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Frequently Asked Questions - Criminal Investigation 
www.polksheriff.org > Inside PCSO > Law Enforcement > Criminal Investigations Division > Frequently Asked Questions - Criminal Investigation

1.When can a minor lawfully consent to sexual intercourse?

2.What will happen if children less than 16 years of age engage in sexual intercourse and both minors had expressed a desire to participate?

3. What is emancipation?

4.Which children are eligible for emancipation and what are the requirements?

5. How do I clear my record if someone using my personal identification is issued a Traffic citation?

6. Do you have all the same equipment as on CSI that can identify someone in less than a minute?

7. Is your job like the CSI show on television?

8. What kind of training is needed to be a crime scene technician?

9. What do I need to do to become a CSI?

10. What is the hardest part of your job?

11. What are the mandatory sentences under the 10-20-Life law?

 
Answers
 
1.When can a minor lawfully consent to sexual intercourse?

Answer: This question depends on the age of the minor. A minor under the age of 16 can never lawfully consent to sexual intercourse. A minor who is at least 16 years of age or older can lawfully consent to intercourse if the second party is less than 24 years of age and at least 16 years old.

2.What will happen if children less than 16 years of age engage in sexual intercourse and both minors had expressed a desire to participate?

Answer: The age of the minors involved can factor into this question. If the minors are both between the ages of 12 but less than 16, they both can be charged. If one minor is less than 12 and the other over 12, the child over 12 will be charged. Child on child acts committed by minors who are both under the age of 12 are evaluated on a case by case basis.
 

3. What is emancipation?

Answer: Emancipation is the act by which a minor, who had limited legal rights and additional legal privileges, gains all the rights and responsibilities of an adult and has the legal capacity to act as an adult.

Emancipation does not change the effect of laws which restrict behavior by a minimum age.

4.Which children are eligible for emancipation and what are the requirements?

Answer:  Natural emancipation occurs when a minor turns 18 years of age. Early emancipation usually occurs by court order. To obtain a court order:

  • 1) The minor must be at least 16 years of age.
  • 2) A petition must be filed by the minor’s parent, guardian or guardian ad litem.
  • 3) The petition must show the judge that the minor is independent and able to support himself/herself and his/her child, if he/she is parenting.
    • A. He/she must either be supporting himself/herself or have a specific plan in place to do so.
    • B. He/she can not be dependent on public benefits.
  • 4) The person must give the judge reasons why the minor needs to be emancipated.
  • 5) When a minor is married he/she is emancipated.
    • A. Marriage requires parental consent.
    • B. A minor under 16 can not get married even with parental consent.

5. How do I clear my record if someone using my personal identification is issued a Traffic citation?

Answer: Report the Identify theft to the Sheriff’s Office or the State Attorney’s Office. The Identification Section will obtain your fingerprints and compare them to the fingerprint on the traffic citation. A report of the findings will be provided to the traffic court and the Polk County Sheriff’s Office Records Section.

6. Do you have all the same equipment as on CSI that can identify someone in less than a minute?

Answer: We do have an automated Fingerprint Identification System that can search unidentified fingerprints and palm prints, however this system only selects possible matches. The final comparison and identification must be performed by a person with the required expertise.

7. Is your job like the CSI show on television?

Answer: Yes and No. We are fortunate in that we are provided with state of the art equipment. We have most of what is shown on television, and we perform a lot of the same functions as seen. However, our agency does not have lab capabilities. We document the scene, process for latent fingerprints and collect evidence. All laboratory analysis is performed at the Florida Department of Law Enforcement lab. Additionally, all our technicians are civilians, they do not conduct interviews nor do they have arrest powers. And finally, it is not as glamorous or as easy as it is on television. The actors and actresses never get dirty and always complete the crime scene documentation, the entire investigation, the autopsy, and lab analysis all in one hour. It is not uncommon for us to spend ten or twelve hours at a homicide scene just documenting the scene, processing for latent fingerprints, and collecting evidence.

8. What kind of training is needed to be a crime scene technician?

Answer: The minimum qualifications to work at the Sheriff’s Office are a high school diploma or a G.E.D. The training is on the job, and lasts a minimum of 16 weeks. The first four weeks the trainee learns how to operate each piece of equipment, how and what to photograph, how to process for fingerprints, and how to collect and package evidence. The next twelve weeks are broken down into two phases – the first part is where the trainee is exposed to calls and the trainer works the call, the trainee takes “pretend” pictures, packages “pretend” evidence and latent fingerprints, and writes a “pretend” report. In the second part, the trainee will be responsible for the investigation – photographs, evidence, latent fingerprints and the report. Through this phase the trainee is given less and less guidance and during the last two weeks, the trainee works the call with little or no assistance from the trainer.

9. What do I need to do to become a CSI?

Answer: Since the technicians work mostly unsupervised, it is important the supervisors have a knowledge of their work history. So, we typically don’t hire from outside the agency, we transfer individuals from within. My suggestion to someone who is interested in becoming a crime scene technician is to first ride with one, to see what the job is all about. Second, attend an autopsy, since this is difficult for many people to handle. And third, apply at the Sheriff’s Office and get hired, so there is documentation of your work history, and then you can be considered for transfer.

10. What is the hardest part of your job?

Answer: When children are injured or killed, it is a difficult time for the family as well as law enforcement officers. The families of individuals who have been killed are understandably upset. We have to look past what has occurred and perform our job. And finally, it is difficult when dealing with those individuals who are injured and in pain. In these instances, once again we have a job to do and regardless of the circumstances that job must be done.

11. What are the mandatory sentences under the 10-20-Life law?

Answer:

  • For pulling a gun during a crime, a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years is imposed.
  • For certain felony crimes or attempted felonies, the 10 year mandatory sentence is authorized if the criminal possess a gun (or destructive device).
  • For firing the gun during a crime the mandatory minimum sentence is 20 years.
  • For injuring or killing a victim by firing the gun during a crime, a mandatory minimum sentence from 25 years to life in prison is authorized. Parole is not available for these criminals.
  • Felon possessing a gun 3 Years
  • Pulling a gun to commit a crime 10 Years
  • Pulling the trigger during a crime 20 Years
  • Injuring or killing a victim by firing a gun during a crime 25 Years to Life