Recent data reveals that the overall crime rate in West Palm Beach is significantly higher than the state of Florida and the national average of the US. The crimes include among others: sexual assaults and rape. Thousands of sexual assault and rape cases in West Palm Beach go without any legal action. Several thousands of victims of such atrocity also never approach the authorities fearing backlash and shame.

However, there are a number of law firms that fight for justice for the victims of such horrendous crime. Sex offenses under Florida law include:

Sexual Battery: Charges of sexual battery come up against somebody who has allegedly penetrated the victim’s sex organ, anus or mouth with a sex organ or any object without the latter’s consent. It can involve force or the threat of it. It can also include an instance whereby a person could not give consent under the influence of a drug.

Lewd & lascivious acts: They involve the accused touching a person aged below 16 in a sexually offensive manner or asking the latter to perform a sexual act. Such acts involve accusations of intentional masturbation and other indecent acts in front of a person aged below 16.

Indecent exposure: It becomes an offense if somebody exposes his or her sexual organs in a vulgar manner in a public place.

Child pornography: This includes the sale, production, promotion, distribution or possession of any material which shows any minor engaging in sexual acts.

Penalties for Sexual offenses and Rape

The following are the penalties for sex crimes in Palm Beach County, home to West Palm Beach:

Although capital felonies can be punished by the death sentence, Florida doesn’t execute individuals on charges of sexual battery. However, the convicted can be sentenced to jail up to a life sentence.

For any other kind of sexual offenses, the penalty will be determined by the level of the crime under the law. For example, life felony involves life in prison or at least 40 years in prison and a fine up to $15,000. A first-degree felony, on the other hand, can attract a penalty of up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. The second and third-degree felonies can lead to up to 15 years in prison and $10,000 fine and five years in jail and $5,000 fine.

A first-degree misdemeanor can result in one year in prison and a fine of up to $1,000 while a second-degree misdemeanor can lead to 60 days in jail $500 fine.

In addition, a criminal record with sexual offenses like sexual battery and lewd acts will not be erased from the convict’s life history.

Anybody convicted of sexual offenses, including child pornography, needs to register as a sex offender and this list stops the person from living within 1,000 ft. of a school, daycare, playground, or park.

The convict’s name and the public database will be available to anybody that has internet access. This creates potential damage to the offender’s employment prospects and social living.

Sexual offenses can cause a much deeper damage to a person, beyond just physical injuries. Many suffer from trauma and may never be able to live a normal life again and fall prey to depression and other psychological effects. Additionally, some victims suffer financial damage. Often times after this type of life event takes place, victim’s frequently take time off from work and unfortunately many never return due to the onset of depression and lack of interest in returning to work. Financial resources do exist for families, victims themselves and others.

In order to prevent a human life from undergoing such suffering, the most effective way is to ensure that those who commit such crimes are not let go so easily. That is where the penalties for sexual offenses and rape become all the more important.