bell, P.A. to have a skilled West Palm Beach sexual offense lawyer fighting for you. Call us at (561) 283-3259 to set up a free consultation.

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