In Florida law, the term “rape” was replaced with the more complicated term “sexual battery.” Under the most recent set of laws, the penalty for sexual battery depends on a number of factors, including how much force was used. For example, the penalties will be more serious if a weapon or threat of violence was used. The penalties also change based on the ages of the people involved. For example, a sex crime against a person who is younger than 12 years old is punished far more severely than the same crime against a 17-year-old.
If you or a loved one has been accused of sexual battery, contact an attorney at The Defense Group via our website or call us at 407 743 8430 or 407-250-9557 for a FREE CONSULTATION. We are available 24 hours a day in case of emergency, and we are willing to arrange appointments for nights or weekends.
“The term “rape” is pretty well know, but in Florida it’s been replaced by the term “sexual battery.” Rape is what they call it in common law when one person forced their sexual attentions on another person, usually with physical threat or just by overcoming them. That’s been replaced by a much more complicated set of statutes that deal with sexual battery. It changes depending on what kind of force was used. For example: if a weapon is used, it’s more serious. If a threat of physical violence was used, it’s more serious. If a threat of violence against some other family member was used, it’s more serious.
If a child is involved, there’s a whole set of statutes that deal with sexual offenses against children and there’s some time frames. For example: if an adult commits a sexual battery on a child under the age of 12 and is convicted of that, there is only one penalty. It’s not a range from here to here or there to there, it’s life in prison.
If the child is between the ages of 12 and 16, it’s still very, very serious but it’s not automatic life imprisonment. If it’s 16 to 17 it’s a little different and 17 has almost like its own set of rules and regulations. You’re a child until you’re 18 so some statutes which talk in terms of children, include a child who is 17 years, 11 months, 29 days old, been pregnant twice, married once – still a child. All right?
Florida has enacted its version of the “Romeo and Juliet” law. Under this law, if the perpetrator and the victim are close enough in age at the time of the commission of the offense, the defendant may still be charged but will not have to register as a sexual offender for the rest of their life. This is in recognition of couples that are dating and involved voluntarily, but where one of them reaches the age of 18 before the other and any sexual activity becomes criminal.
This is a complicated area of the law. If you are investigated for or arrested for and charged with any sexual offense, you should immediately contact an experienced criminal defense attorney with The Defense Group at 407 743 8430 or 407-250-9557 for your FREE CONSULTATION.
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