Aside from violent, financial, and drug crimes, a criminal defense attorney will frequently defend clients charged with sexual battery. Sexual battery in Florida covers a range of illegal activity, from inappropriate touching to what is commonly known as rape. In Florida, rape is referred to as sexual battery. A battery is an unlawful touching and therefore sexual battery is an unlawful touching that is sexual in nature. Other less known forms of sexual battery are sodomy and indecent assault. If you or someone you know if being accused of sexual battery, contact Pagan & Stroleny, P.L. at (305) 615-1285.
Defenses to Sexual Battery Charges
As a criminal defense attorney, the most argued defense to sexual battery cases is voluntary consent. Meaning that at the time of the sexual conduct the victim had consented to the sexual touching. At some point after, the victim denied they ever consented, but consent cannot be withdrawn after the touching has ended. Florida laws do not allow for the use of certain defenses in cases of sexual battery. A criminal defense attorney is not allowed to use the victim’s “unchastity” or discuss the victim’s prior sexual conduct.
Penalties for Sexual Battery
There are various factors that determine the punishment for sexual battery. Factors such as the ages of the victim and the defendant, the use of any weapons, and any injury suffered by the victim.
- Sexual battery committed on a victim under the age of twelve by an adult over the age of eighteen is a capital felony, punishable by the death penalty or life imprisonment without parole. If the defendant was under the age of eighteen, the crime is a life felony, punishable by a term of imprisonment for at least thirty years or life imprisonment.
- The minimum charge for sexual battery committed on a victim over the age of twelve is a second degree felony, punishable by a term of imprisonment for up to fifteen years. If the prosecutor can establish one of the circumstances established by Florida law, the state can increase the charge to a first degree felony, which can result in a sentence for a term of imprisonment lasting up to thirty years. These circumstances include the defendant’s threats or coercive acts, the victim’s physical incapacity, and the victim’s physical inability to resist the sexual battery.
- If the defendant used a deadly weapon or physical force likely to cause a serious bodily injury to a victim over the age of twelve during a sexual battery, the offense becomes punishable as a life felony.
Florida Sexual Battery Statute
Florida Statutes Sections 794.005-794.09