I have discussed sex crimes on this blog before. As you know, it is my opinion that no crime in the world carries the stigma of a sex crime.
Sexual battery, however, is Florida's legal term for a rape. People prosecuted under Florida Statute § 794.011 are charged with allegations that the accused person forced another to engage in some sort of sexual contact without their permission.
Sexual battery can occur between strangers or between people already involved in a sexual relationship, such as spouses and lovers. In this instance, sexual battery can be prosecuted as a domestic violence crime.
Sexual battery while armed carries a maximum term of life imprisonment. If the "armed" portion alleges a firearm, then 10-20-Life applies and a 10-year mandatory sentence may be in place.
Sexual battery on a child 12 or under is a capital offense, and while Florida no longer has the death penalty for non-murder crimes, this offense carries life in prison with a 25-year mandatory sentence under the Jessica Lunsford Act.
In Florida, sexual battery can be charged when a victim is a minor under the age of 17. An individual can be charged with a second-degree felony if it is alleged that a 16 or 17 year old had sexual activity with an individual over the age of 24. Even if the sex is consensual, it doesn't matter. The law still considers this crime to be rape.
If you are convicted of sexual battery, you will become a sex offender. You will have to register in every county in which you live. If you fail to register, you can be prosecuted for a felony.
As heinous as a sex crime may be, so many of them are founded upon weak allegations. Many sex crimes are he-said/she-said situations with little to no physical evidence. Even if there is physical evidence, it may only suggest that the two parties had sexual intercourse. That fact (unless the alleged victim is a minor and the accused is an adult) does not prove a crime.
While there are true rape victims out there who deserve justice, there are many people (men and women) who use the justice system to seek personal vindication. Imagine that a young woman goes to a bar, meets a man, and the two go somewhere and have consensual sex. Perhaps the next day, the girl realizes what she has done, and feels guilty for going out and sleeping with a man she has never met. She may create the illusion of a sex crime in order to vindicate her own behavior.
This is not me being an insensitive criminal attorney, folks. This is the truth. There are people out there who abuse the system. That is why I always refer to victims as "alleged victims" on this blog because a criminal charge is only an allegation until it is proved. And I am a firm believer in the presumption of innocence.
Sexual battery charges can destroy lives. And all it takes is an allegation.
I practice criminal defense in Miami and Broward. I handle sexual battery cases and have successfully defended clients charged with sex crimes.
If you are being charged with sexual battery, or you know somebody who it, call me today for a confidential consultation.