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Fort Lauderdale Rape Attorney

Legal Defense for Sexual Battery in Florida

Under Florida law, the penalties for sexual battery and sexual assault or charges for rape will vary depending on the ages of the alleged victims and the accused individual. This type of sex crime is considered a felony. The penalties are severe no matter the circumstances. It will take a seasoned defense team to help you make sense of the charges and fight to protect you from the penalties that come along with them.

At Hager & Schwartz, P.A., our Fort Lauderdale rape lawyers understand the severity of the charges you are facing and are prepared to craft an effective defense strategy capable of withstanding the prosecution’s case against you. As former prosecutors ourselves, we know how to anticipate the opposition and can remain one step ahead at every stage.

Call us at (954) 840-8713 if you are up against the criminal justice system. We are ready to fight for you.

What is Sexual Battery in Florida?

In Florida, rape does not have its own legal definition. Instead, rape is considered a form of sexual battery. When pursuing a rape conviction, prosecutors must prove that the defendant penetrated the victim orally, vaginally, or anally, or that the victim’s mouth, vagina, or anus was touched by the defendant’s sexual organ. Prosecutors also need to prove that the victim did not consent to the action unless the victim was under the age of 12.

In Florida, consent must be intelligent, voluntary, and knowing – coerced submission is not consensual. Consent cannot be construed as the victim’s failure to physically resist. Mental disability, physical disability, consciousness, and intoxication all impact a person’s ability to give consent.

Florida Rape Penalties

Rape allegations mean that the victim believes he or she was forced into engaging in a sexual act without consent. Prosecutors will look at all of the details, no matter how slight, to secure a conviction.

Under Fl. Stat. Ann. §794.011, potential penalties for rape include:

  • Hefty fines costing thousands of dollars
  • Lengthy prison sentence, including a possible life sentence
  • Mandatory registration as a sex offender

The exact penalties you could face upon conviction will depend on the circumstances of the alleged offense. Penalties may be exacerbated under certain conditions.

The following are the penalties for sexual battery in Florida:

  • If an adult (at least 18 years of age) commits sexual battery on a victim under 12 years old – The defendant can be charged with a capital felony, which carries either the death penalty or life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.
  • If a person under 18 years old commits sexual battery on a victim under 12 – The defendant can be charged with a life felony, punishable by a prison sentence between 30 years and life.
  • If a victim is more than 12 years old – The defendant can be charged with a second-degree felony, which carries a maximum 15-year prison term.
  • If a victim is over 12 years old and the offense involves coercive acts or threats – The defendant can be charged with a first-degree felony, which carries a maximum 30-year prison sentence.
  • If the offense involves a deadly weapon or a victim suffers a serious injury – The defendant can be charged with a life felony.

A conviction for each offense can also result in a maximum $10,000 fine and registration as a sex offender—possibly for the rest of the defendant’s life. Sex offender probation, in addition to mandatory sex offender registration, will be required of anyone convicted of this type of criminal offense. This is an unfortunate stain on one’s record that can no doubt, have negative effects on a person’s life for the rest of their lives.

Legal Defenses to Sexual Battery in Florida

There are three main defenses to sexual battery in Florida: consent, false accusations, and coerced submission.

If the alleged victim knowingly and voluntarily consents to sexual activity (unless he/she cannot legally provide consent due to age), the defendant cannot be convicted of sexual battery.

If the alleged victim made false accusations due to fear of being caught in an affair, jealousy, mental illness, or manipulation by a parent, the defendant cannot be convicted of sexual battery.

If the alleged victim did not fear of his/her life and safety, or the life and safety of a loved one, the defendant cannot be convicted of sexual battery. The defendant needs to use force, intimidation, or threats to commit the act.

Avoid the Negative Stigma of a Rape Conviction

Perhaps the most damning of all the consequences of a rape conviction is the forced registration as a sex offender. This will become public knowledge. Neighbors, colleagues, associates, and acquaintances can all access this information, forever branding the convicted person as a sex offender. You do not want these types of charges to alter your reputation or your life like this. To fight your charges effectively, you need a Fort Lauderdale rape lawyer from Hager & Schwartz, P.A.

Speak to an Experienced Legal Team

Our firm defends clients from all walks of life who have been charged with sex crimes. Very few of these offenses are as serious as being accused of rape. When your future is at stake, you will need a trusted attorney who works solely to protect you.

Your initial consultation with our team is free. Call our Fort Lauderdale rape attorney at (954) 840-8713 today.

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Real Results

  • Case Dismissed Aggravated Battery
  • Case Dismissed Armed Robbery
  • Case Dismissed Battery
  • Resolved Burglary Battery
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  • Dismissed Domestic Violence Battery
  • Dismissed Domestic Violence Battery
  • Charges Dropped Domestic Violence Battery
  • Charges Dismissed Domestic Violence Battery
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