Date Rape

An accusation of date rape can shake the accused to their core. In Florida, date rape (defined by statute as sexual battery) is a serious felony offense punishable by imprisonment and thousands of dollars in fines. It should not be taken lightly.

If you or someone you know has been arrested and charged with date rape, the best course of action is to contact a knowledgeable attorney to review your case immediately. It is highly advisable that you do not speak with law enforcement officials until you have retained counsel. It is your right to remain silent because anything you say to the police can and likely will be used against you.

Attorney for Date Rape in Treasure Coast, FL

Meltzer & Bell is comprised of knowledgeable attorneys who have built their careers representing clients in the greater Treasure Coast area, including Palm City, Stuart, and Port St. Lucie in Martin County and St. Lucie County. Our attorneys represent clients charged with sexual offenses such as date rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, and aggravated sexual battery. When facing potential prison time and huge fines, the best thing a defendant can do is to contact a lawyer for guidance on what the next steps should be.

The attorneys at Meltzer & Bell offer a free initial consultation. Call us today at (772) 291-2534 or submit your information via our convenient online form. Both contact methods are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


Overview of Date Rate in Treasure Coast, FL


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Definition of Date Rape in Treasure Coast, FL

When facing charges of date rape, it’s important to understand exactly what “date rape” means. Under Florida law, defendants accused of date rape would be charged under the umbrella of sexual battery, as outlined in Florida Statute 794.011.

Sexual battery includes the penetration or union of the mouth, anus, or vagina by another person’s sexual organ or some other object. A legitimate medical procedure cannot be classified as sexual battery.

Date rape is an act of sexual battery that is aggravated (or enhanced) by an offender when one of the following conditions is true:

  • The victim was unable to resist physically;
  • The offender used the threat of force or violence as a coercive method;
  • The offender threatened to retaliate against the victim or another person as a coercive method;
  • The offender drugged and incapacitated the victim;
  • The offender knew the victim was mentally defective;
  • The victim was physically incapacitated; or
  • The offender is a police, correctional, or probation officer, an elected official, or any government official in a position of control or authority.

Mental and/or physical incapacitation of the victim – that is, causing the victim to be unable to consent to, escape, or reject the offender’s advances – is one of the more common aggravating factors that occurs with date rape. In many cases, the victim is incapacitated with a drug given to them without their consent or knowledge. Some of the more common “date rape drugs” include Rohypnol (also known as “roofies”), GHB, and ketamine.


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Penalties for Date Rape in Martin County, FL

Date rape carries different penalties depending on how the crime was committed. If the defendant is accused of committing sexual battery without using violence or physical force that resulted in serious injury of the victim, they will likely be charged with a second-degree felony. The maximum sentence would be up to 15 years imprisonment and a fine of no more than $10,000.

If aggravating factors are involved, the charge may be upgraded to a first-degree felony. For example, giving a victim a date rape drug before committing the offense would result in first-degree felony charges. The maximum sentence upon conviction would be up to 30 years imprisonment and a fine of no more than $10,000.

Beyond incarceration and fines, individuals convicted of date rape are also required to register as a sexual offender. Sex offenders are often required to register for life and their information will be made public.

A registered sex offender with a felony sexual battery conviction may struggle to find employment or housing. If you or someone you know has been accused of date rape or charged with sexual battery, your best bet is to seek the assistance of a lawyer experienced in defending sex crimes in Florida. This decision could impact the rest of your life.


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Additional Resources

Date Rape | University of Florida Police Department – The University of Florida has created a resource for students offering advice and facts about crimes including sexual battery and date rape. This resource provides sections that discuss the myths and realities involving date rape, how to prevent date rape, and how to protect against date rape.

What to Expect from the Criminal Justice System | RAINN – The Rape Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN), America’s largest anti-sexual violence organization, provides a victim-focused resource offering an overview of what to expect when accusing someone of rape. Although the target audience of this web page is victims of sexual abuse, it should offer some valuable insights to those who are currently being investigated for or charged with date rape.

Sexual Battery | Florida Statutes Section 794.011 – Florida’s legislature offers an electronic version of the Florida Statutes on their website, Online Sunshine. The statutes contain legal definitions for the varying degrees of sexual battery and their corresponding penalties.


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Defense Lawyer for Date Rape in Treasure Coast, FL

Facing felony charges for date rape is a stressful position to be in. The experienced attorneys at Meltzer & Bell can help relieve some of that anxiety by working to provide the best defense possible for your case. We will evaluate the details of your case and identify whether it qualifies for reduced charges or outright dismissal.

If you or someone you love has been accused of or charged with sexual battery in Treasure Coast, FL, don’t talk to the police or anyone else until you’ve given us a call. Contact us any time of day, year-round, at (772) 291-2534 or send us a message using our online form. Consultations are free, and your information will remain confidential.

Meltzer & Bell defends clients of date rape in communities on the Treasure Coast that include Fort Pierce, Hobe Sound, and Vero Beach in Martin County and St. Lucie County.


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