A person who commits sexual battery upon a person 12 years of age or older without that person's consent, when the alleged victim is physically helpless to resist, commits a felony of the first degree, punishable by a maximum of 30 years in prison.
"Physically helpless to resist" means that a person is unconscious, asleep, or for any other reason physically unable to communicate unwillingness to act.
This situation arises typically when the parties have been drinking. Now, there is nothing against the law about two people getting drunk and having sex. It is against the law to have sex with somebody without their consent when they are physically unable to resist or to make apparent that consent.
These charges are very serious. Unfortunately, they are too often filed without a thorough investigation. In many circumstances, if an alleged victim regrets a night of alcohol-fueled sexual activity, they may claim that they were "physically helpless" as a means of coping with a poor personal decision.
Florida's sexual battery statute outlines the numerous situations in which you can be charged with sexual battery. Remember, sexual battery is just Florida's term for "rape."
These charges are typically fact-based, meaning that it will often be one person's word against another's. Also, the physical aspect of sex is usually not at issue. In other words, both sides may agree that the two parties had sex. The only thing for a jury to decide is whether the sex was consensual.
I am a South Florida criminal defense attorney who practices in Miami-Dade and Broward. I represent clients who have been charged with sexual battery.
Sexual battery charges can destroy your life. If convicted, you will become a sex offender who will be made to register with the county police department. Your status as a sex offender will be made public.
If you or a loved one is facing sexual battery charges, call me today to discuss your matter confidentially.