Flaherty Defense Firm, Fort Walton Beach Criminal Lawyer
Offices in Fort Walton Beach, Destin, and Crestview
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Destin Lewd or Lascivious/Child Molestation Attorney

Once an accusation of child molestation is made, it’s hard enough to convince anyone to even listen to your side of the story, much less believe you. If you have already been arrested, or the police are investigating you for a Lewd or Lascivious allegation, do not make the mistake of believing this will all just go away. It won’t.

Even before you go to your first court date, the police officers and prosecutor assigned to your case are building the case against you. They’re interviewing witnesses and gathering physical evidence for testing. At some point, the police will probably want to talk to you.

During this period of time before you go to court, it is time to start planning for how you are going to fight back against these accusations. Your answer to the following two questions could make a huge difference in how your case turns out:

1. Should I go with the State-funded public defender to save money, or should I hire a professional criminal defense attorney?

If you’re debating between these two options, ask yourself this: If you allow the public defender to represent you, and 6 months from now you go to prison, will you be able to say you did everything you could to fight for your freedom? At that moment, will saving money feel worth it?

My name is Tim Flaherty. I’ve been a criminal lawyer in Destin and throughout Okaloosa County since 2001. I also have extensive experience defending serious sexually related cases, including Lewd or Lascivious Molestation.

Whether you hire me, or someone else, when your freedom is on the line, you should consider whether you would be better off with a criminal defense attorney who works for you, not the State. You have nothing to lose by calling me at (850) 243-6097 for a free consultation.

2. Should I talk to the police?

At some point, if you are the target of a child molestation case in Destin, the police are going to want to talk to you. My advice is to politely tell them that you will not talk to them without your attorney present. Remember: If they want to talk to you, that means they’ve already talked to the child, and they believe him/her. That means they already think you are guilty and they’re trying to get a confession from you.

Even if you are 100% innocent, the police will twist your words and make it look like you have something to hide.

If the police contact you about a child molestation investigation in Destin, call me, anytime day or night, at (850) 243-6097 and I’ll tell you exactly how to handle the cops.

Child Fondling/Lewd or Lascivious Molestation Under Florida Law

Fla. Stat. 800.04 (5) provides the legal definition of Lewd or Lascivious Molestation:

intentional touching, in a lewd or lascivious manner, of the genitals, genital area, buttocks, or breasts, or the clothing over those areas, of a person who is younger than 16 years old, or when someone forces or entices a child under the age of 16 to touch the defendant in a lewd or lascivious manner.

Consent is NOT a defense in any Lewd or Lascivious case. A child cannot consent to sexual activity. There are no exceptions to this rule. It is also not a defense if the child lied about his/her age.

Penalty For Child Molestation in Destin

Lewd or Lascivious Molestation is either a third degree, second degree, or first degree felony, depending on the age of the defendant and the age of the alleged victim.

Here are some examples:

  • If the alleged victim was under the age of 12, and the defendant was over 18, there is a minimum mandatory sentence of 25 years in prison, with the potential for a Life sentence.
  • If the alleged victim was over the age of 12, and the defendant was over the age of 18, the maximum sentence is 15 years in prison.
  • If the alleged victim was over the age of 12, and the defendant was younger than 18, the maximum sentence is 5 years in prison.

Call a Destin Child Molestation Attorney

There is no doubt that going through an accusation like this is the worst experience of your life. If you would like to have someone in your corner fighting for you, I welcome your call.

At Flaherty Defense Firm, I will not judge you. I’ll defend you every step of the way.

If you have been charged with Child Molestation or Lewd or Lascivious Molestation in Destin, call me at (850) 243-6097 for a free and confidential consultation.

Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Inc.
NORML
National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
Avvo Clients Choice 2014
The National Trial Lawyers