Aggressive Representation for Sexual Battery Charges
In Florida, all sexual assault crimes are considered a form of sexual battery, and if you are facing charges, you are in immediate need of a sexual assault lawyer. The penalties for a sexual battery conviction are steep. You may have to register as a sex offender for the rest of your life, lose your job, and face years in prison. Sexual battery is often considered one of the most serious crimes, and you should never face a prosecutor, judge, or jury without aggressive legal representation.
If you are currently facing charges, do not wait a minute longer. Contact Attorney Matt Shafran at Weinstein Legal, an experienced sexual assault defense attorney in South Florida. After spending years as a former prosecutor, Mr. Shafran now brings his expertise to the realm of criminal defense. He is well-versed in common tactics and types of evidence that prosecutors will attempt to use in court and the best methods of defense for such severe charges.
What Is Sexual Battery in Florida?
Sexual battery in the state of Florida encompasses many different acts. You may face charges if you engage in a sexual act while the other party is intoxicated. Under Florida law, a person is deemed to be mentally incapacitated temporarily while they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and therefore unable to make their own decisions regarding consent.
Additionally, if you engage in sexual activity with a person who is mentally defective, has not given explicit consent, is physically incapacitated, or is under a certain age, you may face charges of sexual battery. Sexual intercourse does not have to take place. You may find yourself in need of a sexual assault lawyer for any acts relating to penetration, by either body part or object, of another person who has either not given consent or is legally deemed unable to provide consent.
Sexual Battery by Threat or Coercion
If an individual gives consent but has been coerced or threatened into doing so, you may face charges of sexual battery and require a sexual assault defense attorney. Threats do not have to be physically violent but may include threats of retaliation if an individual does not engage in sexual activity. Furthermore, the threats do not need to be against the individual specifically. If another person is threatened in an attempt to coerce an individual to participate in sexual activity, sexual battery charges may arise.
There are many nuances to the law, and circumstances vary greatly. Cases are often one person’s word against another’s, making it crucial to hire a sexual assault lawyer to defend you. The potential consequences of not doing so are too severe to take the risk in court alone.
In the state of Florida, statutory rape is considered sexual battery. Statutory rape is a term used to describe a person who is over the age of 18 engaging in sexual activity with a person under the age of 18. Legally, an individual is not considered able to provide sexual consent if they are under the age of 18 in the state of Florida.
However, when individuals are close in age, the charge may not apply. According to Florida law, an individual over the age of 16 is considered able to provide consent for sexual activity to a person under the age of 23. If you are charged with statutory rape and this age range applies to your situation, it is even more imperative that you contact a sexual assault attorney as your charges may be dismissed.
Sexual Battery in Florida: Felony or Misdemeanor?
Under Florida state law, all sexual battery charges are felonies. Different cases result in varying types of felony charges, ranging from first or second-degree charges to capital and life felonies. No matter what type of sexual battery felony charges you are facing, one thing is sure. If you are convicted, you are facing time in prison.
If you hire a sexual assault lawyer, it may be possible to arrange a plea agreement with the prosecutor’s office, lessening your charges to misdemeanor offenses. With the right evidence, it may even be possible to have your charges dismissed. The rest of your life is on the line, as certain charges carry the penalty of life in prison. Take action immediately, and hire legal representation.
Penalties for Sexual Battery Convictions
The penalties for a sexual battery conviction in Florida are severe. At a minimum, you are facing jail time and the possibility of having to register as a sex offender. The sex offender database is federal, meaning that even if you move out of state, you must register.
Once registered as a sex offender, there are many jobs that you will not be eligible for and many places that you will not be able to live. You will most likely lose custody of your children, and as the registry is public record, anyone can look up who you are and where you live. It is common for sex offenders to face harassment and even threats in the communities in which they reside. To keep your name off this list, you must hire a sexual assault defense attorney to represent you in court.
Any felony conviction, not just those for sexual battery, is public record and holds the same consequences. You will be affected for the rest of your life and have to report the conviction to many organizations. Don’t take this risk.
Capital and Life Felonies
Some sexual battery charges are deemed capital or life felonies. Capital felonies are the most severe charges an individual can face, as the penalties are life in prison or death. In Florida, the death penalty is legal. Your life is on the line if you are facing a capital felony for sexual battery. You need the most aggressive sexual assault lawyer possible to defend you.
Life felonies do not carry the possibility of facing the death penalty. However, they do mean a life sentence, possibly without parole, if convicted. If you are charged with either a capital or life felony for sexual battery, hire a sexual assault defense attorney immediately.
Defenses for Sexual Battery
There are many defenses for sexual battery that an experienced sexual assault lawyer will employ to prove your innocence. First, they will look for physical evidence. Without a lack of physical evidence, it is challenging to prove that any crime occurred.
When you are facing criminal charges, the burden of proof falls on the state. What this means is that it is the prosecutor’s job to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you are guilty. Without sufficient evidence, this is not possible.
The person accusing you of sexual battery may have ulterior motives for having you arrested if the assault did not occur. A sexual assault defense attorney will work to uncover these motives and expose them to the courts in an attempt to have your charges dismissed. There may be corroborating witnesses or individuals who can provide an alibi. Do not try to present these defenses to a court of law by yourself. Your best chance of having your charges lessened or dropped is much higher when a lawyer represents you.
All evidence that is collected against you by the state will be entered into “discovery,” a file that a sexual assault lawyer will be able to access. Once your lawyer has access to the evidence, they can begin to determine how to dispute it, meaning that time is of the essence. As soon as you are arrested, contact a sexual assault defense attorney. Each day that passes is another day that an aggressive legal team could be fighting on your behalf.
Statutory Rape Defense
Sometimes, statutory rape charges are brought against an individual incorrectly. The state of Florida has age exemptions, meaning that sexual relations between two individuals who are close in age may not be prosecuted. For this reason, you must seek legal representation to have the charges dismissed.
Hiring a Sexual Assault Lawyer
If you are facing sexual battery charges in South Florida, do not speak to prosecutors or investigators without a sexual assault defense attorney. If anyone does attempt to question you, you have the right to refuse to talk with them until your attorney is present. Do not let them tell you otherwise. This applies from the moment you are arrested, all the way through the legal process.
Contact Weinstein Legal for a free case evaluation and hire a sexual assault lawyer today.