Lewd or Lascivious Molestation in Tampa, FL
Child molestation carries enormous social stigma, and even the whiff of charges can ruin careers and families. Prosecutors tend to go after these cases ferociously, and penalties can be extreme. If you have been charged with lewd or lascivious molestation, it is imperative that you obtain a qualified defense attorney before taking any action on your case.
If you or a loved one are facing lewd or lascivious molestation charges in the Tampa, FL, area, call Armando Edmiston, an experienced Tampa lewd or lascivious molestation criminal defense attorney, today.
Lewd or Lascivious Molestation: Definition and Penalties in Tampa, FL
Lewd or lascivious molestation is simply Florida’s label for child molestation. Under this statute, it is a crime for an offender to touch the breasts, genitals, genital area or buttocks of a child younger than 16 in a lewd or lascivious manner, whether directly or through clothing, or to force the child 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.” The severity of the crime and the severity of the penalties depends on the age of the child and age of the offender. If the child is younger than 12 and the offender is 18 or older, lewd or lascivious molestation is a life felony and carries a maximum penalty of life in prison. In that case, a mandatory minimum sentence of four years applies. 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 and 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, lewd or lascivious molestation is a third-degree felony with a maximum penalty of five years.
Lewd or Lascivious Molestation: Lewd or Lascivious Conduct, Statutory Rape and Child Rape in Tampa, FL
Florida law also outlaws other sexual activity with minors. It is lewd or lascivious conduct to intentionally touch a child younger than 16 in an area other than the breasts, genitals, genital area or buttocks in a lewd or lascivious manner, or to solicit a child younger than 16 to commit a lewd or lascivious act. This 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 battery, one of two types of statutory rape in Florida, occurs when an offender engages in sexual activity with a child between the ages of 12 and 16. This is a second-degree felony with a minimum sentence of nearly three years and a maximum of 15 years. Unlawful sexual activity with minors, the state’s other type of statutory rape, occurs when an adult 24 or older has sex with a teenager aged 16 or 17. This is also a second-degree felony and carries a maximum penalty of 15 years. Child rape, meanwhile, covers sexual activity involving children younger than 12. If the offender is an adult, the crime is a capital felony with only two possible penalties: death or life in prison without the possibility of parole. If the offender is younger than 18, the crime is a life felony punishable by a minimum sentence of four years and a maximum of life in prison.