Florida law classifies offense related to sexual assault under the broad category of sexual battery. Regardless if the act is rape, groping or other unwanted sexual touching, the offense will be considered sexual battery.
Being charged with such a crime is severe and can entail a felony conviction, prison time and mandatory registration as a sex offender. If you are being investigated for sexual battery in southern Florida, you should contact an experienced attorney right away.
Defense Attorney for Sexual Battery in Treasure Coast, FL
Meltzer & Bell will fight tooth and nail for our clients who are accused of sexual battery. Our attorneys are experienced with sexual battery in Florida and will strive to achieve the best possible outcome for your situation.
Meltzer & Bell defends clients with sexual offense in communities throughout Martin and Saint Lucie County. Our attorneys are available to clients 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Call us today at (772) 248-1215 to set up a free consultation.
Overview of Sexual Battery in Treasure Coast, FL
Sexual battery and rape are synonymous in Florida and it involves an individual engaging in sexual activity against an alleged victim’s will.
Florida Statute 794.01 defines sexual battery as the oral, anal or vaginal penetration with the sexual organ of another or the anal or vaginal penetration of another by an object. This does not include any act done for genuine medical purposes.
To qualify as sexual battery, the intercourse must have been done against the alleged victim’s consent. Florida law defines consent as “intelligent, knowing and voluntary ” and excludes coerced submission. If the alleged victim was younger than 12 years old, the prosecutor is not required to prove their lack of consent because their age presumes it.
This crime can also include circumstances where the victim is mentally incapable of giving consent. This can be due to the alleged victim being under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or because of a mental handicap.
As with any crime, the penalties for sexual battery vary depending on factors such as the age of the alleged victim and whether aggravating circumstances existed. Chapter 794 of the Florida Statute classifies the penalties for sexual battery as the following:
Second-Degree Felony: If the alleged victim is older than 12 years old, it is considered a second-degree felony that is punishable by 15 years in prison and fines up to $10,000
First-Degree Felony: This is punishable by 30 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines if the alleged victim is younger than 12 and the sexual battery took place under the following conditions:
- Serious personal injury was caused as a result
- The alleged victim was mentally or physically incapacitated
Life Felony: Sexual battery is punishable as a life felony and entails a minimum of 30 years and up to life in prison in the following circumstances:
- The act was committed by an offender who was under 17 against an alleged victim was who less than 12 and the victim sustained an injury to a sexual organ as a result.
- The alleged victim was older than 12 and the alleged offender used physical force or threatened to use a deadly weapon.
Capital Felony: If the act is committed by an alleged offender who is 18 years or older against an alleged victim who is younger than 12 years old and they suffered an injury to a sexual organ as a result, the crime is considered a capital felony and is punishable by up to life in prison.
All of the offenses described above require the defendant to register as a sex offender. Once registered, you will lose rights that include owning a firearm and working in certain professions. You will also face restrictions on being near school zones and the alleged victim.
Sexual Battery | Florida Statutes Chapter 794 -Follow the link to Online Sunshine to read the state statute on sexual battery. The statue defines what is considered sexual battery as well as penalties. Online Sunshine is the official website for the Florida legislature.
Florida Statutes Chapter 775 General Penalties– Learn how criminal offenses are charged in Florida. The statute defines penalties and mandatory minimum sentences for crimes committed in the state. The statute can be read on Online Sunshine, the official website for the Florida legislature.
Lawyer for Sexual Battery in Treasure Coast, FL
If you are being investigated for sexual battery in the Treasure Coast area, you will want to contact an experienced sex crimes attorney at Meltzer & Bell today. Our attorneys have the skills to defend you in court and will strive to achieve the best possible outcome for your situation.
Call Meltzer & Bell today at (772) 248-1215 or submit your information in the online form to set up a free consultation. We defend clients of sexual battery in communities throughout Martin and Saint Lucie counties.