Child molestation is one of the most abhorrent of criminal acts. Because of this, accusations of child molestation can result in devastating consequences. Child molestation is defined as indecency, sexual conduct or sexual abuse of a child. According to the Penal Code, anyone younger than the age of 17 is considered by law a child in the state. The penalties for child molestation increase depending on the age of the child.
A Conviction of child molestation may result in having to register as a sex offender for the rest of your life and face significant fines and jail time.
Sexual Abuse Criminal Defense
The Family Code Title 5, Chapter 261 uses over 1000 words to define child abuse. Obviously this can lead to various interpretations by the state in making a case against someone accused of child abuse or child molestation. People facing charges of indecency with a child are many times assumed to be guilty by the community before they can defend themselves against the charges. They can lose the trust and respect of their friends and family. These charges can be brought against men and women alike. In many cases, the child may be the accuser, or it may be a spouse in contentious divorce proceedings. The criminal defense attorneys at The Dick Law Firm have years of experience dealing with charges of indecency with a child. Our goal is to have the charges dropped or dismissed if possible. We will protect your rights to establish the best possible outcome concerning the serious allegations of child molestation.
Charges of sexual misconduct are often brought against public school teachers, coaches, counselors and other school district employees. Church officials and ministers are often the target of these allegations. If you work in a group home or day care center, you also are at risk for these charges. The owners of these businesses can be held responsible for failure to properly screen or supervise employees.
Penalties for Sexual Abuse of a Child
Penal Code section 21.11 criminalizes indecency with a child as sexual contact with a child, and charges it as a third degree felony. Continual sexual abuse of a child, as defined in Penal Code 21.02, is two or more acts of sexual contact between a person older than 17 and younger than 14, and is charged as first-degree felony punishable by fines up to $10,000 and from 5 to 99 years in jail. The state recently passed legislation that would make second time offenders of sexual assault of a child under 13 automatically face life in prison without parole. The Family Code also makes it a Class A misdemeanor not to report child abuse if they have knowledge that this situation exists. This is punishable by a fine of up to $4,000 and a year in jail.
The misdemeanor charges have a 2 year statute of limitations. There is no statute of limitations on sexual misconduct with a child. Charges can be brought against an individual at any time, even after the child has reached adulthood.
Free Consultation and Always Confidential
The Dick Law Firm is the criminal defense team you need on your side if you are facing charges or accusations of child molestation. Child molestation is a serious sex crime in Florida. Make sure you get the absolute best results your case can offer. Contact us for a free confidential consultation by calling or fill out the contact form on this page.