Florida takes the prevention of sexual assault and battery seriously, imposing some of the harshest and longest-lasting consequences on anyone convicted of these criminal offenses. Sexual battery, commonly known as rape, is one of the most aggressively-prosecuted crimes—and the use of a weapon makes potential penalties even worse.
If you have been charged with Sexual Battery with a Deadly Weapon, your freedom, well-being, family life, and rights will be thrust into the spotlight as you defend yourself against these allegations. A Florida sex crimes attorney can mount a vigorous legal defense to help you fight against these arduous felony charges and get the best possible outcome in your case.
Using a Weapon for Sexual Battery in Florida
Under Florida Statute 794.011, a person commits sexual battery if they make non-consensual oral, anal, or vaginal contact with another person using their sexual organ or object(s). Florida has many enhanced forms of sexual battery based on the age of the victim, the violence of the incident, and other aggravating factors.
If you were carrying a weapon at the time of the incident, you could be charged with the following:
- Sexual Battery with a Deadly Weapon. These charges apply when a person uses or threatens to use a firearm, knife, club, mace, or another deadly weapon when committing sexual battery.
- Sexual Battery Likely to Cause Serious Personal Injury. This charge involves any physical force that could have resulted in severe personal injury during the commission of the sexual battery.
- Sexual Battery on a Child. If the incident involved a weapon and a child under 12, the offender could face 40 years to life in prison. In extreme cases, the court may even impose the death penalty.
Florida Penalties for Sexual Battery With a Deadly Weapon
Under Florida’s Criminal Punishment Code, Sexual Battery with a Deadly Weapon carries a Level 10 severity ranking. An offender could serve a minimum sentence between 8 and 10.5 years in prison and two years of sex offender probation—even if they have no prior criminal history.
If contact or penetration points are added, an offender could be ordered to serve 30 years more in prison. The maximum sentence for Sexual Battery with a Deadly Weapon is life imprisonment, lifetime sex offender probation, and a $10,000 fine.
In addition to incarceration, people convicted of Sexual Battery with a Deadly Weapon are subject to the following:
- Their full prison term. Sexual Battery with a Deadly Weapon offenders are ineligible for credit-based early release, commonly called sentence remission, gain time, or time off for good behavior. If convicted, offenders must serve the entirety of their prison sentence.
- Sex offender registration limitations. Any person convicted of sexual battery will face permanent and mandatory registration on the Sexual Offenders and Predators System, severely limiting their work and travel options. If you wish to move to a different location, you must update your details and maintain compliance with the sexual offender registration laws for the rest of your life.
- Permanent designation as a sex offender. Under the federal Adam Walsh Act, an offender is ineligible to apply for removal from state or federal sex offender registration for any crime involving non-consensual sexual interaction. Even if a teenager is convicted of sexual battery or rape charges, they will be labeled a sex offender for life.
Speak to a Florida Sex Crime Attorney Now
It's vital to seek guidance from an experienced local criminal defense attorney when confronting a sexual battery accusation. Several defenses are available for felony sexual battery, and it will take a skilled lawyer to analyze the prosecution's case and determine the best way forward.
As you could face life imprisonment for this offense, one strategy is negotiating with the prosecutor to accept a lesser charge, such as aggravated battery. This can significantly reduce penalties, such as fewer years in prison or a combination of probation and prison time.
The legal team at Flaherty & Merrifield can determine the most suitable defense approach for your situation and your best chance at protecting your reputation and future. Call 850-243-6097 now for a free, confidential case evaluation.