Sex Crime Charges Defense
Sex Crimes in Florida - FAQs
Set out below are some questions and answers frequently asked in this area:
- What is the Definition of Sexual Abuse in Florida?
- What is Sexual Battery of a Child?
- What is Sexual Battery in Florida?
- What is the Difference Between Sexual Battery and Statutory Rape?
- What do I do if I Have Been Falsely Accused of Child Sexual Abuse?
In Florida there are several chaptes of criminal statutes dealing with “sex offenses,” and they can range from sexual battery (or more commonly known as rape) to exposing ones sexual organs to someone. The penalties range from life in prison with no possibility of parole (for the offense of capital sexual battery, where a person over 18 commits a sexual battery on a child 12 or under) to probation for minor misdemeanors. They are mostly felonies, and even the “less” serious ones generally score prison under the sentencing guidelines. They also require a finding of a person convicted of one of these offenses as a “sex offender”.
It is crucial to consult with an attorney immediately upon being charged with a sex offense, including any type of “sexual abuse” due to the very serious consequences, and due to the fact that a lot of important work can be done on a case in the earliest stages. Attorney David P. Hill has been handling these types of cases for almost 25 years in the State of Florida – call him for a free consultation now.
Offenses against children under the age of 12 that constitute sexual battery is considered Capital Sexual Battery, and if convicted a person would be sentenced, by law, to life in prison without parole.
There are other types of offense that if committed against juveniles carry other serious felony prison sentences, including offenses against a person over 12, but under 18.
It is important to know that mistake about a victim’s age is not a defense in these statutes. In other words, if a person over 23 has consensual sex with someone that is too young to give legal consent (a 16 or 17 year old), it is not a defense to the crime to say that the person lied about their age or that the perpetrator did not know their age.
Attorney David P. Hill can help in these types of cases, bringing his considerable experience to assist. Do not speak to any law enforcement officer about one of these cases without consulting with an experienced criminal defense attorney first.
In the State of Florida, the definition of Sexual Battery is as follows: “Sexual Battery” means oral, anal, or vaginal penetration by, or union with, the sexual organ of another or the anal or vaginal penetration of another by any other object: however, sexual battery does not include an act done for a bona fide medical purpose. (Florida Statute 794.011(1)(h)).
In Florida the offense commonly known as rape is known legally as Sexual Battery, and involves the unwanted touching by the accused of the alleged victim in a sexual manner (there are varying degrees of seriousness depending on the nature of the touching – whether it is touching versus penetration for example). Another term often thrown around in this area of the law is statutory rape. This is different from sexual battery in several ways, but both are felony crimes in Florida. Sexual battery generally involves someone forcing themselves on another in a sexual situation. Statutory rape does not involve force, but rather involves someone who is a minor engaging in consensual sexual activity with someone who is an adult. So, Sexual Battery generally implies someone being forced against their will, while Statutory Rape involves a consensual encounter that is made illegal due to the difference in ages of the participants.
Because of the life changing possible outcomes that arise from a charge or allegation of some sort of sexual abuse of a child, it is even more important than ever that an experienced criminal defense attorney be contacted and retained. There are steps that need to be taken immediately that can help in your situation. It is important to not panic, but to calmly take smart steps to protect yourself – the first of which should be to obtain a lawyer. If law enforcement or DCF want to question you about any such allegation, it is vitally important that you politely inform them you would be happy to cooperate, but it would have to be done with the assistance of your lawyer, and that as soon as you retain one they will contact that investigator. Do not speak with anyone (including friends or family) about the allegations until you have spoken with an attorney. You may want to defend yourself from these types of serious allegations, and your instinct may be, “I have done nothing wrong, so how can it hurt for me to talk to these people?” While an understandable response, it is the wrong one in the situation where you are facing these types of serious charges. If it is becomes appropriate to sit down and tell your side of the story to an detective or investigator (which is rare), it should always be done with your attorney by your side defending your rights even early on in the process.