Being charged with a sexual crime is an incredibly traumatic experience. Seeing your child face such a devastating accusation is unimaginable. If your child has been charged with a sexual crime in Destin, it is important to act fast.

Don’t let your child’s life be decided by a public defender or a low cost attorney.

Sexual offenses in juvenile court require knowledge, finesse and fight. Trusting your child’s life to an overworked public defender or a budget criminal attorney that does not understand juvenile law can mean a lifetime of consequences.

Does it really matter which attorney I hire for my child?

Not all attorneys are the same. Specifically, not all criminal attorneys handle juvenile cases. The juvenile justice system is completely separate from the adult system. The prosecutor, probation officers, judges and law enforcement staff operate in a manner that is unlike any other court experience. A juvenile sex case should be defended by an attorney with expertise in defending sexual offenses as well as expertise in representing juveniles in the juvenile justice system.

My child is technically guilty of the offense; shouldn’t they just take their punishment?

Ensuring that your child is responsible for the offense and receives punishment is important. As parents we want our children to be accountable for their actions and face the music. However, it is imperative that you as a parent understand what that means for your child accused of a sexual crime. There is no scenario where your child can face their punishment without lifelong implications when the charge is sexually related. The cost is too great and can impact not only your child’s future but yours as well.

If your child is charged with any of the following you can expect them to be placed on the National Sexual Offender Registry for a term of 25 years:

  • Sexual Battery
  • Lewd or Lascivious Battery
  • Lewd or Lascivious Molestation
  • Any sexual conviction involving force or coercion

What is the Sexual Offender Registry?

The National Sexual Offender and Predator Registry is a national database that requires communication with law enforcement of persons convicted of certain sexual offenses. Some of the sanctions imposed by being placed on the sexual offender registry are:

  • do not live within a designated distance of a school, park, bus stop or daycare facility.
  • do not leave the county of residency without public notification
  • transfer to another state requires court-ordered permission
  • immediate community notification
  • denial of Federal Housing assistance
  • no contact with minors
  • possibly no contact with siblings

What makes Flaherty & Merrifield different from other criminal defense attorneys?

First, we are all parents and we understand the traumatic experience you as a parent are facing. Second, we have handled many juvenile cases ranging from low-level misdemeanors to capital felony offenses. Third, we have a track record that speaks for itself specifically with juveniles charged with a sexual offense. Fourth, we have been practicing in Destin for over 13 years. Our reputation with the local judges, juvenile probation officers, detention staff and juvenile prosecutors allows our firm to provide insight to you about your child’s case.

What can I do for my child now?

The best defense is a strong offense. Contact our office today to discuss your options. Our team will begin working immediately to identify defenses, contact the prosecutor, develop mitigation and prepare a plan of attack to limit the exposure your child is facing. The benefit of having a defense team in the beginning could greatly impact your child’s future.

The consult is free. The decision is yours. Let our team protect you and your child’s future.

When your child’s future is at stake, Flaherty & Merrifield can give you the help you need. If your son has been charged with a juvenile sexual crime in Destin, call us today at (850) 243-6097 for a free consultation. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Contact a Destin Juvenile Defense Attorney

If you or a loved one have been charged with a juvenile offense in Destin, call Flaherty & Merrifield today at (850) 403-6835 for a free consultation.

Tim Flaherty
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Florida Criminal Defense Attorney