Stephen G. Cobb - Florida Criminal Defense Lawyer


Statutory Rape: When Consensual Sex Becomes Illegal in Destin

When people think of the word “rape,” they assume it only applies to situations in which an individual is forced into a sexual act against his or her will. However, the state of Florida also criminalizes other sexual acts that do not involve a lack of consent. Did you know that you can be arrested and convicted of rape for having consensual intercourse with someone you with whom are in a loving, committed relationship? Statutory Rape Statutory rape is not rape in the typical sense. It involves consensual sex between two voluntary and willing individuals. However, one of the individuals… Read More

Panhandle Prosecutors Intent On Securing Conviction For Twice-Released Alleged Sex Offender

In a previous post, I discussed how the Double Jeopardy Clause of the Fifth Amendment bars a Destin prosecutor from twice prosecuting a defendant for the same crime. As a recap, this clause forbids four different situations: (1) prosecuting a defendant for the same offense after an acquittal, (2) prosecuting a defendant for the same offense after a conviction for that offense, (3) prosecuting a defendant for the same offense after a specific type of mistrial, or (4) penalizing a defendant multiple times for the same offense. Local Man Immediately Charged Before He Can Be Released Following an Acquittal In… Read More

Fort Walton Beach Sexual Battery Allegations Are Notoriously Flawed

Despite its sunny and beautiful locale in Florida, Fort Walton Beach is home to one of the fastest rising crime rates in the nation, according to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report. Over the past few years, crimes rates have soared, and violent crimes have risen by a whopping 40%. One of the more commonly occurring violent offenses is sexual battery. Though complaints of rape and sexual assault are common in Fort Walton Beach, research and real-life examples have shown that rape complainants are notoriously unreliable when both describing and identifying their rapists. Ronald Cotton In one of the most famous… Read More

Fort Walton Beach Criminal Defense Attorney Explains Sexual Battery

Sexual battery is a felony sex offense in the state of Florida. Sexual battery is rigorously investigated, vigorously prosecuted, and aggressively punished by the Fort Walton Beach police, Assistant State Attorney’s Office, and local judges. More commonly referred to as rape, Florida Statute 794.011 defines sexual battery as “oral, anal, or vaginal penetration by, or union with, the sexual organ of another or the anal or vaginal penetration of another by any other object” that occurs without legally recognized consent. While many people are aware of the popular “No means no” campaign and understand that rape occurs when an individual… Read More

Fort Walton Beach Criminal Defense Attorney Discusses Jared Fogle’s Child Pornography Case

Jared Fogle, known around the world as “the Subway Guy,” was once interviewed by a local newspaper about how he had lost significant amounts of weight by eating only Subway sandwiches, which are purportedly a low-calorie and healthy alternative to fast food. Subway learned of his story and invited him to do an advertising campaign for the food chain. The advertisement worked so well that he became the official mascot for the brand, appearing in countless commercials over the years. In each commercial, he held up his old 62-inch jeans to his body to demonstrate how Subway had helped him… Read More

Florida Lawmakers Consider Increasing Penalties for Sexting in Fort Walton Beach

In the age of the Internet, social media, unlimited data plans, and teenagers’ constant use of cellphones, sexting has become a worldwide phenomenon, including in the Fort Walton Beach area. Sexting refers to sending sexually explicit messages and photos through online communication. Common ways to sext include: Text message Snapchat What’s App Kik Facebook Messenger Instagram Twitter Minors have been swept up in the sexting craze, and though the vast majority of them are sexting with teenagers around their age, they are still breaking the law. Child pornography, regardless of the age of the person found in possession or of… Read More

Double Jeopardy Issues In Destin Molestation Cases

According to Florida Statute 794.011, sexual battery occurs when an individual uses a sexual organ or other object to orally, anally, or vaginally penetrate a complainant who either did not consent to the act or was unable to consent. However, lewd or lascivious offenses, defined in Florida Statute 800.04, involve sexual contact with minors under the age of 16. They involve battery, molestation, touching, and/or exhibition.  Penetration is not required. Often times, activity that constitutes lewd or lascivious conduct also qualifies as sexual battery. Overzealous Destin Assistant State Attorneys commonly charge both lewd or lascivious conduct and sexual battery when… Read More

Destin Criminal Defense Attorney Analyzes Traveling to Meet a Minor on To Catch a Predator

In the state of Florida, it is illegal for an individual to travel to meet a minor for the purpose of engaging in sexual activity. Traveling to meet a minor became well-known in Florida when the To Catch a Predator television show arrived in the state to film individuals who allegedly intended to meet underage girls. According to the premise of the show, individuals from the show posed as an underage girl, hanging out in various chat rooms and engaging in dialogue with older men. These men would send sexually explicit messages and photos to the supposed child and would… Read More

What Happens To Your DUI Case When Your Rights Are Violated In Destin?

You have certain constitutional rights when you are stopped on suspicion of drunk driving or are arrested. I have previously discussed your right against unreasonable searches and seizures covered by the Fourth Amendment, as well as your Miranda rights under the Fifth Amendment. As a refresher, the Fourth Amendment protects you against (1) stops when reasonable, articulable suspicion does not exist, (2) arrests when there is no probable cause, (3) searches of your person prior to an arrest if there is no probable cause that a specific item will be found on you, (4) searches of your home without your… Read More

Common Defenses For Fort Walton Beach Assault Arrests

Whether you were arrested for domestic violence or regular assault in Fort Walton Beach, it is crucial to your defense to craft a theory of the case that will explain to the jury what happened, why it happened, and why you should not be held responsible. There are a multitude of different types of defenses available to individuals accused of assault. However, the defense theories available for your particular case will vary based on the individual facts and circumstances. Below are some defenses commonly presented in assault trials in Fort Walton Beach. Mistaken Identity  Sometimes, the Fort Walton Beach police… Read More