Repeat Sexual Offenders
In general, sex crime convictions carry harsh punishments. The more serious the sex crime, the greater the potential risk of prison time and other sanctions for the defendant. A first offender faces serious penalties, particularly when the sex crime is severe, but these penalties pale in comparison to the penalties faced by repeat sex crime offenders. At Hanlon Law, our St. Petersburg sex crimes attorneys defend those accused of serious repeat offenses.Repeat Sex Crime Offenders
Sex crimes include sexual battery, rape, lewd or lascivious crimes, child pornography, and prostitution. Sex crimes in general carry harsher penalties and more burdensome sanctions than other types of crimes. Usually, the more severe the sex crime is considered to be, the greater prison time to which you may be sentenced. You may need to register as a sex offender, even for a first offense in Florida. Sex offenders are supposed to update their residence with the registry every 3-6 months for the rest of their lives, and every time they move. When a sex crime is a felony, prison is mandatory. If you’re convicted of a felony sex crime, you will be put on sex offender probation, which limits where you can live, requires you to attend counseling, limits your work options, and imposes a curfew.
Repeat sex crimes convictions can result in harsh punishments. Under the Dangerous Sexual Felony Offender Act (Florida Statutes section 794.0115), the court is required to impose a 25-year mandatory minimum sentence if you are convicted of certain specific sex crimes two or more times. If a covered offense was perpetrated on or after October 1, 2015, you’re supposed to be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of 50 years of imprisonment and you can face up to life imprisonment.
Crimes specified under the Dangerous Sexual Felony Offender Act include luring or enticing a child, sexual battery, lewd or lascivious offenses, lewd or lascivious offenses committed upon or in the presence of a disabled or elderly person, sexual performance by a child, and selling or buying a minor. In order to show you’re a dangerous sexual offender under the statute, the prosecuting attorney will need to prove beyond a reasonable doubt: (1) you are guilty of one of the foregoing specified sex crimes, (2) you have a prior conviction for one of the specified crimes, and (3) you were 18 or older at the time of the offense.Sexual Predator Designation
Furthermore, if you commit repeat sex crimes, you may be designated a sexual predator. This is worse than being designated a sex offender. Where you’re convicted of two or more felonies and one was a felony perpetrated while you were in prison for a prior conviction or within five years of the last prior felony or within 5 years of release, and the current crime isn’t buying or possessing a controlled substance, you can be designated a habitual felony offender, too.
Under Florida Statutes section 775.21, a sexual predator is someone who is convicted of a qualifying capital, life, or first-degree felony sex crime. You can also face a sexual predator designation if you have two or more qualifying sex crime convictions and the court has made a finding that you are a sexual predator. Qualifying sex crimes include sexual misconduct against a developmentally disabled person, a person in a mental health facility, kidnapping, false imprisonment, luring or enticing a child, and sexual battery, among other sex crimes.
During sentencing, the court is supposed to make a written finding that you are a sexual predator. If you receive this designation and are not incarcerated, you’re supposed to register within 48 hours with the local sheriff’s office, get a Florida driver’s license identifying you as a sexual predator, give fingerprints as needed, and meet other substantial requirements. It is a felony for a sexual predator to fail to register as a sex predator.Consult an Experienced Sex Crimes Attorney in St. Petersburg
If you are a repeat sex crime offender in St. Petersburg, a criminal defense lawyer with experience handling sex crimes charges can help you navigate the legal system. At Hanlon Law, our founder Will Hanlon has provided strong strategic defenses to the accused since 1994. Contact Hanlon Law at 727.289.0222 or via our online form.