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Brian S. Leifert, Esq.
Douglas I. Leifert, Esq.

Florida Rape Lawyer

Facing any criminal charge can be a frightening prospect. Facing a sex crime charge can be even scarier given the harsh legal penalties for these crimes. Florida rape laws (sexual battery laws) are notoriously tough.

For some rape and related crimes, state law requires minimum prison sentences for those convicted. These mandatory minimum prison sentences can span decades, up to life in prison.

Because rape charges are aggressively prosecuted, it is important to contact an experienced Florida rape defense lawyer immediately after arrest. Our sex crimes attorneys work hard to defend our clients while protecting their rights in court. Contact a Florida defense lawyer today to learn how we can help.

Defining Sexual Battery in Florida

Florida Statutes Section 794.011 defines sexual battery, more commonly known as rape, as engaging in non-consensual “oral, anal, or vaginal penetration by, or union with the sexual organ of another or the anal or vaginal penetration of another by another object” with another person. Under this law, it does not matter if the alleged victim was penetrated using a sexual organ or using a foreign object.

To qualify as sexual battery, the sexual intercourse must be non-consensual. This same state law defines consent as “intelligent, knowing, and voluntary consent” and excludes coerced submission.

Therefore, engaging in sexual intercourse with someone against their will, or with someone who cannot give “intelligent, knowing, and voluntary consent” constitutes sexual battery.

A common defense that a Florida rape lawyer may use for sexual battery charges is that the alleged victim actually consented to engaging in sexual intercourse. However, this defense may not be applicable for some charges, such as statutory rape.

Potential Penalties

The penalties for sexual battery depend on the severity of the crime, which is usually determined based on the alleged victim’s and the accused’s ages. Below are the classifications of sexual battery charges, and the accompanying penalties:

  • Capital felony: when an adult (anyone 18 years or older) commits sexual battery against a minor who is under 12 years old. Also occurs when someone threatens to use or uses a deadly weapon, or physical force to commit the sexual battery. Penalties may include a life sentence in prison.
  • Life felony: when a minor under 18 years old commits sexual battery against a minor who is under 12. Penalties include a life sentence in prison.
  • First-degree felony: generally, when an adult commits sexual battery against a minor who is 12 years or older. Also occurs when someone uses force, threats, or drugs to incapacitate the alleged victim. Penalties include up to 30 years in prison.
  • Second-degree felony: same definition as first-degree sexual battery, except that the alleged perpetrator does not use threats or force. Penalties include up to fifteen years in prison.

With potential penalties including years in prison or even a life sentence, anyone facing sexual battery charges should contact a lawyer as soon as possible.

Our Florida rape lawyers are prepared to defend clients against these charges. We strive to help every client avoid conviction and penalties when possible.

Unlawful Sexual Activity with Minors in Florida

As in many other states, Florida minors under the age of 18 cannot legally consent to sex. When a minor voluntarily engages in sexual intercourse with an adult, that adult could face statutory rape charges.

Unlawful Sexual Activity with minors in Florida is committed when an adult 24 years of age or older engages in sexual activity with a person 16 or 17 years of age. However, the sexual activity must be consensual, otherwise, sexual battery charges may apply.  Florida Statutes Section 794.05.

How a Florida Rape Attorney Can Help

Are you facing a sexual battery, statutory rape, or related criminal charge? If so, contact our Florida rape lawyers today.

Our attorneys understand how confusing and traumatic the legal process can be, especially for those who do not seek legal help. Call today and learn how we can help you.

Leifert & Leifert Criminal Defense

Leifert & Leifert Criminal Defense

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Plantation
1200 S Pine Island Rd #220 Plantation, FL 33324
(954) 424-7433 954-424-2200
Delray Beach
2160 W Atlantic Ave 2nd Floor Delray Beach, FL 33445
(561) 988-8000 561-988-8100