Lewd or Lascivious Sexual Offenses in Florida

Lewd or Lascivious Battery in Florida

In Florida, Lewd or Lascivious Battery is also commonly referred to as “statutory rape”. Lewd or Lascivious Battery applies to victims who are between 12-16 years of age. It is a strict liability crime, meaning one does not have to intend to a commit a crime. In other words, not knowing the age of the victim, or thinking or assuming that the victim was older than their actual age cannot be raised as a legal defense. The State of Florida will actively and aggressively prosecute Lewd or Lascivious Battery charges to the full extent of the law.

Under Florida Statute §800.04(4), a Lewd or Lascivious Battery is committed by:

  • Engaging in sexual activity with a person 12 years of age or older but less than 16 years of age; OR
  • Encouraging, forcing, or enticing any person less than 16 years of age to engage in sadomasochistic abuse, sexual bestiality, prostitution, or any other act involving sexual activity.
What are the Penalties for a Lewd or Lascivious Battery in Florida?

The offense of Lewd or Lascivious Battery is a second-degree felony in Florida. If someone is convicted of a second-degree felony, they can be sentenced to a period of incarceration of up to fifteen (15) years in prison. Additionally, the person will be ordered to pay a fine of up to $10,000, and they will be required to register as a sex offender. It should be noted that this sexual crime, as with many others, may be enhanced under some circumstances.

What is the Difference Between Lewd or Lascivious Molestation and Battery in Florida?

In Florida, Lewd or Lascivious Molestation prohibits the intentional touching of inappropriate areas on a child younger than the age of 16. A conviction of this crime will be devastating and can result in geographical living limitations, loss of job, and limitations on places the individual convicted can congregate among other things. As with all sexual crimes, the law can be difficult to navigate.

What is the Legal Definition of Lewd or Lascivious Molestation in Florida?

Under Florida Statute §800.04(5), a Lewd or Lascivious Molestation is committed when:

  1. A person intentionally touches in a lewd or lascivious manner the breasts, genitals, genital area, butt, or clothing covering any of those areas, of a person less under the age of 16, OR
  2. Forces or entices a person under 16 years of age to touch the perpetrator.
What are the Legal Penalties for a Lewd or Lascivious Molestation in Florida?

The penalties if convicted of Lewd or Lascivious Molestation will vary depending on the age of the accused and the age of the alleged victim. Below are general guidelines:

  1. If the accused is eighteen (18) years of age or older, and the victim is less than twelve (12) years old, a conviction is punishable by life in prison;
  2. If the accused is less than eighteen (18) years old, and the victim is less than twelve (12) years old, the charge is a second-degree felony and a conviction is punishable by up to 15 years in prison;
  3. If the accused is eighteen (18) years of age or older, and the victim is between twelve (12) and fifteen (15) years old, the charge is a second-degree felony and a conviction is punishable by up to 15 years in prison;
  4. If the accused is less than eighteen (18) years old, and the victim is between twelve (12) and fifteen (15) years old, the charge is a third-degree felony and a conviction is punishable by up to 5 years in prison.

Again, one should be aware that this charge may be enhanced under some circumstances.

Are There Any Defenses to Lewd or Lascivious Molestation Charges in Florida?

Each case where someone is arrested or charged with Lewd or Lascivious Molestation is different and may have a range of defenses. Defending sex crimes requires a very experienced attorney who is willing to explore any and all possibilities using a variety of experts. You may be facing false allegations by someone with a motive to lie. The touching may have been accidental and therefore lacking intent. Our attorneys will review your case and look for all defense possibilities.

Is There a Crime of Lewd or Lascivious Conduct in Florida?

Yes. In Florida, Lewd or Lascivious Conduct, commonly referred to as L&L Conduct, is a serious offense that involves the unlawful touching of a child under the age of sixteen (16). The definitions of the words “lewd” and “lascivious” are broad. Lewd and Lascivious means lustful, licentious, unchaste, wicked or sensual.

What is the Legal Definition of Lewd or Lascivious Conduct in Florida?

Florida law, pursuant to Florida Statute §800.04(6), Lewd or Lascivious Conduct is committed by a person who:

  1. Intentionally touches a person under 16 years of age in a lewd or lascivious manner; or
  2. Solicits a person under 16 years of age to commit a lewd or lascivious act.
What are the Potential Penalties if I am Convicted of Lewd or Lascivious Conduct in Florida?

If convicted of a Lewd or Lascivious Conduct charge, the penalties will depend on the offender’s age. An offender who is eighteen (18) years of age or older will be facing a second-degree felony. Upon a conviction, this charge is punishable by up to 15 years in prison, along with sex offender probation and the mandatory requirement to register as a sexual offender. An offender who is less than eighteen (18) years of age will be facing a third-degree felony. Upon a conviction, this charge is punishable by up to 5 years in prison, along with sex offender probation and mandatory sex offender registration.

Do I Have Any Defense to the Charge of Lewd or Lascivious Conduct in Florida?

You may have heard the term “Romeo and Juliet” as it relates to sexual offenses in Florida. Although this is not a defense specifically, this law allows for an exception to the mandatory sex offender registration requirement for some individuals under specific circumstances.

Not all touching, just because the person is under sixteen (16) years old, can be considered to be done in a lewd or lascivious manner. Lack of the specific lewd or lascivious intent would be a defense to the charge.

As with most criminal offenses, and especially sexual crimes, the defense of being falsely accused is available to the defendant. This can happen when a person who has a motive to lie is claiming to be a victim and has fabricated allegations against the defendant. A defense team to include an experienced attorney, an investigator, and possibly an expert, is essential to this defense.

What is a Lewd or Lascivious Exhibition Charge in Florida?

In Florida, there is a crime called Lewd or Lascivious Exhibition. This charge prohibits the intentional exposure of the genitals in a lewd or lascivious manner; intentional masturbation; or the commission of a sexual act in the presence of a person who is less than sixteen (16) years of age. If you have been accused of this crime, you should be aware of the elements that the state must prove to obtain a conviction, as well as the definitions associated with the law, and the potential defenses and penalties.

What are the Potential Penalties for Lewd or Lascivious Exhibition in Florida?

The penalties for Lewd or Lascivious Exhibition will vary depending on the age of the accused. An offender who is eighteen (18) years of age or older will be facing a second-degree felony. Upon a conviction, this charge is punishable by up to 15 years in prison, along with sex offender probation and the mandatory requirement to register as a sexual offender. An offender who is less than eighteen (18) years of age will be facing a third-degree felony. Upon a conviction, this charge is punishable by up to 5 years in prison, along with sex offender probation and mandatory sex offender registration.

Are there any Defenses to Lewd or Lascivious Exhibition?

Each case where someone has been accused of Lewd or Lascivious Exhibition is different and may have a range of potential defenses. As with other charges we have discussed, lack of intent would be a defense because intent is an element of the crime.

If you have been arrested or accused of a lewd or lascivious sex crime in Florida, call Powers Sellers & Finkelstein today to schedule a free case consultation and speak with an experienced criminal defense lawyer.

2018-11-03T18:52:56+00:00November 3rd, 2018|
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