Charged With a Sex Crime in Key West? You Have Constitutional Rights That Must Be Protected

A sex crime conviction could change your life, but you haven’t been convicted yet. If you’ve been formally charged with a sex crime or you have reason to believe that you may face criminal charges, now is the time to protect your rights with the help of a Key West sex crime defense lawyer.

Our experienced criminal defense attorneys know that your personal and professional lives are at stake, and we are committed to safeguarding your rights. 

Some General Constitutional Rights You Should Know

You’ve likely heard about the constitutional rights of criminal defendants in school, in the movies, or on television, but now is the time to understand and exercise these rights. Your constitutional rights are meant to ensure that you are treated fairly and don’t pay a high price for a crime you did not commit.

Your Right to Remain Silent

The Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees the crucial protection that a defendant cannot "be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself." You cannot be forced to speak to the police or at trial.

Your Right to a Speedy Public Trial by Jury

The Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution gives you the right to a public trial and a trial by jury. A public trial means that you can have your friends and family present during court proceedings and that the press and other members of the public can attend the trial. However, if the alleged sexual assault victim is a child, your right to a public trial may be modified.

The Sixth Amendment also gives you the right to a jury trial. You have the right to have your case heard by a jury of your peers. Our Key West sex crime defense lawyers can explain the pros and cons of a jury trial to you.

You also have the right to a speedy trial. The Sixth Amendment does not define “speedy.” The court will set a date based on the number of pending cases and available judges. You will be informed of this date at the time of your release. We know that you are eager to put this behind you, and our criminal defense lawyers will file the appropriate Motion to change the date with the Monroe County Court if necessary.

Your Right Not to be Tried for the Same Offense Twice

The Fifth Amendment protects you from double jeopardy. This means that the State of Florida cannot bring charges against you for the same incident after your case has been decided. However, you could be charged with a crime involving the same alleged victim in a different incident. 

You also have the right to confront witnesses and to be represented by an attorney, which we will discuss below.

You are Presumed Innocent and the Prosecution Has the Burden of Proof

You do not have to prove your innocence. Instead, Florida prosecutors must prove that you committed a crime. The standard of proof in a sex crime case is beyond a reasonable doubt. The prosecution must establish your guilt "beyond a reasonable doubt" before you can be convicted. This standard is the highest in our legal system, requiring the evidence to be so compelling that no reasonable person would have any meaningful doubt about your guilt. It is a stringent legal threshold designed to protect the innocent and safeguard the rights of the accused.

While you do not have the burden of proof, you can help prevent prosecutors from proving that you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt by exercising the following rights:

Confront Witnesses

The Sixth Amendment gives you the right to confront witnesses against you. In sex crime cases involving children, this may become complicated. However, your lawyer will make sure that your constitutional right is protected just as prosecutors, parents, and the court protect the alleged victim.

Examine the Evidence Against You

Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure require prosecutors to disclose evidence within 15 days of your attorney filing a notice of discovery. You, or your attorney, will be allowed to inspect, copy, test, or photograph evidence, including:

  • Witness names and addresses. This includes eyewitnesses, alibi witnesses, police officers who investigated the alleged crime, expert witnesses, and anyone else on the prosecution’s witness list.
  • Witness statements. If any witness has made a statement to the police or prosecution, that should be made available to you.
  • Your statements. If you made any written statements, a copy should be provided to you. A recording or summary of an unrecorded statement should be provided if your statements were verbal.
  • Physical evidence. This may include but is not limited to papers, documents, reports, and DNA tests.
  • Expert witness testimony. If any expert witness has made a report or statement that should be included in the evidence provided to you.

Exercise Your Right to Hire an Experienced Key West Sex Crime Defense Lawyer

The Sixth Amendment gives you the right to be represented by a lawyer in criminal proceedings. The United States Supreme Court has taken that right to mean that you have the right to adequate representation whether you hire your own lawyer or use a court-appointed attorney.

 With so much at stake, our Key West sex crime defense lawyers want you to have more than “adequate representation.” Robert is a Florida Bar Board Certified “expert/specialist” in criminal trial law. Our whole team will use our knowledge of the law and our personal concern for you to help you defend the sex crime charges against you.

We are a tenacious defense team who will aggressively represent you. We understand exactly what you have at stake and will take a “never say die” approach to your legal defense. You will never be just a case number to us. Instead, our team will always keep in mind what you have at stake and what this defense means to you. We know that you are likely terrified, and we will always answer your questions so that you know what to expect and the possible outcomes of your case.

One of our clients, Jeff, said this about working with us, “For anyone needing an attorney and is only visiting the South Florida area, Robert Malove is an attorney that anyone should turn to. He will answer his phone on the weekends, help you understand clearly what options are available to you and will keep you informed constantly on your case. Also, he will tirelessly pursue the best outcome for you and has the flexibility to work with a client, like myself, that is from out of state. If you need a good attorney, hire Mr. Malove. He is one of the best!” Our other client testimonials corroborate Jeff’s experience.

Now is the time to contact the Law Offices of Robert David Malove if you’ve been charged with a sex crime, such as:

  • Sexual battery. Rape and sexual assault are examples of sexual batteries.
  • Lewd and lascivious offense.  A variety of offenses may be considered lewd and lascivious crimes, including touching someone lustfully without their consent or engaging in sexual activity with someone under 16.
  • Sexual misconduct. In Florida, sexual misconduct crimes occur when a person in a position of trust has a sexual encounter with a vulnerable person.
  • Indecent exposure. Indecently showing your sexual organs in public or on someone else’s property may lead to indecent exposure charges.
  • Child pornography. Possessing, producing, or distributing child pornography are sex crimes.
  • Prostitution. It is against the law to pay someone for sexual activity. Consent by the alleged victim is not a defense to prostitution charges in Florida.

The potential penalties for these crimes may include jail time, fines, registering as a sex offender, and a permanent criminal record.