Being accused of sexual assault can be a stressful and frightening experience. You may be overwhelmed by the accusations and evidence that law enforcement agents have produced and unsure what to do first. A Plantation sexual assault Lawyer can help you sort out the charges against you and determine the defense strategy that is most likely to be effective in your case.
When you are facing sexual assault charges, you need someone who will listen to your side of the story and protect your rights through your criminal proceedings. It would help if you had someone to delve into the details surrounding your charges and advocate on your behalf. One of our experienced defense Attorneys at Leifert & Leifert could sit with you to discuss the details of your case and determine next recommended course of action.
What is Considered Sexual Assault in Plantation?
State law refers to sexual assault as sexual battery. Fla. Stat. § 794.11 defines sexual battery as any oral, anal, or vaginal penetration or joining of sexual organs. Sexual battery also occurs when individuals use any object to anally or vaginally penetrate another. This definition excludes explicitly any acts done for bona fide medical purposes.
To constitute sexual battery, the accused must take the actions either without the consent of the other person or in situations in which the other person is:
- Physically helpless or incapacitated
- Mentally defective
- Subject to threats of force, violence, or retaliation with a reasonable belief of those threats being carried out
- Mentally or physically incapacitated by a drug or other substance
Sexual battery also may occur between law enforcement officers, correctional officers, or other persons in control of a detention center or similar setting and others over whom they have or appear to have control and authority. Most of these instances of sexual battery also require that the accused have knowledge of or reason to believe that one of these conditions is true. A sexual assault Lawyer in Plantation can assist individuals in determining whether their situation falls within the statutory definition of sexual battery.
Penalties for Sexual Battery Convictions
The level of the charges for sexual battery depends on the circumstances surrounding the offense and the ages of the parties involved in the crime. Aside from the ages of the parties, some of the other factors that impact the level of a sexual battery charge include:
- The degree of force used to carry out the act
- Any injuries suffered by the alleged victim
- The incapacitation of the alleged victim at the time of the offense
- The circumstances that led to the sexual battery
As a result, sexual battery charges can range widely, from a capital or life felony to a third-degree felony. For example, individuals who are 18 or older and commit sexual battery on a person who is between the ages of 12 and 18, without consent, and under specific circumstances, commit a first-degree felony. A conviction for a first-degree felony can result in a prison sentence of 30 years or life and a $10,000 fine.
Most sexual battery charges are life, first-degree, or second-degree felonies. As even a second-degree felony conviction can result in a 15-year prison sentence, individuals must take steps to protect themselves when facing sexual battery charges. A sexual assault Attorney in Plantation can be instrumental in effectively defending individuals against these severe charges.
Sexual Assault and Sex Offender Registration
With a few exceptions, individuals convicted of most forms of sexual battery must register as a sex offender in the state for the remainder of their lives. Registration as a sex offender requires that individuals report either twice per year or quarterly to a local sheriff’s department, depending on the nature of their offenses.
Individuals who are subject to registration requirements must provide the sheriff’s office with updated personal and contact information, as well as fingerprints, palm prints, photographs, and vehicle information, among other identifiers. Failure for individuals to comply with these requirements can result in arrests and additional criminal charges.
Consult a Plantation Sexual Assault Attorney Today
Facing sexual assault charges can be a traumatic and life-changing experience. If convicted, you may be subject to years of incarceration and a lifetime of sex offender registration. Consulting a Plantation sexual assault Lawyer at Leifert & Leifert may be vital to protecting your interests throughout your criminal proceedings.
Legal counsel can work on challenging the evidence against you, ensuring a fair trial, and defending your position. By getting legal advice, you may be better situated to fight back against the severe allegations that you are facing.