In the state of Florida, lewd and lascivious behavior is defined as sexual acts or contact with anyone under the age of 16 years old, in other others the same thing as “lewd or lascivious molestation“. Conviction on a charge of lewd and lascivious acts or behaviors can come with severe penalties, including registration as a sexual offender

Barring the application of the Romeo and Juliet Law, a charge of lewd and lascivious behavior is leveled regardless of the consent of the victim to the sexual act. Because the age of consent in Florida is 18 years old, any contact with persons who have not reached that age is a violation of one of the four categorizations of Florida Statute 800.04. 

If you or a loved one has been charged with Lewd and lascivious behavior in the State of Florida, give us a call now. Our Criminal Defense Attorneys have over 100 years of combined experience successfully litigating sex offenses. Don’t leave your future to chance, contact us right away.

Examples of Lewd and Lascivious Behavior

Lewd and lascivious examples in Florida:

  • Lewd and Lascivious Battery: This is sexual contact or a sexual act with a person between 12 and 16 years old. 
    • Actual contact with the body of the victim is not necessary.
    • The lewd and lascivious battery is a second-degree felony.
      • If the perpetrator is an adult with a history of sexual contact with a minor, this is a first-degree felony.
  • Lewd and Lascivious Molestation: refers to the intentional touching or groping of the genitals, buttocks or chest of a person under the age of 16.
    • This charge would apply even if the touching happened over clothing.
    • Coercing the victim to touch those areas of their own body is also considered a lewd and lascivious molestation.
    • This charge is a third-degree felony if committed by a minor under the age of 18 years old and is punishable by up to five years in prison, five years of sex offender probation, and a $5,000 fine
    • This charge is a second-degree felony if committed by an adult 18 years of age or older and is punishable by up to fifteen years in prison, fifteen years of sex offender probation, and a $10,000 fine.
      • If the victim is under 12 years old, this can be charged as a life felony.
  • Lewd or Lascivious Conduct: is the intentional touching of a child younger than 16 years old in such a way that it does not rise to the level of molestation or battery.
    • This crime is considered a second-degree felony if committed by a person 18 years of age or older, and a third-degree felony if committed by a person younger than 18.
  • Lewd and Lascivious Exhibition: is the exposure of one’s genitals or the performance of a masturbatory act in the presence of a minor.
    • This crime is considered a second-degree felony if committed by a person 18 years of age or older, and a third-degree felony if committed by a person younger than 18. 

The Romeo and Juliet Law

Because any sexual contact with a person under the age of 18 years old, any persons who have committed this act are considered guilty of statutory rape. The reason for this is that, under Florida state law, persons under 18 are considered incapable of having the judgment needed to give informed consent. 

This law has been considered imperfect for many years since it can often show gender bias or other forms of discrimination in how the law is applied and who is held accountable.

The Romeo and Juliet Law is designed to prevent teenage romantic couples who have not reached the age of consent from being charged with statutory rape and forced to register as sex offenders. The following criteria must be met for the Romeo and Juliet Law to apply: 

  • The victim is between the ages of 14 and 17
  • The victim was no more than four years younger than the offender
  • The victim must have been a willing participant in the sexual activity
  • The offender does not have any previous sex crimes on their record

It is important to note that while the Romeo and Juliet law prevents minors from being forced to register as sex offenders, statutory rape is still illegal and an accused person may still be subject to fines and even imprisonment.

Defending Against Charges of Lewd or Lascivious Behavior

Lewd behavior and lascivious behavior are difficult charges to counter, but two defenses are commonly used by persons who have been accused:

False allegations – have been leveled against people as a result of: 

  • Jealousy on the part of the accuser
  • Manipulation, coercion, or influencing of the accuser by an upset parent or other party
  • Mental illness on the part of the accuser

For this reason, a proper investigation of the accuser and the circumstances surrounding the offense must be conducted.

Lack of Lewd Intent – can be considered a valid defense against lewd or lascivious behavior, if it can be proven there was no untoward intention behind the inadvertent behavior of the accused.

Defenses such as consent and ignorance of the age of the victim are not considered valid under Florida law.

If you or your loved one find themselves in a situation where you are being accused of Lewd and Lascivious Behavior, call us right away at 407-930-8912 to speak with a qualified legal professional or fill out the contact form on this page. We’re available 24/7, we offer free initial consultation and payment plans. In addition to our Orlando location, we have offices in the following cities across the state of Florida:

*Additional Orlando Florida & Orange County Legal Resources

Frequently Asked Questions

<b>Lewd or lascivious battery in Florida</b> is regarded as sexual conduct with a minor 12-16 years of age. In this offense, it is not necessary for the defendant to have made contact with body of the victim. Just the coercion to indulge in a sexual activity is enough to apply this offense on the defendant. It is a first-degree felony in Florida if the defendant is an adult with a previous offense related to sexual conduct. Otherwise, lewd or lascivious battery is considered a felony of second degree.

<b>Lewd and lascivious battery</b> is deemed to have taken place if someone indulges in a sexual activity with a child more than 12 years of age but under the age of 16. It has also taken place when the defendant encourages, entices, or forces such a child to engage in sexual activities like prostitution sexual bestiality, or sadomasochistic abuse. Sexual activity in lewd and lascivious battery is described as vaginal, anal, or oral penetration by the defendant or union with any other object.

Under Florida Stature 800.04 (4), lewd or lascivious battery takes place if the following has been committed.
Sexual activity with a person more than 12 years of age but less than 16 years of age
Encouraging, enticing, or forcing a person under the age of 16 to take part in:

  • Sadomasochistic abuse
  • Prostitution
  • Sexual bestiality
  • Any other sexual activity

A warrant is a legal document issued by a judge or grand jury. Police in Florida is not authorized to issue a warrant for lascivious behavior.

<b>Lewd and lascivious molestation</b>occurs when an individual touch the breasts, genitals, or buttocks of a victim under the age of 16, in a lewd or lascivious manner. It is considered a serious offense in the state of Florida. Conviction under lewd and lascivious molestation charges could result in many years of imprisonment along with steep monetary fines. The defendant will also be registered as a sexual offender.

In Florida, fondling is considered a serious offense in Florida. Fondling is defined as touching of private body parts of another person for the purpose of sexual gratification. Fondling can be done forcibly or without the consent of the victim.

Any individual who commits a lewd act with a child under the age of 14 with the intent of satisfying his lust is considered guilty of a felony and he or she is punishable with imprisonment for 3 to 6 years.

Lewd is defined as unchaste, wicked, lustful, licentious or sensual intent.

Lewd exhibition via computer is committed when an individual masturbates or exposes his genitals in a lewd manner or simulates any sexual activity live over internet.

Chapter 800 in Florida Statures deals with lewd or lascivious conduct. This crime is committed when the defendant has touched the breasts, genitals, or buttocks of a child less than 16 years of age with a sexual intent. Such conduct is considered a liability crime in Florida which means that criminal culpability lies on the defendant. Lewd acts and behaviors with children under the age of 16 fall in different categories namely Battery, Molestation, Conduct, and Exhibition.

In case you are charged under lewd or lascivious act, it is important to hire the services of a competent and experienced sexual crimes attorney in Florida.

Looking for a Lewd or Lascivious Conduct Defense Lawyer in Florida?

Having a top criminal attorney to defend you when you have been charged with the offense of Lewd or Lascivious Act in Florida can help to protect your rights. With the top criminal defense lawyer, the defendant can get the charges dismissed or if convicted, ask for reduction in penalties. Smith & Eulo Law Firm is an experienced law firm dealing with criminal cases. Call 407-930-8912 today, or email us at, if you have been charged for violations of Florida Statute 800.04.