Will Hanlon has been practicing criminal law exclusively for over 28 years. Defending sex crimes is a very specialized area of criminal law. Mr. Hanlon has successfully defended clients on a wide range of sex offenses in both Federal and State courts. Years of defending his clients (through jury trial if necessary) on these charges has taught him the necessary steps to properly protect their future. Instead of waiting for the police to confront you let him explain the proactive steps you can take to either avoid criminal charges altogether or defend against them if you have already been arrested.
Nick Chotos has exclusively practiced criminal defense since 2014. Throughout his career, he has zealously and effectively represented individuals charged with sexual crimes. Nick takes pride in his thorough approach to investigating every possible defense for his clients and works diligently to secure their desired outcomes. Nick focuses much of his attention on attacking the unconstitutional practices of police, which has resulted in dismissals and significant reductions in several sex and child pornography related offenses. Nick strives to treat his clients with empathy and to keep them fully informed of the progress of their cases.
Bart Stoddard is a former Assistant State Attorney with extensive trial experience. He started his career at the State Attorney's Office in Sarasota, Manatee, and Desoto Counties where amongst other cases he prepared or conducted jury trials on child sex abuse cases, child pornography cases, cases alleging individuals violated conditions of the sex offender registry, and cases alleging individuals traveled to meet a minor with the intent of having sexual contact. Bart now brings his knowledge of how sex cases are built and prosecuted to zealously defend individuals charged with those crimes. Bart devotes much of his attention on faults with law enforcement investigations, improper assumptions based on electronic data, and unfair or unconstitutional police practices to craft the most effective defensive strategy for his clients. Bart focuses on maintaining close attorney-client relationships so that his clients always have a firm understanding of the process and their options, and to ensure that there are never any surprises from the onset.
Michael understands the complexities and seriousness of being accused of a sexual offense. As a prosecutor at the State Attorney's Office in Pinellas, Michael investigated hundreds of cases involving sexual offenses or crimes against children. He knows how the state builds those cases, and is ready to use that knowledge to fight for you. Michael is always upfront with his clients with what to expect when accused or charged with a sexual offense. Because the stakes are higher with sexual offenses, it is imperative for your attorney to understand every step of the process to ensure you obtain the best result. Michael can use his experience to break down inconsistencies in police reports, flaws in testimony, issues with evidence, or even defects in warrants obtained against you.
Typically, Florida law enforcement agents expend extensive effort investigating sex crimes, especially if the victim is a minor or another vulnerable individual. Further, the government will usually zealously prosecute offenses of a sexual nature, as the public and the media often demonstrate increased interest in such matters. Simply because a person is charged with a sex crime does not mean the prosecution possesses sufficient evidence to prove that they are guilty, though. Instead, in many cases, there are strong defenses available that can help them avoid a conviction. If you are charged with a sex crime in Tampa, it is crucial to contact an experienced attorney promptly. The seasoned Tampa sex crime defense attorneys of Hanlon Law have decades of experience defending people with a wide range of sexual offenses, and we possess the knowledge and experience needed to aid you in mounting a compelling defense.
State and federal law prohibit people from possessing, creating, or distributing child pornography, and a wide range of conduct can result in child pornography charges. Broadly speaking, any material or data that depicts a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct, or appearing to participate in such behavior, constitutes child pornography. Examples of federal child pornography crimes include sexual exploitation of children, sex trafficking of minors, and activities relating to material constituting child pornography, while Florida child pornography crimes include transmission of child pornography by an electronic device, using minors in the production of prohibited materials, and possession of child pornography. The sentences imposed on people convicted of child pornography crimes vary depending on the nature of the offense and other factors but often include significant jail time and substantial fines. If you are accused of a child pornography offense, it is in your best interest to speak to a Tampa attorney adept at handling sex crime cases. Internet Sex Crimes
The internet is a common method of communication, but certain uses of computers are unlawful and can result in criminal charges. For example, under Florida law, it is illegal to use a computer or other electronic device to knowingly attempt to lure or seduce a minor, or a person believed to be a minor, to engage in unlawful sexual activity or a lewd or lascivious act, for the purposes of creating child pornography or any other reason. Similarly, federal law prohibits adults from engaging in or attempting to engage in sexual conduct with minors via the internet. It is also illegal to use computers to attempt to engage in sex trafficking of children or adults or to create, distribute, or obtain child pornography. Many internet sex crimes include an element of intent, which means that the prosecution must establish that the defendant knowingly engaged or attempted to engage in unlawful conduct with a minor to establish guilt. If it cannot or is unable to prove any other element of the charged offense beyond a reasonable doubt, the defendant should not be convicted.Lewd and Lascivious Acts
Generally, lewd and lascivious acts involve enticing a minor under the age of sixteen to engage in sexual activity or actually engaging in such behavior. Purposely touching children in a lustful manner can result in a lewd and lascivious act charge as well, as can exposing one’s genitals or masturbating in the presence of a person under the age of sixteen. Ignorance of the victim’s age is not a defense, and neither is the assertion that they misrepresented their age. Other also constitute lewd and lascivious acts, like public nudity and lewd behavior in front of an employee. Many lewd and lascivious offenses are felonies that carry penalties of a minimum of five years in prison. As such, it is important for anyone charged with such an offense to seek legal counsel from a Tampa sex crime defense lawyer immediately.Rape
Rape is one of the most serious offenses a person can be accused of, and a conviction for rape can result in imprisonment, fines, and a lifelong requirement to register as a sex offender. Florida does not have a statute that deals solely with rape offenses; instead, rape is encompassed in the sexual battery law. Generally, proving rape requires the prosecution to demonstrate that the defendant sexually penetrated the alleged victim without their consent. As such, consent is a viable defense in many rape cases. Notably, however, a lack of consent is not an element of rape if the victim is under the age of twelve, as they are legally too young to consent. Additionally, consent must be knowing and voluntary, which means that if the victim was intoxicated or otherwise mentally incapacitated, their consent may be invalid. If you are charged with rape, a Tampa lawyer skilled at defending people charged with sex crimes can gather the evidence needed to help you argue that the prosecution’s claims are invalid.Prostitution
Under Florida law, it is unlawful for people that are not married to one another to engage in sexual activity for financial compensation. Notably, it is illegal to buy and sell sexual favors, which means that both the alleged prostitute and the person hiring them can face charges. It is also unlawful to traffic, sell, or agree to secure another person for sexual acts in exchange for money. The penalties imposed on people convicted of prostitution increase for each subsequent offense. Other offenses, like forcing another person to engage in prostitution and prostituting a child, can result in greater penalties. People convicted of prostitution crimes have to undergo testing for sexually transmitted diseases. In some instances, they must register as sex offenders, which can impact where they can live or work.Choosing a Tampa Criminal Defense Attorney
People convicted of sex crimes not only face legal penalties but will also most likely experience difficulties maintaining relationships or jobs, obtaining housing, or repairing their reputation. If you live in Tampa and are under investigation for a sex crime or have been charged with a sex offense, it is critical to retain an attorney as soon as possible. At Hanlon Law, our dedicated Tampa sex crime defense attorneys are committed to protecting our clients from the devastating consequences of criminal convictions. If you hire us, we will work tirelessly to formulate persuasive arguments designed to help you seek the best possible outcome in your case. We have an office in Tampa, where we regularly defend people charged with sex crimes. We also have offices in Clearwater, Sarasota, Bradenton, and St. Petersburg. You can contact us to set up a confidential and free consultation at our Tampa office by using our online form or calling 813.228.7095.
Hanlon Law knows that time is of the essence, we move quickly to protect your future.
With over 20 years of experience, we focus solely on Criminal Law and Injunctions.
“Mr. Hanlon has the confidence and experience you need when dealing with possible criminal charges.”
In the realm of criminal law, felonies are the acts considered the most offensive to society. From tax fraud to homicide, felonies carry such penalties as lengthy jail time, significant fines and even the possibility of death for the most serious offense.
In addition, acts that would normally be considered misdemeanor offenses may be elevated to serious felony offenses based on aggravating factors, such as the location of the crime or the victim’s demographic. Misdemeanors are generally considered less serious crimes and carry lighter penalties than felonies.
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