Just the accusation of committing a sex crime can be devastating. Your reputation and relationships with your family can be negatively impacted – not to mention the impact it can have on your livelihood and your ability to support yourself. Understanding what a sexual battery charge means is the first step in protecting yourself against false allegations.
In this brief article, a sex crime defense attorney in St. Petersburg with Russo, Pelletier & Sullivan has shared the most important things to know about sexual battery charges in Florida.
Definition of Sexual Battery in Florida
Sexual Battery is often used to describe rape. However, that’s not necessarily the only type of crime that falls under the term “sexual battery” as used in Florida law. Florida defines sexual battery as when one party makes unwanted sexual contact with another person where there is an element of penetration. To break this down, an accusation of sexual battery means that an individual has been accused of oral penetration with the genitals, or anal, or vaginal penetration by the genitals or an object
Another charge, called lewd and lascivious molestation may be charged in cases that do not involve penetration, but nevertheless consist of an allegation of fondling of the female breasts or a person’s genitals
In sexual battery crimes, an essential element is a lack of consent.
Under Florida law, consent is defined as “intelligent, knowing, and voluntary consent…consent should not be construed as a failure by the alleged victim to physically resist the offender.” A few instances when consent is not able to be given include:
- When the victim is severely intoxicated
- If the victim is under 18, or in some cases under 16 years of age (depending on the defendant’s age)
- If the victim is being forced or coerced to comply
- The victim lacks mental capacity to understand the situation
- The victim is unconscious
Penalties for Sexual Battery in Florida
Sexual battery is punishable by a prison sentence anywhere between 15 years and life in prison depending on the nature of the accusation and the specific charge that the prosecutor decides to pursue.
Hire an Experienced Sex Crimes Attorney in St. Petersburg
If you find yourself facing false allegations of sexual battery, you’ll need an experienced sex crimes attorney in St. Petersburg. There are a variety of reasons you may be falsely accused, from an angry ex-partner to being mistakenly identified in a legitimate case. Call Russo, Pelletier & Sullivan today.
Request a FREE consultation today by giving us a call at (727) 578-0303, or submitting our consultation request form.
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.