Lewd or Lascivious Battery Attorney in Tampa, FL
Sex offenses are among the most socially stigmatized crimes and among the most aggressively prosecuted in Florida. Lewd or lascivious battery, also known as statutory rape, is treated severely by police and prosecutors. If you have been charged with this crime, do not make any statements or decisions regarding your case until you have obtained legal representation.
If you or a loved one are facing lewd or lascivious battery charges in the Tampa, FL, area, call Armando Edmiston, an experienced Tampa lewd or lascivious battery lawyer, today.
Lewd or Lascivious Battery: Definition and Penalties in Tampa, FL
Florida’s age of sexual consent is 18. This does not mean it is illegal to have sex with anyone younger than 18 under all circumstances, but it does mean there are legal limits to who can engage in sexual activity with minors younger than 18. People who violate these limits commit statutory rape (unless their actions qualify as another form of child sex offense such as child molestation or child rape). Lewd or lascivious battery is simply Florida’s label for statutory rape involving young teens. Under this law, it is illegal for anyone to engage in sexual activity with a person between the ages of 12 and 16. It is also illegal to encourage, force or entice a person younger than 16 to engage in sadomasochism, sexual bestiality, prostitution or any other sexual activity. Any of these acts is a second-degree felony punishable by as many as 15 years in prison. A mandatory minimum sentence of nearly three years is imposed upon conviction for lewd or lascivious battery.
Lewd or Lascivious Battery: Unlawful Sexual Activity with Certain Minors and Child Rape in Tampa, FL
Florida law also outlaws sex between older teenagers and certain adults. This form of statutory rape law is known as unlawful sexual activity with certain minors. It is a second-degree felony in Florida for a person 24 or older to engage in sexual activity with a 16- or 17-year-old. This is punishable by at most 15 years. Child rape, on the other hand, covers sexual activity involving children younger than 12. Sexual activity between an adult and a child younger than 12 is a capital felony with two possible penalties: death or by life in prison without the possibility of parole. Sexual activity between a child younger than 12 and an offender younger than 18 is a life felony punishable by a minimum sentence of four years and a maximum of life.
Lewd or Lascivious Battery: Lewd or Lascivious Molestation in Tampa, FL
Florida law bars other similar “lewd or lascivious” behaviors against minors, including lewd or lascivious molestation. This involves intentionally touching the breasts, genital area or buttocks of a person younger than 16 in a lewd or lascivious manner or forcing the person to touch the offender in the same way. Florida courts define “lewd or lascivious” behavior as anything with “wicked, lustful, unchaste, licentious or sensual design on the part of the perpetrator.” If the child is younger than 12 and the offender is 18 or older, this is a life felony with a maximum penalty of life in prison and a minimum sentence of four years. If the child is younger than 12 and the offender is younger than 18, it is a second-degree felony with a minimum sentence of 21 months a maximum of 15 years. The same is true if the child is between 12 and 16 and the offender is 18 or older. If the child is between 12 and 16 and the offender is younger than 18, the crime is a third-degree felony with a maximum sentence of five years.