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Saturday, January 7, 2012

Florida Sex Crimes

Welcome to the ....

Law Offices
of
Edward J. Chandler, P.A.

708 East Atlantic Boulevard    Telephone:  (954) 788-1355
Pompano Beach, Fl 33060    Facsimile:  (954) 788-1357
Call Today! 24/7

"Serving Broward, Dade and Palm Beach County"

Attorney Edward J. Chandler has successfully represented numerous clients in criminal cases throughout Broward, Dade and Palm beach Counties in the State of Florida.  Edward J. Chandler  prides himself on aggressive representation with a personal touch.

In addition to personally handling your case, Edward J. Chandler, Esq. will be available to you during every step of the process. Edward J. Chandler guarantees that you and your case will receive his undivided attention.

Call the Law Offices of Edward J. Chandler, P.A.  at (954) 788-1355  - Your phone consultation is free and completely confidential.

What are sex crimes?   Sex crimes against a child or children include:

  •     Luring or enticing a child
  •     Unlawful sexual activity
  •     Child molestation
  •     Capital sexual battery
  •     Lewd or lascivious act
  •     Lewd or lascivious contact
  •     Lewd or lascivious fondling
  •     Lewd or lascivious act in the presence of a minor
  •     Exposure of sexual organs
  •     Sexual battery by a person in familial or custodial control
  •     Incest
  •     Sexual performance by a child
  •     Child pornography
  •     Computer pornography and child exploitation
Adult Sex Crimes include:

  •     Transmission of pornography by electronic device of equipment
  •     Internet
  •     E-mail
  •     DVD
  •     CD-ROM
  •     Sex trafficking
  •     Human trafficking
  •     Solicitation
  •     Sexual assault
  •     Sexual battery (rape or nursing home rape)
  •     Sexual battery on a mentally defective person
  •     Sexual battery on a mentally incapacitated person
  •     Sexual battery on a physically defective person
  •     Sexual battery on a physically defective person
  •     Voyeurism (invasion of privacy, peeping tom)
  •     Solicitation
  •     Prostitution (public lewdness)
Why  you need a Florida Sexual Assault, Rape and Child Pornography Defense Lawyer!

1. Allegations of sex crimes are taken very seriously in Florida. Stringent penalties are being imposed, and a false claim unchallenged or a single error in judgment can require you to be a lifelong member of the sex offenders' registry and database. Also, with the passage of Jessica's Law in Florida, penalties for sexual offenses involving minors have increased. A conviction for some offenses can result in a sentence of life in prison with no possibility for parole.

Is DNA a defense? If the defendant denies any sexual contact, as in cases of mistaken identity, DNA evidence that links the defendant to the offense is essential to the case against you. Failure to secure a positive DNA match can result in reasonable doubt necessary to compel a jury verdict of not guilty.

Date rape, acquaintance rape, or spousal rape cases where identity of the participants is not at issue,  the defendant can raises the defense of consent.

What is a Statutory Rape Defense in Indecent Liberties With a Minor case?

In Florida, persons under 16 are legally incapable of consenting to sexual activity. Offenses involving sex individuals under this age are known as "statutory" rape because of the legal statute that defines the age of consent. Teenagers in high school can get into a lot of trouble when one is over 16 and the other is younger.
Indecent liberties with a minor, the formal Florida term for sex with a person younger than 16, is a serious offense and carries a presumption of a prison term under our sentencing guidelines if you are found guilty. Aggravating circumstances, such as a very young victim, physical force or coercion, or extensive or repeated sexual activity, usually will increase the length of a prison term.  Defense of statutory rape or child sexual abuse charges depends on  DNA testing, physical evidence, inconsistent statements and credibility and mental health of the victim.

Child Pornography Defenses

Just as Florida law prohibits sexual activity with anyone under 16, both state and federal laws prohibit the photographic or video depiction of any sexual or nude activity of any person under 18 years old. By law persons under 18 are legally incapable of consenting to nude photography or videotaping.  The irony is not lost on most defense lawyers that the law deems an individual capable of voluntarily consenting to sexual intercourse at age 16, but incapable of consenting to visual depiction of that otherwise "lawful" act.

Federal and State Child Pornography Penalties

If you are convicted of simple possession of child pornography at the federal level, you are facing a mandatory minimum sentence of 60 months. That's five years - no probation, no parole, no supervised release.  More severe penalties are reserved for those who produce, distribute, transmit, advertise, or profit from child pornography in any medium.

At the State Level in Florida, crimes involving child pornography are prosecuted under the more general charge of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, a Severity Level 5 Person Felony Offense with a broad guidelines sentence range of 31 to 136 months in custody, depending on your criminal history. For defendants with no criminal record, there is at least the possibility of probation at the state level. 

A seasoned defense lawyer might be able to negotiate with the U.S. Attorney to consider relinquishing the case to the District Attorney's office for prosecution at the state level, provided the U.S. Attorney is still at the "investigatory" phase of the case and has not yet secured a formal indictment against you.

Whether investigated or prosecuted at the State or Federal Level, there are many issues a seasoned and aggressive Defense Lawyer should investigate thoroughly on your behalf:

Do the images actually depict individuals under the age of 18?  Many times, this issue is presumed or taken for granted by unwary or inexperienced defense lawyers.

Are the images real, simulated or "PhotoShopped?"

Is there valid and admissible forensic evidence of the alleged images on your computer?

Can the government prove that you personally used the computer to seek out and download the alleged images, or has your computer been available to others?

Were the images downloaded from a "wi-fi" location or an unsecured wireless connection at your residence or place of business?  I'm sure many of us have been able to locate and log onto an unsecured wireless internet router to check our e-mail or surf the web.  It is not at all uncommon for individuals seeking this type of material to literally troll through residential subdivisions in search of unsecured wireless routers in order to seek out and download these materials using an internet connection that cannot be traced to them.

Most people have seen the Dateline TV features in which law enforcement agents pretend to be underage girls in Internet chatrooms and engage in sexually explicit exchanges with adult men. These "chats" lead to arrangements for a meeting for sex, and when the unsuspecting gentleman shows up, he's arrested on camera.

Just as in child pornography possession cases, both state and Federal laws have been tightened to invalidate prior successful defenses to Internet solicitation charges. Before the advent of new laws that specifically prohibit the mere sending of the electronic message, prosecutors proceeded under the theory of "attempted" indecent liberties with a minor.  In those cases, defense counsel could raise numerous legitimate defenses associated with the issue of whether or not the Defendant had made a "significant" step toward completing the underlying offense.  For example: did the Defendant actually travel to the agreed meeting location; did the Defendant intend to complete a physical sexual act; was an actual minor even involved?  Now prosecutors no longer have to prove whether the defendant took any steps toward the completion of actual sexual activity with the alleged underage girl. Since the latest Florida amendments to the law in 2006, simply soliciting sexual activity via the internet from a 'purported' child under 16 may be sufficient to support prosecution and conviction.

Also,

1. did the officers conducting the "sting" deliberately select an age for the fictitious minor that would statutorily enhance the applicable penalties?

2. Did the officers cross the line with regard to the chat dialogue and commit legal "entrapment" of the Defendant?

3. Does the Defendant's verbatim chat unequivocally propose sexual activity, or was the language sufficiently vague such that it did not technically violate the statute?

4. Were there any mental, emotional, or social stressors occurring in the Defendant's life at the time of the incident that could provide legitimate mitigation?  These are but a few of the many issue that only the best criminal defense attorneys will thoroughly explore on their clients' behalf.

Because of the breadth of the new laws, under which a simple transcript of a chat room conversation might support a conviction in some cases, defending charges of Internet sex crimes or electronic solicitation of a minor on the facts can be very difficult. In some cases, the best result is obtained by negotiating with the prosecutor for amendment of the initial charges or for an agreement on sentencing recommendations following successful completion of a treatment program with a sexual behavior therapist or other clinical professional.

Edward J. Chandler, Esq. has been and criminal law in Florida since 1991.

He represents those under investigation or arrested for Federal and State crimes and will take your case to trial if necessary. He will file necessary pre-trial motions such as a motion to suppress a search, evidence or statements made in violation of your constitutional rights, and can file a motion to dismiss the charges.

FEES:

    Most attorney fee structures in family law matters are based on a reasonable and affordable hourly rate.
    In criminal cases my fees are based on the seriousness of the charges (felony or misdemeanor, prior offenses, etc), where the case stands, and the amount of work and court dates we anticipate.
    I usually charge flat fees, so you won't have any surprises.
    I will take credit cards if that makes it easier for you.
    If you have special circumstances or needs, a payment plan is possible.
    I work in courts in Broward County, Dade County and Palm Beach County. Fort Lauderdale, Miami and West Palm Beach and in State and federal court.

FEDERAL CRIMINAL DEFENSE:

Facing federal charges is a stressful experiences, even with one of the best Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys in Florida at your side.

By the time you realize that you are the target of federal criminal investigation, the government has already built a strong case against you. The Feds and its criminal investigative agencies, DEA, FBI, Homeland Security, and the Treasury Department,  have almost unlimited material and human resources to prosecute their cases. Federal prosecutors obtain conviction in more than 95 percent of federal criminal trials!

The U.S. sentencing guidelines, although not mandatory anymore since Booker, are still used in the sentencing process and the guidelines are harsh.  The federal criminal justice system does not usually provide for parole. In most cases, convicted individuals will serve most of their sentences except the last six months in a half way house.. All these issues make defending against federal charges more complex.

I can help and as your attorney who may impact the government’s case by various strategic and legal procedural methods to gain an advantage possibly in a motion for suppression of evidence, and possibly a case dismissal, reduction of charges, or a favorable plea bargain.

I am prepared to take it all the way to trial if necessary.

Your chances of a successful outcome of your case depends on how soon I get involved as your lawyer. You should be represented as soon as you discover that you are under investigation, or as soon as possible after your arrest. If you are a target of grand jury inquiries or federal investigation, I can help. I can handle all federal criminal charges including:

    * Federal Drug Crimes
    * Firearms Crimes
    * Bank Fraud Crimes
    * Wire Fraud Crimes
    * Accounting Fraud Crimes
    * Bankruptcy Fraud
    * Embezzlement
    * Forgery
    * Tax Evasion Crimes
    * Insurance Fraud
    * Money Laundering Crimes
    * Mortgage Fraud Crimes
    * Identity Theft Crimes
    * Health Care Fraud Crimes
    * Mail Fraud Crimes
    * False Statements
    * Perjury Crimes
    * Computer Crimes
    * International Extradition
    * Federal Sex Crimes, including pornography charges
    * Federal Import-Export Crimes
    * RICO Crimes


ARRESTED IN FLORIDA? KNOW YOUR RIGHTS!

                                           KNOW YOUR RIGHTS!

         My goal is to represent my clients as I would want to be represented, always putting their interests first, diligently working to fully understand and serve the clients' needs. In short, to do whatever it takes for the successful resolution of the
clients' causes.

         If you are being investigated or charged with a Federal or State criminal offense, you need to seek the advice of Edward J. Chandler, Esq., an experienced Florida Federal and State criminal defense attorney since 1991! Right now, you may be filled with fear, confusion, embarrassment, and anger. You probably have a thousand questions and want to know your rights and how to proceed. With your future as stake, you need to think smart and speak with an experienced Florida criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible.

       Since a criminal conviction may affect your future, your reputation and your chances of getting a job, it is critical that you seek out an experienced Florida criminal defense attorney such as Edward J, Chandler, as soon as you are being investigated or charged with a Federal or State criminal offense. The right Florida criminal defense lawyer can evaluate your case, determine legal strategies, and defend you in court, increasing your likelihood of staying out of jail and protecting your future.

       Given the complexity of criminal defense in Florida, it is important that you choose a Florida criminal defense lawyer that knows the Federal and State systems, and who combines experience with a track record, and who has a thorough understanding and familiarity with the law, the prosecutors and the local courts. If you have been accused of a crime, your time to get the right experienced Federal or State criminal defense attorney is limited. Regardless of whether you are innocent or guilty, you deserve aggressive, experienced legal representation.

           Violating the laws in Florida can result in harsh punishments, such as incarceration and fines. However, being charged with a Federal or State criminal offense does not have to devastate your entire life.  Edward J. Chandler, Esq, is here to ensure that you get your life back, your peace of mind and your freedom. "I employ an aggressive defense, often convincing the prosecution to reduce the charges against you or, in some cases, dismissing them. My sole priority is to achieve a resolution that you can live with."

        Attorney Edward J. Chandler has successfully represented numerous clients charged with criminal offenses throughout the State of Florida.  Edward J. Chandler  prides himself on aggressive representation with a personal touch. Armed with Federal and State legal knowledge and experience, he can build a winning defense. Edward J. Chandler, Esq. is accustomed to taking on the criminal justice system and achieving the best results for his clients. In addition to personally handling your case from investigation, arrest, bond hearing, arraignment, discovery and through jury trial, Edward J. Chandler, Esq. will be available to you during every step of the criminal procedure. Edward J. Chandler guarantees that you and your case will receive his undivided attention.

When your future is on the line…Call the Law Offices of Edward J. Chandler, P.A.  at (954) 788-1355  24/7 immediately! Your phone consultation is free and completely confidential.

Professional Organizations:

    * Florida Bar since 1991
    * Broward County Bar Association
    * Association of Trial Lawyers of America -ATLA
    * Federal Bar
    * Federal Court -Southern and Middle Districts of Florida
    * Supreme Court of United States
    * 4th District Court of  Appeals
    * 11th Circuit Court of Appeals
    * United States Tax Court

EDUCATION:

Juris Doctor 1991 St. Thomas University Law School
M.B.A. 1985 Nova University
B.S. 1979 University of Miami

Free initial consultation!

Call Attorney Edward J. Chandler, Esq at (954) 788-1355!

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