Added: Florian Eberhard - Date: 31.08.2021 13:38 - Views: 48864 - Clicks: 5207
By Jessica Gillespie. In Florida, it is illegal for an adult someone 18 or older to have sex with a minor someone younger than 18even if the sex is consensual. Those who break the law have committed statutory rape. Statutory rape laws are premised on the assumption that minors are incapable of giving informed consent to sexual activities. Their incapacity is written into the statute—hence the term "statutory" rape.
The age of consent can vary among states, and some states differentiate between consensual sex between minors who are close in age for example, two teenagers of the same ageas opposed to sex between a minor and a much older adult. Though statutory rape does not require that the prosecutor prove an assault, it is still rape.
Of course, rape that does involve an assault is illegal in Florida. Assaults of a sexual nature may also be charged under the state's assault and battery or child molestation or child enticement laws.
For information about rape between spouses, see our article on marital rape laws. Statutory rape is prosecuted under Florida's sexual battery and lewd and lascivious conduct laws. Penalties depend on the ages of the defendant and victim. The offense is broken intoand penalties vary depending on the circumstances of the crime, as described below. Unlawful sexual activity with certain minors includes sexual penetration with an object or body part between a minor who is 16 or 17 and an adult who is at least 24 years old.
Lewd and lascivious molestation includes sexual touching even over clothing between a defendant and a minor under age This offense is a life felony if the victim was younger than 12 and the defendant was 18 or older.
Penalties include at least 25 years and up to life in prison. If the victim was 12, 13, 14, or 15 and the defendant was 18 or older; or the victim was younger than 12 and the defendant was 17 or younger, the offense is a felony of the second degree. If the victim was younger than 12, 13, 14, or 15 and the defendant was 17 or younger, the offense is a felony in the third degree.
Lewd and lascivious battery includes sexual penetration between an adult and a minor who is 13, 14, or 15 years old. Lewd and lascivious conduct includes sexual touching between an adult and a minor younger than 16 years old or an adult soliciting a minor younger than 16 to engage in sexual touching. For defendants 18 and older, the offense is a felony in the second degree. When the defendant was younger than 18 years old at the time of the crime, the offense is a felony in the third degree.
Contributing to the delinquency of a minor may be charged when a defendant who is 21 years old or older impregnates a minor under age 16 as a result of a statutory rape. State law requires, in addition to the applicable fines and prison time, that people convicted of certain sexual crimes including statutory rape must register as sex offenders.
You may petition the court to be exempted from this requirement if you fall under the "Romeo and Juliet" exception, described below. Unlike normal rape charges, consent is not a defense to statutory rape. Statutory rape laws make minors legally incapable of giving consent to sexual activities.
Therefore even if the minor "consented," the sexual activity was nonetheless illegal and the defendant may be convicted of rape. Named after Shakespeare's young lovers, "Romeo and Juliet" exceptions are intended to prevent serious criminal charges against teenagers who engage in consensual sex with others close to their own age. In Florida, there is a limited Romeo and Juliet exemption for consensual sex when the minor was 13 to 17 years old and the defendant was no more than four years older than the victim.
If the defendant meets certain eligibility requirements, the exception removes the requirement that the defendant register as a sex offender.
However, it does not prevent him from being fined, imprisoned, or both. Defendants accused of statutory rape often claim that they had no reason to know that their partner was underage. They may argue that the victim herself represented that she was older than she was, and that a reasonable person would have believed her. But in Florida, even a reasonable mistake as to the victim's age will not be a defense to a charge of statutory rape.
If you are facing a statutory rape charge, consider consulting with an experienced criminal defense attorney who regularly practices in your area. The law can change at any time, and a lawyer can evaluate the strength of the prosecution's case against you and help develop any defenses that might apply to your case. A lawyer can often negotiate with the prosecutor for a lesser charge or a reduction in penalties such as, for example, probation instead of prison timeand will know how prosecutors and judges typically handle cases like yours.
Statutes governing Florida's age of consent, associated criminal charges, available defenses, and penalties for conviction. Florida's Statutory Rape Laws and Potential Penalties Statutory rape is prosecuted under Florida's sexual battery and lewd and lascivious conduct laws. Getting Legal Guidance The information in this article provides an overview of the law relating to statutory rape. If you are trying to determine the legality of any kind of conduct, make sure to consult an experienced criminal defense attorney.
The law is complex and changes regularly.
Chemical Castration Florida law provides for the penalty of chemical castration for specified offenses: Discretionary imposition. The court may impose this penalty for a first offense of sexual battery. Mandatory imposition. The court must impose this penalty for subsequent convictions of the sexual battery law. Sex Offender Registration State law requires, in addition to the applicable fines and prison time, that people convicted of certain sexual crimes including statutory rape must register as sex offenders.
Defenses to a Statutory Rape Charge in Florida Unlike normal rape charges, consent is not a defense to statutory rape. The "Romeo and Juliet" Exception Named after Shakespeare's young lovers, "Romeo and Juliet" exceptions are intended to prevent serious criminal charges against teenagers who engage in consensual sex with others close to their own age. Reasonable Mistake of Age Defendants accused of statutory rape often claim that they had no reason to know that their partner was underage. Getting Legal Help If you are facing a statutory rape charge, consider consulting with an experienced criminal defense attorney who regularly practices in your area.
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Age of Consent in Florida