Rape is referred to under Florida laws as sexual battery and is one of the most serious charges you can face in Boca Raton. Depending on the circumstances involved, the penalties can involve lengthy jail sentences, large fines, and other consequences. In many cases, the key issue of consent can turn a misunderstanding between two people into a serious criminal charge.

If you were accused of rape, our Boca Raton rape lawyers at Leifert & Leifert could use defensive strategies to help you obtain a favorable decision. It is important to take prompt action by working with an experienced attorney to collect and preserve evidence, protect your legal rights, and prevent actions that could jeopardize the outcome of your case.

The Definition of Rape in Boca Raton

Section 794.011(1)(h) of the Florida Code refers to rape as sexual battery. This offense is defined as penetration into the mouth, anus, or vagina by the sexual organ of another or by any object.   The definition specifically excludes actions performed for legitimate medical purposes. In addition, when sexual acts are engaged in by mutual consent, this is not considered sexual battery as long as both Parties are legally able to consent to such actions.

Statutory Rape and Unlawful Sexual Activity

Certain individuals are unable to legally consent to sexual activity. These include those under age 18 and those who are mentally or physically incapacitated. While the age of consent in Florida is 18, a 16- or 17-year-old can legally engage in sexual relations with someone aged 23 or less, as long as there is no allegation of force or coercion and no special relationship exists between the parties. However, if a person aged 24 or more engages in sexual relations with a 16- or 17-year-old, the older Party may be convicted of a Second-Degree Felony, according to Fla. Stat. §794.05.

If someone aged 18 and over engages in sexual activity with a minor between the ages of 12 and 15, they may be charged with “lewd or lascivious battery,” which is also a Second-Degree Felony, according to Fla. Stat. §800.04.

Punishments for Sexual Battery Offenses

According to Section 794.011 of the Florida Code, sexual battery is considered a capital Felony if an individual aged 18 or more commits sexual battery against a minor under the age of 12. The punishment for a Capital Felony is the death sentence. If the offense is committed by someone under the age of 18, the offense is treated as a Life Felony, which carries a sentence of life in Prison without parole.

When someone of any age commits sexual battery against another person aged 12 or older and either uses a deadly weapon, threatens to use a deadly weapon, or uses enough physical force to cause serious injury, they may also face a Life Felony, or life in Prison.

When someone aged 18 or older rapes a minor between the ages of 12 and 17, this is considered a First-Degree Felony. This is also the charge for when a person commits sexual battery by using physical force, coercion, or threat of retaliation; drugging the other person; taking advantage of the other person’s mental incapacitation, or using their position of authority.

Penalties for a Second-Degree Felony include up to 15 years in Prison and a fine of up $10,000. For a First-Degree Felony, the maximum Prison sentence increases to 30 years. Other instances of sexual battery may be treated as a First-Degree Felony as well. Generally, if the above circumstances do not apply, the offense may be treated as a Second-Degree Felony. If you are unsure about how the Court may view and punish your situation, our Boca Raton rape lawyers can provide clarification.

Speak with an Experienced Boca Raton Sex Crimes Attorney Today

In cases involving rape, or what is known in Florida as sexual battery, it is crucial that you gather evidence that the other Party voluntarily consented to engage in sexual activity. If you are facing allegations involving any sex crime, consult a knowledgeable Attorney at Leifert & Leifert for advice on how to proceed. An experienced Boca Raton rape lawyer can begin working right away to build your defense strategy and ensure your side of the story is heard.

Boca Raton Sex Crimes Lawyer 

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