Facing sex crimes charges in South Florida can be extremely difficult. Even if you are innocent and the charges are dismissed, the stigma of being charged can stay with you for a long time. Understanding the different types of Florida sex crimes is important. If you have been charged with a sex crime in Florida, it is important to hire an experienced sex crimes defense lawyer as soon as possible.
Sex Crimes with a Minor in Florida
Florida prosecutors take sex crimes against a minor extremely seriously. When a victim is below the age of legal consent, he or she cannot legally give permission for sexual contact with an adult. Someone who is 17 years old or younger who has sexual intercourse with someone 24 years old or older will be considered the victim of a sex crime. The fact that you did not know the age of the victim will not be a valid defense against sex crimes with a minor charges. You will need to start building your case as soon as possible. You could face severe penalties, which could include up to 15 years in prison and fines up to $10,000.
Sexual Rape and Battery
Rape is one of the most serious sex crimes and one with which most people are familiar. In Florida, prosecutors often charge people with rape and sexual battery at the same time. The use of any force or any coercion can justify a crime of rape or battery. Those convicted of rape and sexual battery will be placed on a sex offender registry for the rest of their lives. The court looks at aggravating factors that will increase the standard sentencing of a conviction. Aggravating factors include intimidation, assault with a deadly weapon, or physical injury.
Facing a charge of rape can easily ruin your life. Even if you are not found guilty of rape, the stigma of the rape charge can change your life for the worst. Rape happens when one adult does not consent to sexual activity. They might be unable to consent because they are on drugs, drunk, or otherwise mentally unable to consent. In this case, the act could be considered sexual battery or rape under Florida law.
Statutory rape is a crime that happens when a person is 24 years old or older and has sexual contact with someone 16 or 17 years old. This crime is a second-degree felony. In this context, sexual activity includes anal, oral, or vaginal intercourse or penetration. Statutory rape can also include cases in which both parties are minors and one party cannot consent, but both parties meet the age difference requirements.
The Punishment for Rape in Florida
The punishments for rape vary in Florida. The sentence will depend on the age of the victim, whether a weapon was involved, and whether the assault caused someone’s injuries. When rape is a second-degree felony, it will be punishable by up to 15 years in prison as well as 15 years of sex offender probation. Additionally, the defendant could face 7 and ¾ years in prison along with two years of sex offender probation.
Lewd Conduct and Lascivious Behavior
This sex crime involves someone who engages in sexual activity with a minor who is under the age of 16. Prosecutors will bring the charge of lewd conduct and lascivious behavior when sexual misconduct happened that did not add up to rape. If you are ignorant of the true age of the other party, you will not have a valid defense. There are four different types of charges under this crime:
Lewd and Lascivious battery happens when you have sex with someone age 12 to 15. It also includes enticing, encouraging, or forcing any person less than 16 years old to engage in sexual bestiality, prostitution, sadomasochistic abuse, or any other act involving sexual activity.
Lewd and lascivious molestation happens when a person 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.
Age is Often Involved in Sex Crimes
The age of the parties involve often comes into play when prosecutors charge sex crimes. When the two parties involved are younger than 16 or 17, or 23 and 24, you might be charged with a sex crime even when both parties consent. Florida changes the ages occasionally, so it is important to stay on top of the current Florida laws.
Possession of Child Pornography in Florida
Possession of child pornography is against federal law and Florida law. It is illegal to possess any video or image of a child engaged in a sexual act. Even viewing child pornography is a crime. When law enforcement can find child pornography on your phone or computer, or when you have shared such an image or video, you could face child pornography charges. There are several different types of child pornography charges, including the following:
If you have been charged with any sex crime, it is important that you contact an experienced criminal defnese lawyer as soon as possible. You are entitled to a legal defense and the sooner you work with a lawyer to develop your legal strategy, the better. Contact Mark Solomon, P.A. as soon as possible to schedule your free initial consultation.