The penalties in Florida for sexual battery—which for all intents and purposes is synonymous with rape—are understandably substantial. In a number of cases, they can include a sentence of life in prison.
Consequences of a Sexual Battery Conviction
The ages of both parties involved in a sexual battery incident are one component of what penalties are in play. So, too, are certain conditions related to the incident. Here is how they break down:
- Offender: 18 or older; Victim: Younger than 12. If an adult commits sexual battery on a child under 12 years old, the penalties may include a fine, life in prison (must serve 25 years before eligible for parole), or both—and in some cases, the court is allowed to impose the death penalty. If a deadly weapon or physical force is involved, the penalties include a fine, up to life (but not more than 40 years) in prison, or both.
- Offender: 18 or older; Victim: 12 or older. If the victim is mentally incapacitated or physically unable to resist or when the offender threatens violence or drugs the victim, a first-degree felony has been committed. Such an offense can be punished by a fine, up to 30 years in prison, or both. (In circumstances not involving force or violence, the felony drops to second-degree and the penalties may include a fine, up to five years in prison, or both).
- Offender: Younger than 18; Victim: Younger than 12. If a minor commits sexual battery on a child under 12 years old, the penalties may include a fine, up to life (but not to exceed 40 years) in prison, or both.
If You Have Been Charged With Sexual Battery, You Need a Lawyer Immediately
A skilled and experienced defense attorney is your best option when facing charges of sexual battery. Your lawyer will evaluate your case, identify the best available defense (alibi, questions about whether the activity in question was consensual, etc.), and possibly negotiate with the prosecutor to get the charges reduced or the penalties lightened.
Have You Been Arrested For a Sex Crime in Florida?
If you've been arrested for a sex crime in Fort Walton Beach, call Flaherty & Merrifield at (850) 243-6097 for a free, confidential case review.