Sexual assault and sexual battery are very serious criminal charges in Miami-Dade County and the State of Florida. These charges are more serious than simple assault and battery charges because they are sexual in nature and are subject to enhanced criminal penalties and sentences. Sexual assault and sexual battery are both felony charges in the State of Florida. However, depending on the allegations, the felony could be a third degree felony, a second degree felony, a first degree felony, a life felony, and in some circumstances, a capital felony offense. If you or anybody you know has been charged with sexual assault or sexual battery in Miami, it is very important the person arrested for sexual assault or sexual battery meet with a Miami criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. At Pagan & Stroleny, PL, we represent clients charged with sexual assault and sexual battery. After years of service in the State Attorney’s Office as prosecutors, our attorneys are familiar with how law enforcement investigates and prosecutes clients charged with sexual assault and sexual battery. In addition to being former prosecutors, the attorneys at Pagan & Stroleny, PL have the requisite experience defending allegations of sexual assault or sexual battery against our clients and will fight to ensure your rights are protected. It is very important to consult with a criminal defense lawyer if you or someone you know has been charged with sexual assault or sexual battery because, in addition to common punishments such as jail time or probation, someone charged with sexual assault or battery could be subject to being designated as a Miami Dade Sexual Offender as a result of a conviction.
SECOND DEGREE SEXUAL BATTERY
Sexual battery is described in Florida Statute 974.011 (1)(h) as “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.” It is important to note that the least serious sexual battery offense does not require any force or violence beyond that inherent in the accomplishment of “penetration” or “union.” Florida Statute 974.011 (5) describes this sexual battery offense as one committed “upon a person 12 years of age or older, without that person’s consent, and in the process thereof does not use physical force and violence likely to cause serious personal injury…” When someone is arrested and charged with sexual battery under this section, it constitutes a second degree felony and the individual charged with sexual battery under this statute would be facing a maximum sentence of fifteen (15) years of incarceration in the Florida state prison system.
FIRST DEGREE FELONY SEXUAL BATTERY
When someone is arrested for sexual assault or sexual battery in Miami or in Florida, the status of the victim and offender are taken into consideration. To constitute a first degree felony, which is punishable by up to thirty (30) years of incarceration in the Florida state prison system, the alleged victim must be older than the age of twelve (12) years old. In addition to being over the age of twelve years, the victim must either be (1) physically helpless to resist, (2) the offender must coerce the victim to submit by threatening to use force or violence likely to cause serious personal injury on the victim, and the victim reasonably believes that the offender has the present ability to execute the threat, (3) the offender, without prior knowledge or consent of the victim, administers or has knowledge of someone else administering to the victim any narcotic, anesthetic, or other intoxicating substance which mentally or physically incapacitates the victim, (4) when the victim is mentally defective and the offender has reason to believe this or has actual knowledge of this fact, (5) the victim is physically incapacitated, or (5) the offender is a law enforcement officer
LIFE FELONY SEXUAL BATTERY
The age of both the victim and the person arrested and charged with sexual assault or sexual battery in Miami or anywhere in Florida directly affects whether or not the charge will constitute a life felony. Life felonies are punishable by a maximum sentence of forty (40) years to life imprisonment in the Florida state prison system.
If the person charged with sexual assault or sexual battery in Miami was younger than eighteen (18) years old at the time of the alleged offense and, during the course of the sexual battery or attempt to do so, injures the sexual organs of the alleged victim who is less than twelve (12) years old, it elevates the sexual battery charge to a life felony.
Regardless of the age of the individual charged with sexual assault or sexual battery, if the offender uses or threatens to use a deadly weapon or uses actual physical force likely to cause serious personal injury, Florida law enhances this crime to a life felony as well.
CAPITAL SEXUAL BATTERY
A person charged with capital sexual battery in Miami will be facing a maximum sentence of death or life imprisonment without parole in the Florida state prison system. For the crime of sexual battery to be elevated to a capital offense, the person arrested for sexual battery must be eighteen (18) years or older and must injure the sexual organs or a person less than twelve (12) years of age during the course of the sexual battery.
If you or anyone you know has been charged with sexual assault or sexual battery in Miami, it is crucial that that individual consult with a qualified and experienced criminal defense attorney. Sexual assault and sexual battery cases are highly technical and must be defended early in the process and likely will result in a trial. Former Miami State Attorneys Christopher Pagan and Julian Stroleny have defended these types of cases, as well as countless others. Due to the severity of the potential consequences, it is important to take advantage of the free consultations for all potential clients who have been arrested and charged with a felony or misdemeanor offense in Miami or elsewhere in Florida. Call our office now for your free consultation, (305) 6125-1285.