Sexual battery is a term that encompasses many different forms of rape in Bradenton and elsewhere in Florida. According to RAINN, there are 321,500 victims of rape and sexual assault each year across the country. Most sex crime victims are under age 30. 90% of adult rape victims are female, as are 82% of victims who are underage. If you are charged with sexual battery, you may be confused by the charges. Perhaps you did not think that the sex was non-consensual, or you did not think that what happened was serious. Still, you must take sexual battery charges seriously and retain a Bradenton sexual battery lawyer to defend you. You can be required to register as a sex offender for the rest of your life if you are convicted.Sexual Battery Laws and Penalties
Under Florida Statutes section 794.011, a prosecutor can obtain a conviction for sexual battery if they show that you: (1) non-consensually (2) used anal, vaginal, or oral contact on someone else (3) with a sex organ or object. For example, if you had sex with a person who did not consent, you could be charged with sexual battery. Sexual battery is a second-degree felony, which means that if convicted, you face the possibility of up to 15 years’ imprisonment or sex offender probation, as well as $10,000 in fines.
You may be charged with aggravated sexual battery when there are aggravating factors involved. Aggravating factors include:
- The victim was not able to physically resist you;
- You coerced the victim with threats of force that were likely to seriously injure them, and the victim reasonably believed that you had the ability to execute those threats;
- You drugged the victim so that they were physically incapacitated;
- You exploited the victim's known mental defect to have non-consensual sex;
- The victim was physically incapacitated; or
- You were a law enforcement officer or governmental authority or otherwise in a position of control at the time that you committed sexual battery.
Another circumstance in which you will want to make sure to retain a sexual battery attorney in Bradenton is when the victim was a child under the age of 12. This is a capital felony charge if you are an adult, whereas if you are under age 18, this is a life felony, which carries the potential of 30 years to life in prison. Another very serious circumstance is sexual battery involving a deadly weapon. If the victim was over the age of 12, this is a life felony, carrying the potential of 30 years to life in prison. For example, if you threatened to kill a 15-year-old while holding a gun and forcing her to have sex with you, this could result in a sentence of life in prison.
If you are convicted of sexual battery, you will need to register as a sex offender for the rest of your life. Florida is considered to have some of the toughest rules regarding sex offender registration. All sex offender registration information is public. Under certain circumstances, however, it may be possible for a Bradenton sexual battery attorney to help you get this requirement removed. It can be removed, for example, if you receive a full pardon or if you qualify under the Romeo and Juliet law, which applies to a narrow range of cases.
It is best not to be charged with sexual battery at all. The earlier that we get involved, the sooner that we may be able to provide your version of events to the prosecutor. If we can show the prosecutor that it will not be possible to establish the element of "non-consensual" sex beyond a reasonable doubt, for example, it may be possible to persuade the prosecutor not to file charges. In other cases, it may be possible to negotiate a plea for a lesser crime, such as child abuse. Alternatively, it may be possible to take the case to trial and show that the victim is not credible.Consult a Sexual Battery Lawyer in the Bradenton Area
Sexual battery is a crime that is taken seriously by Florida prosecutors. Whether or not you think that you committed sexual battery, it is important to consult a skillful trial attorney as soon as possible after you realize that you are being investigated. You do not want to inadvertently give a prosecutor evidence to build a case against you. Will Hanlon has provided strong legal representation to people accused of crimes such as rape since 1994. Call Hanlon Law at (941) 462-1789 or complete our online form.