Lewd or Lascivious Conduct Criminal Defense Lawyer in Tampa, FL
Lewd or lascivious conduct charges can bring about a nightmare in the life of anyone accused of this crime. Allegations may be nothing more than the result of a misunderstanding or family dispute, but that does not minimize the damage they cause and it may not lessen prosecutors’ zeal in pursuing charges. If convicted, a defendant can face substantial prison time for this offense. It is critical if you have been charged that you not take any action before obtaining experienced legal representation.
If you or a loved one are facing lewd or lascivious conduct charges in the Tampa, FL, area, call Armando Edmiston, an experienced Tampa lewd or lascivious conduct defense attorney, today.
Lewd or Lascivious Conduct: Definition and Penalties in Tampa, FL
Lewd or lascivious conduct is simply Florida’s label for a lesser form of child molestation. By law in this state, it is lewd or lascivious conduct to intentionally touch a child younger than 16 in a lewd or lascivious manner, or to solicit a child younger than 16 to commit a lewd or lascivious act. Florida courts have defined “lewd or lascivious” acts as anything with “wicked, lustful, unchaste, licentious or sensual design on the part of the perpetrator.” The crime is considered more severe, and carries stiffer penalties, when committed by adults than when committed by minors. Lewd or lascivious conduct is a second-degree felony punishable by at most 15 years if the offender is 18 or older and a third-degree felony punishable by at most five years if the offender is younger than 18. Lewd or lascivious conduct charges are typically reserved for acts of groping and touching in areas other than the breasts, genitals, genital area or buttocks. Touching those areas in a lewd or lascivious manner is considered the more serious kind of child molestation in Florida.
Lewd or Lascivious Conduct: Lewd or Lascivious Molestation and Exhibition in Tampa, FL
The more serious type of child molestation is known as lewd or lascivious molestation. Under this law, it is a crime for an offender to touch the breasts, genitals or buttocks of a child younger than 16 in a lewd or lascivious manner or to force a child to touch the offender in the same manner. Where the child is younger than 12 and the offender is 18 or older, lewd or lascivious molestation is a life felony with a maximum penalty of life in prison and a mandatory minimum sentence of four years. Where the child is younger than 12 and the offender is younger than 18, the crime is a second-degree felony that carries a maximum sentence of 15 years and a minimum of 21 months. The same applies where the child is between 12 and 16 and the offender is 18 or older. Where the child is between 12 and 16 and the offender is younger than 18, lewd or lascivious molestation is a third-degree felony and carries a maximum penalty of five years. Florida law covers one other “lewd or lascivious” crime, lewd or lascivious exhibition. It is lewd or lascivious exhibition for an offender to intentionally masturbate, expose himself in a lewd or lascivious manner, or commit any other sexual act in the presence of a child younger than 16 without making physical contact with the child. If the offender is younger than 18, this is a third-degree felony punishable by as many as five years. If the offender is 18 or older, it is a second-degree felony with a maximum sentence of 15 years.