Can an attorney review the mandatory designation and facts of a sex offender case? Posted on January 13, 2011
I am a mother of a "sex offender" who is in prison because while he was looking for and for downloading "legal" pornography from share-ware programs on the internet he also saw and downloaded all sorts of other strange stuff. Being young and curious he, without understanding and realizing the seriousness of the crime downloaded files that have been identified as "child porn". He had cyber walked into a zone the police had been monitoring and as such his apartment was raided and his computer seized. My son cooperated and told the police that he wasn't using discretion on selecting files to down load, he merely selected everything on a page and went to work. Upon returning from work he would look to see what he had downloaded and separate the legal porn from the questionable stuff. He was honest. He never meant to do anything bad and did not realize that it was so wrong.
My son, on advice from his lawyer went to a psychiatrist for an evaluation. The psychiatrist the lawyer recommended was the same one that is regularly used by the state prosecutor for such cases. Based upon his evaluation of my son, the psychiatrist determined that he could not find any reason to believe that he was a threat to children or a pedophile.
Based upon the offered plea deal of 18 months from the prosecutor, my son struggled with his decision. His desire was to take the case to trial and put it in the hands of a jury to find him guilty as opposed to accepting the plea. In the end he took the plea deal offered because the potential for a much longer extreme sentence if convicted by a jury.
On the day of the official acceptance of the plea and sentencing, the judge having reviewed the case accepted his plea and then went on to state officially for the record that after having reviewed the evidence presented by the prosecutor and the findings of the psychiatrist, that in his opinion, he should not be labeled a "sex offender" but that it was not in his control because of the automatic designation being generated for anyone who is convicted of a crime which falls under sex crime statutes.
Most recently, the state appointed appeal lawyer has determined that he can find "no good faith argument" for which to appeal this case.
My request is that someone look over the facts of this case and determine if there is some way in which to appeal the "sex offender" designation, especially in light of the Judge's own statement on record that he didn't agree with the mandatory designation in this case, which occurred in Florida.
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