Lewd or Lascivious Battery
In Florida, Lewd or Lascivious Molestation/ Battery is also commonly referred to as statutory rape. Lewd or lascivious battery only applies to victims who are between 12-16 years of age. It is a strict liability crime (no intent necessary) crime. In other words, not knowing the age of the victim or thinking the victim is “older” than he or she actually was is not a legal defense and these charges are often prosecuted 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.
Lewd or Lascivious Battery is a second degree felony and carries a maximum penalty of fifteen (15) years in prison along with a fine and sex offender registration.
HOWEVER, the crime may be enhanced under some circumstances.
Statute of Limitations
In Florida, there are currently no statute of limitations for first-degree felony sexual battery crimes where the victim is a minor, but there is a statute of limitations for any sexual battery crime where the victim is under 16 years old. Under current Florida law, if the victim is a minor aged 16 or 17 years there is an applicable three-year statute of limitations.
Get the Right Defense with a FREE Case Review
You may have been accused of Lewd and Lascivious battery, but that does not mean you are guilty. Many times, unwanted sexual touching is based on a subjective interpretation by the person making accusations, and some people use false allegations for retaliation. Because of the complexities of lewd and lascivious battery charges and the age of the minor involved in the allegations, it is imperative that you speak with an experienced sex crimes lawyer right away.
If you or someone you know has been accused of a Lewd or lascivious sex offense in the Pinellas County or Tampa Bay area, it is very important that you contact an experienced sex crimes attorney immediately. Our team of attorneys, investigators and experts are highly experienced in defending sex crimes and will begin building your defense today.
Contact us for a free analysis of your case at our local office located in Clearwater, Florida. Contact Powers Sellers & Finkelstein, PLC today at (727) 531-2926 to learn about your legal options if you have been accused of Lewd or Lascivious Battery. Start building your defense immediately!