Even though sex related offenses have a strong stigma attached to them, many people do not realize that there is a broad category of crimes that can cause someone to be labelled a sex offender. Some crimes that carry the designation are not obvious.
Charges such as possession of illegal pornography or indecent exposure can cause someone to be labelled as a sex offender, even if they have never actually harmed another person. Parents can also find themselves charged with child abuse for a number of offenses related to neglect and improper behavior as well.
Police in Cottondale, Florida charged a school principal for sexual misconduct with a 16 year old student.
North Florida school principal turns himself in after relationship with teenage student is revealed
The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office had received a tip that a local school principal was having an inappropriate relationship with a student about 2 months earlier. After looking into the matter, they found that the principal had been sending private messages to the student since she was 14, and that their relationship progressed over the next year into illegal activity.
Law enforcement was able to obtain some of these messages, and the victim confirmed that they were the prior conversations and corroborated some factual details. When the Jackson County School Board confronted the suspect after learning about the incident, he resigned from his position shortly afterward. Police were able to obtain probable cause to make an arrest when their investigation uncovered he violated the law by soliciting sexual conduct with a student, which is an offense for teachers and others in positions of authority.
The former principal was 35 years old at the time he was arrested. He turned himself in to the Jackson County Correctional facility late at night on the same day an arrest warrant was issued. He was in jail and awaiting his bond hearing at the time of the news report.
The problems associated with being convicted of sex crimes
A sex offender designation is more serious than many other crimes because it places severe restrictions on a person’s ability to function normally. Once someone is a registered sex offender, they cannot live or work within a certain distance of school zones, parks, and other areas. They also have very strict probation conditions as a part of their community control program. Finding any kind of employment at all can be extremely difficult while carrying a registered offender designation. Florida has a history of homeless sex offenders living in poor conditions because they essentially cannot find places to work or live.
Criminal defense lawyers
Because of these severe consequences, it is important to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney who knows how to defend against the state’s charges and handle these kinds of cases. It may be possible to have charges reduced or dropped. Your lawyer can also negotiate a favorable plea deal on your behalf if necessary.
Get help from a local attorney in north Florida
To learn more about the possibility of a defense in the Destin area, contact the professional sex offender attorneys at ASG Legal. They will advise you regarding your rights and how to proceed based on the charges you are facing.