This essay looks into Florida laws that prohibit predatory conduct. The state of Florida has sexual offenses codified into law and felony under the Sexual Predator Act. Some offenses under the Florida Sexual Predator Act may attract the death sentence, life in prison or fines. However, a judge may exercise discretion based on circumstances of a case when sentencing a sexual offender. However, some provisions of the Florida Sexual Predator Act are harsher than necessary. As discussed in this essay, very harsh sexual predator laws inhibit ability of sexual predators to reintegrate in the society. Thus, considerate sexual predator laws are highly encouraged.
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Thus, a sexual predator may be guilty of capital, life or first degree felony as per chapter 794 of Florida laws. For instance, a sexual battery offender who is 18 years old is guilty of a capital felony if his or her victim is under 12 years of age. Similarly, an 18-year-old offender who performs lewd or lascivious acts, such as touching inappropriately a minor, commits a life felony.
What are the Punishments for Sexual Offenses?
Florida law provides for tough penalties for all forms of sexual crimes or felony violations. For instance, a sexual predator found guilty of a capital felony faces a possible death sentence or life imprisonment. On the other hand, a life felony carries a prison term of up to 40 years. However, a sexual offender convicted of a first-degree felony faces a 30-year prison sentence. All sentences go with the option of a fine.
For instance, an 18-year-old or older person who is found guilty of rape (sexual battery) faces life in prison if his or her victim is younger than 12 years. On the other hand, a sexual battery offender who is younger than 18 years faces up to 40 years in prison if his or her victim is younger than 12 years.
Additionally, a sexual offender who is qualified and designated as a sexual predator faces several civil consequences for what is left of his or her natural life. The Florida Sexual Predator Act requires persons designated as sexual predators to register with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE). Moreover, a sexual predator has to keep authorities updated on his or her whereabouts all the time. Thus, Florida law exposes the life of a designated sexual predator to constant scrutiny and intrusion.
Are there Mandatory Punishments for Sexual Offenses?
Only crimes that meet the “three strike rule” criteria have mandatory sentences. Thus, a judge may have discretion when sentencing a defendant after conviction. In a case where a judge uses his or her discretion before sentencing a sexual predator, several mitigating factors may come into play. Thus, a judge may demonstrate flexibility when interpreting minimum sentencing requirements of Florida sexual predator laws. For instance, discretion may be necessary when sentencing a sexual offender whose victim is found to have initiated or provoked the offense in question.
Is Mere Solicitation of Improper Activities Enough for Prosecution?
Under Florida law, solicitation of improper activities is sufficient to prove predatory conduct. For instance, an act of luring or enticing a child into inappropriate behavior is a felony violation. In the same vein, procuring a minor for purposes of prostitution constitutes a crime. Moreover, it is a felony violation to perform lewd acts in a way to...