Some defendants are initially shocked when charged with unlawful sexual contact with a minor, or statutory rape as it is commonly called. They may be surprised because they believed their partner was older or because their partner gave their consent. If you are trying to make sense of your statutory rape charge in Florida, hiring a skilled defense attorney is key. In Florida, Statute Sexual activity, in this context, includes oral, anal or vaginal intercourse or penetration. Essentially, statutory rape occurs when one individual is under the age of consent, while the other is 24 years old or older. Statutory rape also includes cases where both parties are minors and where one individual is considered unable to consent because of a mental disability or defect or because of physical or mental incapacitation. The age of consent is the legally recognized age when an individual is believed capable of making decisions regarding sexual activity. In Florida, the age of consent is However, some individuals are believed to be unable to consent because of an inability to understand what they are consenting to because they are incapacitated or because they are physically helpless.
Florida Statutory Rape Law: What is age of consent?
If the offense described in this subsection was committed on or after October 1, , a person who qualifies as a dangerous sexual felony offender pursuant to this subsection must be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of 50 years imprisonment up to, and including, life imprisonment. This subsection does not apply to life felonies or capital felonies. For purposes of sentencing under chapter and determining incentive gain-time eligibility under chapter , a felony offense that is reclassified under this subsection is ranked one level above the ranking under s.
If the court sentences a defendant to be treated with medroxyprogesterone acetate MPA , the penalty may not be imposed in lieu of, or reduce, any other penalty prescribed under s. Section
Legal Information: Florida To check for further updates, or to read additional statutes, go to the Florida State Legislature webpage.
When Shakespeare brought Romeo and Juliet to life, he was intentional in choosing two young characters as his protagonists. Then as now, two teenagers having consensual sex is perfectly understandable. On the other hand, an adult molesting a child is reprehensible. The difference between the two situations would seem obvious. An older teen who has sex with his younger girlfriend can be arrested, prosecuted, and jailed for the act.
Even worse, they may carry the stigma of being labeled a sex offender for the rest of their life. The problem typically arises when the male is 18 or 19, the female is between 14 and 16, and the parent of the younger teen presses charges. Even Romeo would be labeled a sex offender today, as he was believed to be 16 and Juliet 13 when their relationship began.
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What is the Florida “Romeo & Juliet” Law?
In the United States, age of consent laws regarding sexual activity are made at the state level. There are several federal statutes related to protecting minors from sexual predators, but laws regarding specific age requirements for sexual consent are left to individual states , District of Columbia , and territories. Depending on the jurisdiction, the legal age of consent is between 16 and In some places, civil and criminal laws within the same state conflict with each other.
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In Florida, it is illegal for a person age 18 or older to have sex with someone under the age of 18, even if the sex is consensual. The reason for this is that minors are not capable of giving informed consent to sex in the eyes of the law. Those who break this law have committed the crime of statutory rape. Statutory rape is still a serious offense that requires an experienced criminal defense attorney.
The law does not make sex with a minor legal; it simply stops the accused person from having to register as a sex offender. If convicted, a person may still be subject to fines and imprisonment, so it is important to seek help with your charges to potentially avoid maximum penalty. If you have been accused of statutory rape or another sex crime, you need to put a qualified attorney on your side.
Although you may be going through a stressful and frightening time, you are not alone in your fight. Our former prosecutors are ready to guide you and keep you informed about the status of your case from start to finish. Call today to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation:
Ages of consent in the United States
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Early in the legislative session, Sen. A companion bill — HB — was also introduced in the House. Unfortunately, the legislature adjourned its session in March without taking action on the bills, and an effort to put legalization on the ballot for voters to decide on in also failed. The focus now shifts to Ask your lawmakers to follow the will of the majority of Floridians and support legalizing, taxing, and regulating cannabis for adult use! To qualify, a patient must be a permanent or seasonal resident of Florida, be entered into the medical marijuana use registry, and obtain a medical marijuana ID card.
Unlawful Sexual Activity with Minors in Florida
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In Florida, the age of legal consent is This means that once an individual turns 18 years old, he or she may have a sexual relationship with any other adult except for in certain situations where one adult has authority over the other, such as an inmate and a guard in a prison. But this does not tell the whole story of who may have sex with whom under Florida law. Certain protections exist to prevent individuals who engage in consensual sexual relationships with peers close to their age from being convicted of sex crimes.
A sex crime conviction carries steep penalties, such as fines, jail time, and the requirement that the defendant register with the Florida Sex Offender Registry. In Florida, it is legal for an individual between the ages of 16 and 23 to have a sexual relationship with an individual aged 16 or Lewd and lascivious battery is often known as statutory rape.
This can be through persuasion, coercion, or manipulation, and the sexual act does not actually have to occur for the adult to be charged with lewd and lascivious battery. It is a second degree felony in Florida, punishable by 7. Generally, if the defendant is under the age of 21 when he or she is sentenced, his or her age may be considered.
Teen Dating Violence Prevention
In Florida, the age of consent is Persons below the age of consent cannot legally consent to having sex, which means that anyone over the age of consent who engages in sexual relations with someone below the age of 18 — even if the minor gives his or her consent — is in violation of the law, and may be charged with statutory rape. An individual charged with statutory rape in Florida faces several harsh punishments, and must deal with additional consequences for the rest of his or her life.
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In Florida, the crime of Unlawful Sexual Activity with Minors makes it illegal for a person 24 or older to have consensual sex with a 16 or 17 year old. Under Florida Statute While it is legal under certain situations for an adult to have consensual sex with a minor it is nonetheless Sexual Battery Rape if the minor alleges the sex was non-consensual or forced.
Additionally, a child who is 15 years of age or younger is deemed incapable of consenting to sex. As a result, even if the child verbally consented, it is considered Lewd and Lascivious Battery Statutory Rape to have sex with a child 15 years of age or younger. A person convicted of Unlawful Sexual Activity with Minors would not only be placed on sex offender probation , but would also be declared a sexual offender. As a result, they would be required to comply with sexual offender registration laws in Florida and throughout the United States for the remainder of their lives.
This law allows certain individuals to petition the court to be excluded from the sex offender registry. However, you can only petition for exclusion if the facts of your crime meet very specific eligibility requirements. In addition to the pretrial defenses and trial defenses that can be raised in any criminal case, specific defenses to the crime of Unlawful Sexual Activity with Minors are:.
Unfortunately, false allegations of Unlawful Sexual Activity with Minors are increasingly common in Florida and one of the primary reasons people find themselves accused of Unlawful Sexual Activity with Minors. As a result, it is critically important to investigate the accuser and expose any motive for making a false accusation of sexual battery or rape. It is legal for a person who is between the age of twenty-three and sixteen 23 – 16 to have consensual sex or engage in sexual activity with a person who is sixteen 16 or seventeen 17 years of age at the time of the sexual activity.