Sexual Assault & Battery Laws in Florida

According to § 749.011, Fla. Stat., sexual battery means “oral, anal, or female genital penetration by, or union with, the sexual organ of another or the anal or female genital penetration of another by any other object.”

Sexual battery includes the following elements:

  • The defendant engaged in oral, anal, or vaginal penetration or union with the alleged victim using a sexual organ or object; and
  • The alleged victim did not or was unable to consent.

According to Florida sexual assault and battery law, “consent” means intelligent, knowing, and voluntary submission that is not coerced. Consent does not mean the failure of the alleged victim to offer physical resistance to the alleged sex offender.

It’s important to note that sexual battery does not include penetration done for a medical purpose.

An attempted sexual battery would be purposefully trying to commit a sexual assault and battery upon another person without their consent. Attempted crimes often result in the same penalties as the original crime.

Penalties for Sexual Battery Charges in Florida

There are various categories of penalties for sexual battery in Florida, depending on the facts of the case. All sexual assaults and batteries are felony offenses.

Second-Degree Felony Sexual Battery

Sexual battery is a second-degree felony, punishable by up to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000 if:

  • The alleged offender is at least 18 years old, the alleged victim is at least 18 years old, and there is no physical force or violence likely to cause serious personal injury.
  • The alleged offender is less than 18 years old, and the alleged victim is 12 years old or older, and there is no physical force or violence likely to cause significant bodily injury.

First-Degree Felony Sexual Battery

Sexual battery is a first-degree felony, punishable by up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000 if:

  • The alleged offender is less than 18 years old, and the alleged victim is between 12 and 18 years of age.
  • The alleged offender was 12 years old or older, no physical force was used, but the alleged offender was previously convicted of a qualifying sex crime.
  • The alleged offender was 18 years old or older, and the alleged victim was 12 years old or older and was physically helpless to resist, or the alleged offender coerced by threatening force or violence, or the alleged offender used an intoxicating substance to incapacitate the alleged victim mentally or physically.

Life-Felony Sexual Battery

Sexual battery is a life felony, punishable by up to life in prison and a fine of up to $15,000 if:

  • The alleged offender is under 18 years old and engages in any act of sexual battery with an alleged victim less than 12 years old, or in an attempt to commit sexual battery that injures the sexual organs of the alleged victim under 12 years of age.
  • The alleged offender uses a deadly weapon or actual physical force likely to cause severe personal injury upon an alleged victim who is 12 years old or older.

Capital Offense Sexual Battery

Sexual battery is a capital offense punishable by the death penalty if the offender is at least 18 years of age and commits sexual battery on or injures the sexual organs in an attempted sexual battery of an alleged victim under 12 years old.

Collateral Consequences

A sexual assault and battery arrest or charge can impact your life, even if you’re not convicted. Some of the expected collateral consequences of rape convictions include:

  • Loss of employment
  • Loss of housing
  • Loss of educational opportunities
  • Loss of government benefits
  • Loss of parental rights
  • Social stigma and tarnished reputation
  • Loss of constitutional rights (gun rights and the right to vote)

Sex Offender Registration in Florida

If you are convicted of sexual assault and battery, you must register your name, address, and other information on the National Sex Offender Registration list.

The length of time you must be on the sex offender list for sexual battery in Florida depends on several factors, including the severity of the crime, your criminal history, and your age at the time of the offense.

You must be on the sex offender list for at least ten years for a rape conviction. However, if you were convicted of a more severe type of sexual assault and battery, such as sexual battery of a child or sexual battery with a deadly weapon, you may be required to register for life.

Aggravating Factors in Sexual Assault and Battery Cases

Aggravating factors in rape cases are circumstances that make the crime more severe and can lead to a harsher sentence. Some common aggravating factors include:

  • The Use of Force or Violence: If the alleged offender used force or violence to commit the sexual assault and battery, this is considered an aggravating factor. This could include hitting, choking, or threatening the alleged victim.
  • The Alleged Victim’s Vulnerability: If the victim was particularly vulnerable at the time of the sexual battery, this can also be considered an aggravating factor. This could include being young (under the age of 12), elderly, or disabled.
  • The Relationship Between the Alleged Offender and the Alleged Victim: If the alleged sex offender was known to the alleged victim, this can be considered an aggravating factor. This is especially true if the alleged offender was in a position of trust or authority over the alleged victim.
  • The Severity of the Alleged Victim’s Injuries: If the alleged victim sustained great bodily harm due to the sexual batter, this can also be considered an aggravating factor. This could include physical injuries, emotional trauma, or sexually transmitted diseases.

In addition to these common aggravating factors, other factors may be specific to a particular case that can be considered aggravating. For example, if the sexual assault was committed in a particularly cruel or sadistic manner or retaliation, these situations could be regarded as an aggravating factor.

How a Rape Lawyer Can Help Your Case

If you’ve been charged with sexual assault and battery in Florida, you’re likely most worried about jail time. However, there are many penalties you should be concerned about. A sexual assault lawyer can help you avoid the harshest consequences.

Developing a Strong Defense

It may be possible to get your charges reduced or dismissed with the help of a skilled sexual assault lawyer. Some of the best defenses to rape charges include:

  • Consent: You may argue that the alleged victim consented to the sexual activity. This is a common defense in sexual battery cases and can be difficult to disprove.
  • Mistaken Identity: You may argue that the entire situation is a case of mistaken identity. This defense is often used in cases where the alleged victim is a stranger to the defendant.
  • Alibi: You may argue that you were not at the crime scene at the time it occurred. This defense can be effective if you have a strong alibi.
  • False Accusation: You may argue that the alleged victim falsely accused you of rape. This defense is often used in cases without physical evidence of sexual battery, or where the alleged victim has a history of making false accusations.

Avoid Incarceration and Sex Offender Registration – Call Today

A sexual assault and battery conviction can result in life in prison, or worse – the death sentence. If you’ve been accused of a sex crime, you need to act fast to preserve your life and your reputation. A skilled sexual battery attorney at Mitkevicius Law, PLLC will work to keep you out of prison with a clean criminal record.

Lead attorney Josef Mitkevicius will use his 10+ years of legal experience to get you the best  result possible in your rape case. Contact us at 850-361-2142 to schedule your free consultation today.