Charges of sexual battery can impact the future of a defendant with long-term fallouts. The state of Florida enters convicted offenders a permanent registry complete with their personal details and other information on their place of residence. Even if you’re under investigation for charges, the incident can make it hard for you to get gainful employment, a loan, buy a home, or an education.
When faced with this situation, your first move would be to get skilled representation from an attorney experienced in handling sexual offenses in Ocala.
You’ll Need a Robust Defense to Come Out of the Situation
Even a suspicion of sexual offenses can change your life completely. Friends, the law, neighbors, family members, potential lenders, future employers, your own romantic partners– everyone is wary of interacting with you. Don’t let allegations ruin your life. Trust in the expertise of your Ocala sex offense lawyer to defend your reputation and clear your name. Contact the team at Smith & Eulo and give them the complete facts of the case. They’ll provide you with an initial consultation free of cost and advise you on the best steps to take.
Sexual Battery Charges are Explained by Florida Statute 794.005
A sex offense is any act where a sexual act is committed against another person against their will, regardless of the victim’s age or any preexiting relationship with the offender. Sexual battery charges apply if the victim is unwilling or is incapable of consenting to the act.
Any sex acts committed on a minor is a severe sexual battery crime with dire punishments. No agreement from a minor can be considered valid consent to a sexual act with an adult. Florida Penal Code has several sub-divisions that specify the circumstances of the act. While the penalties vary based on whether the victim was nude whether actual penetration occurred, the act is criminal regardless.
Sexual Battery Explained
Florida Statute 794.011 defines sexual battery as a crime where the perpetrator has sexual contact (anal, vaginal, or oral) with the victim using their penis, vagina, or an object without explicit or implicit consent. Denying consent does not have to be verbal; any other indications can also be considered a lack of consent. For instance, shaking their head, screaming in fear, pushing the perpetrator, or any other signs of unwillingness.
Some of the categories include:
- Rape, which carries penalties similar to sexual battery
- Statutory rape, is where the perpetrator has sexual activity with a minor younger than 12 years. Charges apply even if the victim “consented” to the act.
- The Romeo and Juliet law applies to teens. It states that there cannot be an age gap of more than 4 years between underage consenting partners.
- Aggravated sexual battery is any sexual act committed by pressuring the victim with threats of personal injury. The victim could be mentally disabled, physically incapacitated in any way, or not in their right senses because of the influence of drugs, alcohol, or any other substance. If the offender is an authoritative person, charges apply.
Most sexual battery cases result in the victim getting injured because the offender used excessive physical force or violence.
Penalties for Sexual Battery
Punishments for sexual battery depend on the exact nature of the crimes and the age of the victim. Penalties can be more severe in the case of lewd and lascivious offenses. For instance:
- Sexual battery incurs penalties of up to 15 years in prison, 15 years of probation, and a fine of a maximum of $10,000. The offense is considered a second degree felony.
- Aggravated sexual battery incurs penalties of up to 30 years in prison and carries first degree felony charges.
- Sexual battery against minors aged 12 to 16 years is lewd and lascivious battery and incurs penalties of up to 15 years in prison.
- Lewd and lascivious molestation includes intentionally touching the clothed or unclothed private body parts such as genitals, breasts, or buttocks of a person aged below 16 years.
- Offenders aged 18 years and above found guilty of unlawful sexual acts with a victim aged 12 years and younger can get penalties of a life sentence of at least 25 years.
- Soliciting a minor to do a lewd or lascivious act, or exhibition of any kind in front of a person aged 16 years and below are also punishable offenses. Masturbating, exposing their genitals, sadomasochistic abuse, or any other sexual act without actual contact are included in lewd and lascivious behavior.
You’ll Need a Competent Attorney to Handle the Case
A single sexual crime accusation or conviction can mark you for life. Don’t let that happen. Resolve the matter quickly with the skilled advice provided by the attorneys at Smith & Eulo. Having worked with public prosecutors and the Florida judicial system for more than 20 years, the lawyers are well-versed in the nuances of such charges and can put together the convincing defense you need.