Yes, a child can be charged with a sex crime in Florida. Juveniles under the age of 18 may face significant legal penalties that will impact the rest of their lives if they are convicted of a sex crime. As a parent, you want to do everything possible to help your child, but you don’t have to do it alone. Our experienced Fort Lauderdale criminal defense lawyers can make sure your child is treated fairly. Our team, led by board-certified criminal defense lawyer Robert David Malove, will do everything possible to protect your child during this legal crisis.
Teen Sex Crimes and Penalties
A minor may be charged with any sex crime. Below are some of the most common sex crimes a teenager could face in South Florida.
Sending naked or sexually explicit photos by text or email is not always a crime between two consenting teenagers or adults. However, sharing naked or illicit pictures of someone under the age of 18 can be considered child pornography and could lead to a criminal conviction.
Jail time and fines depend on the exact nature of the texting and the number of photos shared with others. If convicted of child pornography, your child may be charged with a felony and face up to 15 years in prison and thousands of dollars in fines.
Florida statutory rape laws are complicated. These laws, also known as Romeo and Juliet laws, make it a crime to have sex with someone under the age of 18. However, there are exceptions for 16 and 17 year olds.
Minors accused of statutory rape face five to 15 years in prison and thousands of dollars in fines.
Florida law makes it a third-degree felony to intentionally expose genitalia, masturbate, or commit a sex act in public that does not involve touching another person.
The potential sentence for a person convicted of lewd and lascivious exhibition, also known as indecent exposure, is up to five years in jail, up to five years on probation, and a fine of up to $5,000.
Florida’s “Peeping Tom” law prohibits someone from secretly observing someone else with lewd, lascivious, or indecent intent where the person had a reasonable expectation of privacy. In other words, a person may violate the law by looking at someone changing their clothes in the privacy of their home, a store’s changing room, a locker room, or another private location.
Florida Statute 810.14 makes a first offense of voyeurism a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. Second or subsequent offenses are third-degree felonies punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.
Sex Offender Registry and Criminal Records
Juveniles who are convicted of sex crimes and are at least 14 years old may be required to register as sex offenders in Florida. It is possible, but very difficult, to be removed from the Florida Sex Offender Registry once you are on it.
A sex crime conviction will also create a criminal record for your child, which may impact your child’s education, employment, housing, and financial future.
Now Is the Time to Protect Your Child’s Future
It is easy to panic and appropriate to worry when your child is accused of a sex crime. However, a sex crime charge is different from a sex crime conviction. If the state drops the charges against your child or your child is acquitted in court, your child will not have a criminal record.
Our experienced Fort Lauderdale criminal defense lawyers will thoroughly investigate your child’s case and consider all possible defenses. We will also methodically analyze the prosecution’s case to determine if it met its burden of proving your child’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Our goal is to make sure that your child’s legal rights and future are protected in accordance with Florida law.