In 2007, “Romeo and Juliet law in Florida” was created to help deal with the situation where young citizens – typically of high school age that had consensual sexual act from being treated as sexual offenders or sexual predators.
Because of the negative impact on the lives of these young teens, Section 943.04354, F.S., provides defendants with an opportunity to petition the state to remove the registration requirement. However certain criteria must be met as is with meeting all requirements of the Adam Walsh Act.
Florida’s “Romeo & Juliet” Law
s. 943.04354, F.S. provides the provision a defendant can petition the state court to remove sexual offender registration requirement under Florida’s Romeo and Juliet Law. As stated earlier some criteria that must which include:
• The victim should not be younger than 14 years when the offence was committed
• The offender must not be older than the victim with more than 4 years when the offence was committed.
• Consent to sex must be established
• Ignorance of the offender as it relates to the age of the victim or portrayal of the victim to be older won’t serve as an excuse during prosecution under s. 800.04, F.S., or ch. 794, F.S. However these facts can be considered by the court under s. 921.0026, F.S., to mitigate sentencing.
• Provisions in s. 943.04354, F.S., allows an offender just one motion or petition and if the court fails to grant the motion or petition, the offender can re-petition the court again only after 25 years following completion of their sentence.
Under Florida Statute 943.04354, a person’s case must meet the following requirements to be eligible to petition for removal from the sex offender registration laws:
- The conviction was for:
- The crime involved a consensual sexual encounter with a 14, 15, 16, or 17 year old minor;
- The minor was no more than 4 years younger than the defendant at the time of the sexual encounter;
- Registration as a sexual offender (or predator) is solely because of the above conviction;
- No other convictions for a Lewd or Lascivious Offense, Sexual Battery, or Lewd or Lascivious Exhibition using a Computer exist.
AGE OF CONSENT LAWS
What Is the Age of Consent? (Definition of the Legal age of consent)
The age of consent can be defined is the “age at which a person is deemed legally competent to consent to sexual activity. Any individual violating this law is open to prosecution under statutory rape laws.”
Age of consent by state
The age of consent varies in the United States, since the states make age of consent laws regarding sexual activity. Generally, age 16 to age 18 is the legal age of consent ranges in the US.
Lowest age of consent.
Age of consent in Florida
What is the sexual age of consent in Florida?
18 years is the Age of Consent in the state of Florida. As such 17 year olds or younger, are not deemed old enough to consent to sex therefore an older individual that participates in consensual sexual relationship with individuals of such age groups would have violated Florida’s statutory rape laws.
Statutory rape definition
Statutory rape can be defined as sexual act with someone who is below the legal age of consent.
What happens with statutory rape?
The consequences of been convicted for statutory rape can’t be great since it is also treated like a criminal offence just like other cases of rape. However, the provisions of Romeo & Juliet laws allows the defendant to avoid being punished for sex crime if certain criteria like their age and the age difference between them and their partner falls within what is acceptable by the law. In such conditions, they might have their charges dropped, their charge might be reduced from say felony to misdemeanor, their record might be expunged after serving sentence, or they won’t be required to register as a sex offender.
Having the label of a sex offender or sex predator has huge and very damaging consequences. The Florida Romeo & Juliet Law was therefore created to address the inequities of certain statutory rape cases especially those involving teenagers. Having said that, for a defendant to benefit from the Florida Law, they must meet some strict requirements which mean it is imperative for them to seek the services of an experienced attorney to make the most of the provision of this law. Call Romeo and Juliette lawyers in Florida at 407-930-8912 or email at email@example.com
Miller v. State, 17 So. 3d 778 (Fla. 5th DCA 2009)
Appellant, Brian Miller [“Miller”], appeals an order denying his second amended motion for removal from Florida’s sex offender registry. He argues that the trial court erred when it concluded that removing him from the sex offender registry would conflict with federal law and, therefore, is not authorized by Florida law. We affirm.
State v. Marcel, 67 So. 3d 1223 (Fla. 3d DCA 2011)
The appellee, Robert Marcel, pled nolo contendere to the offense of unlawfully and intentionally touching a person under sixteen years of age in a lewd or lascivious manner, in violation of section 800.04(6)(c), Florida Statutes (2001). Marcel was eighteen-years old at the time of the offense, and the victim fourteen-years old. The trial court withheld adjudication and sentenced Marcel to three-years probation. As a consequence of plea, Marcel automatically was designated a sexual offender, subject to lifetime registration and reporting requirements contained in section 943.0435, Florida Statutes (2001).