In Florida, sexual battery is one of the state’s most aggressively prosecuted crimes. Florida’s prosecutors determinedly go after those accused of the crime, and when someone is found guilty, the conviction comes with some of the harshest and lengthiest penalties. Here is a list of five things that you need to know about the sexual assault laws in Florida.
1. How Does the State Define Battery of a Sexual Nature?
Sexual battery is synonymous with rape in the state of Florida. A person commits it when he or she has nonconsensual vaginal, oral or anal sex with another individual by using a sexual organ or a physical object.
The crime is considered intensified if it’s:
• With a child
• Likely to cause a critical personal injury
• Done using a deadly weapon
2. What are the Penalties for Someone Convicted of Sexual Assault?
The penalties for sex crimes vary depending on the ages of those involved in the crime and the circumstances of the wrongdoing. For instance, if the offender is 18 years old or older and the victim is younger than age 12, then the accused person will be facing a fine, a life prison sentence or both if convicted. This crime could even result in the death penalty. An offender will be required to serve a minimum of 25 years in prison before parole can even become an option.
When the offender is younger than 18 years old and the victim is younger than 12 years old, the minor who commits this type of crime will receive a penalty that includes a fine, life in prison or both. In this case, the prison sentence will not be longer than 40 years.
If the victim is older than age 12, then an offender who is at least 18 years old will receive a fine and up to 30 years in prison. A judge may punish the offender with both penalties. The consequences could also be more severe in cases where the victim is physically unable to resist the assault or is mentally incapacitated.
Those who are accused of committing a sex crime should consider discussing the situation with one of our defense attorneys. Our associates are well-versed in this criminal defense area of the law.
3. Sexual Battery Frequently Involves a Common Misconception
When most people reflect on rape, they often think of it as an encounter that occurs between the victim and a stranger. However, in the case of sex-related battery, it usually happens between two individuals who know each other. This may include:
The crime can even happen within a married couple. These cases usually rely on whether a female agreed to the sexual encounter after using drugs or drinking alcohol. The defense attorneys at PS Partners Law Firm represent those who are charged with all types of sex crimes.
4. It’s Important to Stay Silent Following a Sexual Assault Accusation
If a person is accused of committing a sexual assault, it’s important for him or her to stay silent when speaking to law enforcement. The right to remain silent is an important civil liberty, one that allows people to fight against self-incrimination. Once invoked, the person accused must remain silent until one of our defense lawyers from the PS Partners Law Firm arrives to offer him or her criminal defense advice.
5. How Do Defense Lawyers Defend Those Accused of the Act?
A person who’s been charged with sexual assault or battery has the option to mount a legal defense by claiming that the act was consensual or that he or she is innocent of the crime. Insanity is another plea used by defense attorneys.
When it comes to the legal defense of sex-based battery cases, our team has the experience to defend you with confidence. If you are accused of this type of crime, avoid self-incrimination, and be sure to contact us at Powers Sellers & Finkelstein Law Firm for guidance. Call Powers, Sellers, & Finkelstein PLC by calling 727-531-2926 today to schedule your appointment.