Unlawful Sexual Activity with a Minor

When it comes to consent laws in Florida, the line between an acceptable relationship and one that will land you in prison is thin. Depending on your age, engaging in sexual activity with someone below a certain age can result in felony charges – even if the younger party consents. Florida law outlines specific legal boundaries for sexual activity with a minor, and offenders face serious repercussions.

When you’re charged with unlawful sexual activity with a minor, there’s a lot at stake. Defending against felony charges can be extremely difficult without the assistance of counsel. The best thing you can do to protect your rights is to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney.

Attorney for Unlawful Sexual Activity with a Minor in Treasure Coast, FL

The attorneys at Meltzer & Bell have extensive experience handling sexual offense charges like unlawful sexual activity with a minor. We represent clients like you all around the Treasure Coast, including Sebastian, Jensen Beach, and Port St. Lucie in Martin County and St. Lucie County. Our attorneys are committed to providing clients with the best defense possible, no matter the charges. We examine the evidence and, when possible, push to get charges reduced or dropped without going to trial.

Call Meltzer & Bell today at (772) 291-2534 or send us a message via the form on this page to schedule a free consultation. Both contact methods are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


Overview of Unlawful Sexual Activity with a Minor in Treasure Coast, FL


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Definition of Unlawful Sexual Activity with a Minor in Treasure Coast, FL

The Florida Statutes define unlawful sexual activity with a minor under section 794.05, “Unlawful sexual activity with certain minors.” According to the law, it is illegal for anyone 24 years or older to participate in sexual activity with another person who is either 16 or 17 years old.

This law also includes the “close-in-age exemption.” This exemption makes it legal for someone between the ages of 18 and 23 to engage in sexual activity with a 16- or 17-year-old. Sexual activity is defined as penetration of the mouth, anus, or vagina by an object or the sexual organs of another.


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Definition of Lewd of Lascivious Battery in Treasure Coast, FL

A related violation called lewd or lascivious battery is defined in Florida Statute 800.04(4). This crime is also known as statutory rape. Lewd or lascivious battery occurs when an adult participates in sexual activity with another person who is between the ages of 12 and 16. Consent between the two parties is not a defense under Florida law.

It is also illegal for a person to encourage, force, or entice a person 16 years of age or younger to participate in prostitution, sexual bestiality, sadomasochistic abuse, or some other act in which sexual activity is involved. While the two laws are similar, they are charged separately.


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Penalties for Unlawful Sexual Activity with a Minor in Martin County, FL

If you or a loved one have been arrested or are under investigation for unlawful sexual activity with a minor, you could be facing some very grave penalties. This crime is charged as a second-degree felony with a maximum prison sentence of 15 years, 15 years of probation as a sex offender, and up to a $10,000 fine.

A registered sex offender with a felony sexual battery conviction may struggle to find employment or housing. The sex offender registry is public record, and this information will turn up during background checks in addition to your criminal record. If you have children, your status as a sex offender may prevent you from being able to attend their school functions.

Convicted felons also lose their voting rights and ability to own a firearm. A qualified lawyer experienced in defending sex crimes in Florida can help you explore what your options are, so it’s in your best interest to consult with counsel as soon as possible.


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Additional Resources

Unlawful Sexual Activity with Certain Minors | Jury Instruction – The Florida Supreme Court hosts a jury instruction sheet on their website for cases involving unlawful sexual activity with certain minors charges. Here you can find a summary of what jurors are expected to refer to when delivering a verdict at trial.

Unlawful Sexual Activity with Certain Minors | Florida Statutes Section 794.05 – You can visit the official Florida Legislature website, Online Sunshine, to review a full copy of the state’s laws. This example contains the legal definitions for the varying degrees of sexual battery and their corresponding penalties.


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Defense Lawyer for Unlawful Sexual Activity with a Minor in Treasure Coast, FL

Have you been arrested and charged with unlawful sexual activity with a minor, or are you currently under investigation in the greater Treasure Coast area? If you find yourself in this position, it can be difficult to know what to do next.

Florida’s laws and penalties can be difficult to understand if you are not intimately familiar with the statutes, how they are interpreted, and how to work around them. The attorneys at Meltzer & Bell can provide you with an opportunity to achieve a far more favorable outcome than you would have obtained by yourself.

Contact Meltzer & Bell at (772) 291-2534, or via our online form, to set up a time for us to review your case. Our initial consultation is free, so you have absolutely nothing to lose. Call us today.

Meltzer & Bell proudly defends clients in communities along the Treasure Coast that include Fort Pierce, Palm City, and Stuart in Martin County and St. Lucie County.


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