What Is Considered Statutory Rape in Florida?

In Florida, the crime of “unlawful sexual activity with a minor” is what is commonly known as “statutory rape.” A statutory rape conviction can potentially result in severe consequences that are life-altering. If you are facing a statutory rape investigation or charge, the first and most critical step to take is to consult with one of the leading sex crime defense attorneys in St. Petersburg with Russo, Pelletier & Sullivan. 

Judge making a decision during a criminal court case

What Is the Florida Legislative Definition of Statutory Rape?

In Florida, statutory rape occurs when an individual engages in sexual activity with a minor who is below the age of consent, regardless of whether the minor consents to the activity. The age of consent in Florida is 18 years old. Therefore, any sexual activity with a minor under the age of 18 is considered statutory rape, even if the minor willingly participates.

Statutory rape is a strict liability offense in Florida, meaning that the defendant’s intent or knowledge of the minor’s age is irrelevant to the charge. Even if the defendant genuinely believed the minor was of legal age or was misled about the minor’s age, they could potentially still be charged and convicted of statutory rape. 

Penalties for Individuals Convicted of Statutory Rape

The penalties for statutory rape in Florida can vary depending on the specific circumstances of the case being investigated and tried, including the age of the minor and the age difference between the defendant and the minor. However, statutory rape is typically classified as a felony offense in Florida. Working with your sex crimes attorney in St. Petersburg may help mitigate these harsh penalties. 

Prison Time

A conviction for statutory rape can result in significant prison time, ranging from several years to decades, depending on the severity of the offense.

Sex Offender Registration

Individuals convicted of statutory rape in Florida are required to register as sex offenders, which can have long-lasting consequences, including difficulty finding employment, housing, and social stigma.


In some cases, individuals convicted of statutory rape may be sentenced to probation in addition to or instead of prison time. Probation typically involves strict supervision and adherence to specific conditions set by the court.

Legal Defenses for Statutory Rape Charges

Facing statutory rape charges can be overwhelming, but there are legal defenses that can be utilized to fight for the most favorable outcome of your case. Some common defenses that your sex crimes attorney in St. Petersburg with Russo, Pelletier & Sullivan may choose to utilize  include:

No Sexual Activity Occurred

If there is insufficient evidence to prove that sexual activity took place between the defendant and the minor, the charges may be dismissed.

Consensual Relationship

In some cases, if the sexual activity was consensual and the age difference between the parties was minimal, the defense may argue that prosecuting the defendant for statutory rape is unjust.

Seek the Finest Legal Representation

If you or someone you know is facing statutory rape charges in Florida, you should not face these charges alone. Seek experienced legal representation from the experienced sex crime defense attorneys in St. Petersburg with Russo, Pelletier & Sullivan.  

Contact us today or call us at (727) 493-9386 to request a consultation for your statutory rape case.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.