Sexual battery is one of the most serious offense that can charged under the Florida Statutes. The Miami criminal lawyers at DMT have represented dozens of defendants charged throughout the State of Florida with the crime of sexual battery. While the crime is most commonly referred to as rape, the State of Florida refers to the offense as sexual battery. The are different variations on the sexual battery statute that carry with them different elements, as well as, different possible punishments. Like the lewd and lascivious conduct statutes, the age of the defendant and the age of the victim play a large role in determining the possible consequences for committing this type of offense. Because sexual battery is such a serious offense, it is imperative to seek a criminal defense law firm with vast experience in defending these types of cases, especially when the stakes are so high.
Sexual battery in its simplest terms has been committed when an individual commits an act upon the victim in which the sexual organ of the defendant penetrates or has union with the anus, vagina or mouth of the victim The act of sexual battery requires the actual penetration, however slight to meet an essential element of the offense. Another essential element is that act was committed without the consent of the victim. Consent means an intelligent, knowing and voluntary consent and by no means does the failure by a victim to offer physical resistance mean that the sexual act was consensual. Consent also becomes an issues when dealing with mentally incapacitated or mentally defective victims. A mentally incapacitated victim has been rendered temporarily incapable of controlling his or her conduct due to the ingestion of a narcotic, anesthetic, or other intoxicating substance. A person will be deemed under the law not to have consented to the sexual act if he or she is mentally incapacitated at the time the act was committed. A mentally defective person that suffers from a mental disease or defect may render the victim incapable of appraising the nature of his or her conduct can which demonstrate a lack of consent. A mentally defective person may not have the ability to consent or demonstrate a lack of consent. In any case, consent is an essential element of the offense of sexual battery.
The penalties for sexual battery vary with the age of the defendant, the age of the victim, and the manner in which the sexual battery was committed. Injuries also play a role in determining the potential sentence a defendant is facing. An individual faces a capital felony if he or she is over the age of 18 and commits a sexual battery against a person less than 12 years of age and in the course of the crime, injures the sexual organs of the victim. A person under the age of 18 that commits the same offense with the same injuries faces life in prison. Anyone who commits a sexual battery against a victim over the age of 12, and during the offense uses or threatens to use a deadly weapon or uses actual physical force likely to cause serious personal injury also faces life in prison. A defendant that only threatens to use force or violence, or commits a sexual battery against a mentally incapacitated or mentally defective person is facing a 1st degree felony punishable up to 30 years in prison. If no force or threat of force is used a second degree felony will be charged.
As stated earlier, sexual battery is a very serious accusation and with that carries very serious implications. Sexual battery convictions not only result in long prison sentences, but can also brand an individual with a sexual offender or sexual predator label. If you or someone you is under investigation for sexual battery, immediately contact a criminal defense firm experienced in defending these types of cases. Always remember, many of the cases are word against word. Providing a statement to the police, as innocent as you may think, may seal your fate. You have the right to remain silent and request a lawyer.
If you are under investigation for, or have been arrested and charged with sexual battery of any type, contact the Miami criminal lawyers at DMT. An experienced criminal attorney is available every day of the year, 24 hours a day to speak with you regarding your situation. Allow us the opportunity to help protect your rights and defend you case and you will not be disappointed. You can call our office at (305) 444-0030 or reach us by completing the form on our contact page or by sending an e-mail.