Lewd and Lascivious Exhibition

Attorney Representing Tampa Residents Charged with Sex Crimes

It is a crime in Florida to perpetrate a sexual performance with sexual intent in the presence of a child who is 16 or younger. There are three different ways that a prosecutor can establish the crime of lewd or lascivious exhibition. If you are charged with lewd and lascivious exhibition, it is crucial that you call a Tampa sex crime lawyer right away. At Hanlon Law, we provide a tough, aggressive defense for sex crimes such as this one, and we understand the various defense strategies that may be employed.

Lewd and Lascivious Exhibition

A prosecutor in Florida can establish lewd or lascivious exhibition under Florida Statute 800.04 if they can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant, in the presence of someone 16 or younger, intentionally masturbated, intentionally exposed their genitals in a lewd or lascivious way, or intentionally perpetrated another sexual act not involving actual physical or sexual contact with the victim, including sadomasochistic abuse, bestiality, or simulating a sexual act.

"Lewd" and "lascivious" describe acts that are done with sensual intent, lustful intent, unchaste intent, wicked intent, or licentious intent. An inexperienced attorney might not understand that you cannot raise as a defense that you did not know a child's actual age, that you truly believed that they were older, or that the child consented to your sexual conduct.

The penalties that you may face with this charge are serious, and how serious they are depends on your age at the time that you allegedly perpetrated a lewd and lascivious exhibition. It is a second-degree felony if you are convicted of lewd and lascivious exhibition when you are 18 years old or older. The judge may sentence you to up to 15 years in prison, 15 years of sex offender probation, and a maximum of $10,000 in fines.

However, if you are convicted of lewd and lascivious exhibition, and you committed the crime when you were younger than 18, it is a third-degree felony. The judge may sentence you to a maximum of five years’ imprisonment, five years’ sex offender probation, and $5,000 in fines. When you have three or more convictions for lewd and lascivious molestation, you can be sentenced as a violent career criminal. For a second-degree felony, that means a term of at least 30 years and a statutory maximum of 40 years. For a third-degree felony, the maximum term is 15 years, and the mandatory minimum term is 10 years.

Usually, if you are convicted of lewd and lascivious exhibition, you are declared a sex offender. This means that you will need to register as a sex offender in Florida, which involves providing detailed identifying information and updating that information within 48 hours every time that there is a change. You will also need to register in other states, so moving does not fix this problem. Failing to register as a sex offender when you are required to do so is a crime. Under what is known as the Romeo and Juliet law, you can petition the court to be excluded from the sex offender registry, but you must meet eligibility requirements.

Defenses are restricted for sex crimes. We will need to investigate to determine an appropriate strategy in your case. Sometimes it is possible to show a false allegation, such as a parent who has manipulated a child to make a false claim or a teenager with a mental illness. In other cases, it may be possible to show that there was no lewd or lascivious intent to make an exhibition. Other times, it is possible to get the judge to deviate from the minimum prison sentence based on a mental disorder, if you are a youthful offender, or if the child at issue was an aggressor. Sometimes when the victim and the defendant are very close in age, such as when one is 13 and the other is 15, this may be a sufficient circumstance to deviate from the harsh sentencing guidelines.

Consult a Knowledgeable Sex Crime Lawyer in the Tampa Bay Region

If you are accused of lewd and lascivious exhibition, you must take the accusation or charges very seriously. You should not wait until you are formally charged to find an attorney or try to strike a deal with the prosecutor by yourself. Our founder, Tampa attorney Will Hanlon, has provided a strong, aggressive defense to people charged with sex crimes since 1994. He provides responsive and personalized representation to his clients. Call him at Hanlon Law at 813-228-7095 or use our online form to set up an appointment. Will Hanlon also can help people who need a statutory rape attorney or assistance in fighting other types of sex crime charges.