sexual battery or rape florida

Sexual Battery and Rape Charges in Florida

In the State of Florida, what most people refer to as “rape” is legally known as sexual battery. A sexual battery charge is always something that should be taken seriously regardless of the circumstances of the case. If you have been charged with sexual battery in Florida you should understand what the charges mean, what the potential penalties if convicted are, and what possible defenses you may have.

Florida Statute 794.011(h) defines sexual battery as follows:

“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.”

Under Florida law, sexual battery is a felony offense. What degree of sexual battery is charged depends on the specific facts and circumstances of the case. There are a number of factors that can make a sexual battery charge worse, meaning it is charged as a more serious felony. Some common fact scenarios that will increase the seriousness of the charge of sexual battery, and therefore increase the potential penalties if convicted, include:

  • Age – the ages of the alleged victim and the alleged perpetrator are important. Some of the most serious sexual battery offenses, up to and including a capital felony, involve a victim under the age of 12 years old.
  • Disability – if the alleged victim is disabled, mentally or physically, it will increase the severity level of the offense.
  • Threats – either the actual use of force, or the threat of force, during the commission of a sexual battery will increase the seriousness of the offense in Florida.
  • Injury – when the alleged victim is injured, specifically if the sexual organs of the victim are injured, the degree of felony charged will be higher.
  • Authority – if the perpetrator was in a position of authority over the victim, for instance if the perpetrator is a caregiver or parental figure, the severity of the offense will increase.

The potential consequences for a sexual battery conviction in Florida can include a lengthy term of incarceration as well as significant fines. In addition, if the defendant is convicted of sexual battery in Florida he or she must register as a sexual offender, or sexual predator, which can have far-reaching negative consequences.

Sexual battery cases are often complicated, particularly when the alleged perpetrator and victim knew each other and/or had an intimate relationship before, or at the time of, the alleged crime. If you have been charged with sexual battery in Florida it is crucial that you consult with an experienced Florida criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to begin working on your defense. Contact Powers Sellers & Finkelstein, PLC when you need a criminal defense attorney working for you. Keep Calm Call Us®! 727-531-2926.

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