Florida law and prosecutors treat sexually related offenses as some of the most serious crimes you can be accused of. The required penalties and potential collateral requirements, such as being required to register as a sexual offender or sexual predator are extensive. Even an accusation of sexual abuse can have long term negative consequences for the accused.
Sexual battery is defined by Florida law 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; however, sexual battery does not include an act done for a bona fide medical purpose” This is what is commonly known as “rape.” Factors such as the age of the victim, whether force is used and whether a weapon is used effect the seriousness of this charge, but all sexual batteries are serious and should be handled by an experienced attorney.
Florida Statutes define Lewd Acts in part as, “(a) A person who intentionally touches in a lewd or lascivious manner the breasts, genitals, genital area, or buttocks, or the clothing covering them, of a person less than 16 years of age, or forces or entices a person under 16 years of age to so touch the perpetrator, commits lewd or lascivious molestation.
(b) An offender 18 years of age or older who commits lewd or lascivious molestation against a victim less than 12 years of age commits a life felony, punishable as provided in s. 775.082(3)(a)4.” Commonly referred to as “statutory rape,” this statute prohibits sexual contact between people of certain ages, not just sex.
CAPITAL SEXUAL BATTERY
Capital sexual battery is sex (defined as penetration) where the victim is twelve years old or younger. Other than first degree murder this is the most serious offense on the books in Florida. If you are convicted of capital sexual battery, the mandatory penalty is life in prison without parole.
POSSESSION OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY
With the expanse of the internet child pornography has spread rapidly. Each picture/video possessed amounts to an individual counts. If multiple pictures or videos are possessed the potential penalties add up very quickly.
SEXUAL PREDATOR/ SEXUAL OFFENDER
People convicted of certain sex offenses, either in or outside of Florida, are required to register with the Sheriff’s Office as a sexual predator or sexual offender. The failure to do so can result in new criminal charges.
ROMEO AND JUILET STATUTE
Florida’s “Romeo and Juliet” statute provides some defendant’s with the opportunity to remove their sexual predator or sexual offender status and the requirements that go along with them. For certain offenses, if the defendant received a withhold of adjudication, was not more than four years older than the victim, and if the victim was between 14 and 16 years old the defendant can petition the court to remove sex offender or sexual predator status.
The Faett Firm can help if you are charged with any of the above. Due to the serious penalties, collateral consequences, and social stigma of being charged with a sex offense it is important to take such charges seriously and hire experienced counsel.
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