Articles Posted in Sex with Minor

In many cases in which a defendant is convicted of a crime of a sexual nature, the court will impose a sentence that includes a requirement that the defendant register as a sex offender. In some instances, though, a court has the discretion to remove a defendant’s requirement to register as a sex offender. The court can only exercise this discretion if certain factors are met, however, as shown in a recent case in which a Florida appellate court denied the defendant’s petition for the removal of the requirement to register as a sex offender. If you are charged with a crime of a sexual nature, it is in your best interest to speak to a dedicated Sarasota sex crime defense attorney to assess the circumstances surrounding your arrest and what defenses you may be able to assert to protect your rights.

Procedural History of the Case

It is alleged that the defendant was charged with traveling to meet a minor in violation of Florida law, and unlawful use of computer service in violation of Florida law, both of which were crimes of a sexual nature. He was adjudicated guilty and sentenced by the court. His sentence included a requirement that he register as a sex offender. As such, he filed a petition to remove the requirement. The sentencing court denied the defendant’s motion, after which he appealed.

Removal of the Requirement to Register as a Sex Offender

Under Florida law, if certain requirements are met, a court has the discretion to consider removing a requirement imposed on a defendant convicted of a sex crime. Specifically, the requirement can be waived if a defendant is convicted of sexual performance of a child, lascivious or lewd offenses that were committed in the presence of a person under the age of sixteen, and engaging in specific computer transmissions that are prohibited by law.

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It is not uncommon in criminal cases for the affidavit for an arrest warrant to contain facts and allegations the State is ultimately unable to prove at trial. If the defendant is ultimately convicted of the crimes with which he or she is charged if the information in the affidavit differs from the evidence presented at trial, the court cannot consider the information in the affidavit in determining an appropriate sentence. If the judge does consider unsubstantiated allegations in sentencing a defendant, it may be considered a violation of the defendant’s constitutional rights and is grounds for vacating the sentence. This was shown in a recent Florida appellate court case in which the defendant was convicted of various sex crimes.  If you are charged with a sex crime in Sarasota, it is prudent to speak with a capable Sarasota sex crime attorney to assess your available defenses.

Procedural Background of the Case

Reportedly, the defendant was charged with lewd and lascivious battery of a child and with using a child in a sexual performance. A jury trial was held, during which the State introduced evidence that the defendant was involved in a sexual encounter with the victim, who was underage, and that he made a video recording of the encounter. The jury convicted the defendant of both charges.

It is alleged that during the sentencing hearing, the judge stated she was sentencing the defendant based on the circumstances surrounding the offense. The judge then proceeded to recite facts that were in the affidavit in support of the defendant’s arrest, which were different than the evidence produced at trial. The defendant’s attorney called the judge’s attention to the fact that there was no evidence of record to support the circumstances the judge relied upon in crafting her sentence. The judge agreed but issued the sentence of fifteen years imprisonment followed by fifteen years of sex offender probation regardless. The defendant appealed.

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