An Okaloosa County sex crime attorney can provide you with representation if you have been accused of a sexually-based offense. Sex crimes are taken very seriously in Florida and penalties for conviction are harsh. Law enforcement officials also devote a lot of time and money to investigating alleged sex crimes, which can sometimes result in innocent people being accused or people being wrongfully searched or wrongfully arrested in violation of their constitutional rights.
One common technique which is used by police in sex crimes cases is a sex sting. AOL.com reported recently on a sex sting that occurred in Florida that ensnared almost 300 people. While sex stings are not themselves unlawful, police must act within strict guidelines to avoid entrapment or otherwise violating the constitutional rights of suspected offenders.
If you are caught up in an arrest as a result of a sex sting, it is important to work with a lawyer to determine if the police actually acted appropriately. If they failed to follow the law and respect your rights, any evidence that they obtained unlawfully should not be admissible and should not be used by a prosecutor in a court of law to try to secure a conviction. An experienced attorney can help you to determine what your rights are and what the best course of action is after becoming caught up in a sex sting.
Hundreds Caught Up in a Florida Sex Sting
According to AOL, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office ran a sex sting from October 10 through October 15, 2017. The sex sting was called Operation No Tricks, No Treats and the goal of the string was to investigate a human trafficking ring and prostitution ring going on at two different locations within the county.
As a part of the sting, law enforcement officers and undercover detectives visited the two locales in Polk County where they believed that crimes were being committed. The detectives posted fake advertisements and fake profiles on social media websites. They also posted ads and profiles on social media applications. Some of the ads were solicitations for prostitutes and in other ads, the detectives pretended to be prostitutes.
Many people responded to both ads, and a total of 277 arrests took place. Of those arrested, 51 people were individuals who had advertised themselves as being prostitutes and a total of 209 were arrests of people who had solicited the undercover detectives who were pretending to be prostitutes. The remaining seven arrests were individuals who were found to be profiting from prostitution in some way.
Sex stings like this are common, and whenever they occur, there are hundreds of arrests and the police department conducting them usually touts the statistics. However, being arrested does not mean that you will be found guilty. If you are arrested, you should reach out to an Okaloosa County sex crime attorney right away to find out your options for responding to serious charges and to determine what your best course of action is to try to reduce or avoid penalties for a sex offense.