When Does Sexual Harassment Become a Sexual Crime?
The Me Too and Time’s Up movements have brought attention to the important problem of sexual harassment in the workplaces of America. They have also raised critical legal questions about the difference between sexual harassment and sexual crimes. Harvey Weinstein, in particular, has a complicated legal case that has exploded from claims of sexual harassment to a multi-district criminal investigation for a litany of sexual offenses alleged to have occurred over many decades. This and similar news stories illustrate a critical legal distinction: when does sexual harassment in the workplace (a civil offense) become a criminal sexual offense?
The experienced Miami criminal defense attorney at Stroleny Law, P.A. passionately defends Floridians accused of sexual offenses. They have the knowledge and skill to protect defendants’ constitutional rights and mitigate the consequences of a conviction for a sexual crime. If you or a loved one has been accused of sexual misconduct, call (305) 615-1285 for a free phone consultation as soon as possible.
Sexual Harassment v. Sexual Crimes
Since the inception of these movements, many men (and some women) across a wide variety of industries have been accused of sexual harassment and other misconduct in the workplace. It is, however, only a small percentage of these persons who also face criminal charges for sexual crimes. In order to understand the difference, it is essential to understand how sexual crimes are defined under Florida law. For example, Section 794.011(1)(h) of the Florida Statutes defines sexual battery as oral, anal, or vaginal penetration by, or union with, the sexual organ of another or the anal or vaginal penetration of another by any other object. The Statutes also define lewd or lascivious battery, molestation, conduct, and exhibition in Section 800.04. All of these crimes require sexual activity or touching.
It can, of course, be difficult to determine whether sexual harassment in the workplace rises to the level of a criminal sexual offense. Words and gestures can easily satisfy the legal definition of sexual harassment. Crimes, however, often require overt actions or touching. But these lines can quickly become blurred, and it is vital for a person accused of sexual misconduct to consult with an experienced Miami criminal defense attorney as soon as accusations arise. Early intervention helps to keep a person’s legal options open and allows a criminal lawyer to consider and develop the best defense strategies for a particular case.
Aggressive, Experienced Representation for All Types of Sexual Crimes
Sexual crimes, in particular, carry collateral consequences that can affect a defendant for the rest of his or her life. It is important to be represented by an experienced defense attorney who knows how to defense sexual crimes under Florida law. The skilled criminal attorney at Stroleny Law, P.A. knows how to investigate sex crimes cases, find weaknesses in a prosecutor’s case, plea bargain, present the case to a jury if necessary, and help their clients mitigate the collateral consequences of a conviction for a sexual offense (such as sex offender registration). Call (305) 615-1285 for a free phone consultation as soon as possible. The sooner a Miami criminal attorney becomes involved in your case, the better protected your constitutional rights will be.
Stroleny Law, P.A. handles a variety of criminal law cases, so call now if you have any questions.
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