Florida's Sexual Offenses
Florida classifies sexual crimes into three primary offense categories:
- Sexual Battery or Rape,
- Unlawful Sexual Activity with Certain Minors or Statutory Rape, and
- Lewd Acts and Sexual Activity with Children under Sixteen
Unlawful Sexual Activity with Certain Minors; Statutory Rape
(Florida Statute 794.05)
Unlawful Sexual Activity with Certain Minors (Statutory rape) makes it illegal for a person 24 or older to have sexual intercourse with a 16 or 17 year old, even if both parties consent to the sexual conduct. Importantly, ignorance of the victim's age is irrelevant as a defense to the charge, even if the victim lied about his or her age or the accused had a bona fide belief the victim was old enough to give consent.
However, it is legal for a person who is between the age of twenty-three and sixteen (23 - 16) to have sex with a person who is sixteen (16) or seventeen (17) years old.
A person convicted of Unlawful Sexual Activity (Statutory Rape) would be facing a maximum sentence of fifteen (15) years in prison and a minimum sentence of approximately seven (5) years in prison. Additionally, they would be declared a sexual offender and would be forced to comply with sexual offender registration laws throughout Florida and the United States.
Lewd or Lascivious Acts; Unlawful Sexual Activity with a Person under Sixteen (Florida Statute 800.04(4) - (7))
Lewd or Lascivious Acts are any offenses committed in a lewd or lascivious manner (sexual manner) on a person younger than sixteen. There are two important points that apply to any lewd and lascivious offense.
- Ignorance of the victim's age can not be raised as a defense to the charge,
- The Age of the accused is not a defense; meaning that if a 12 year-old were to have sex with a 14 year-old, either child or both could be prosecuted for the offense.
Contact Orlando Criminal Defense Attorney Richard Hornsby
If you have been arrested or charged with Lewd and Lascivious crime in Central Florida or the greater Orlando area, please contact Sex Crimes Defense Lawyer Richard Hornsby today.
The initial consultation is free and I am always available to advise you on the proper course of action that can be taken.