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Statutory Rape

Sex Crime Attorney Representing Defendants in the Bradenton Area

It is sadly common for adults to mistake a teenager to whom they are attracted as someone older. In some instances, minors obtain identification stating that they are older than they are for the purposes of engaging in adult activities, such as going to nightclubs. However, Florida laws protecting minors are harsh. You can be charged and convicted of statutory rape, even if you genuinely believed that a minor was an adult, since a minor cannot give meaningful consent to sex. In Florida, the age of consent is 18. If you are accused of having sex with someone under the age of 18, Bradenton statutory rape defense lawyer Will Hanlon can fight for your rights. He also can assist people charged with sexual battery or other sex crimes.

Fighting Allegations of Statutory Rape

In Florida, if the State becomes aware of a sexual relationship between a minor and an adult, the State can prosecute the adult if it has enough evidence to do so. These charges can be brought even when the minor and the minor’s parents do not want the adult to be prosecuted. If the court convicts an adult perpetrator of statutory rape, the result can be substantial prison time and the requirement of registering as a sex offender.

Statutory rape may be charged as sexual battery or as lewd or lascivious battery, which is a type of lewd or lascivious crime. It can also be charged as unlawful sexual activity with certain minors. There are certain provisions of the law that permit sexual conduct between people of certain ages, while disallowing sexual conduct between people of other ages. A statutory rape defense attorney in the Bradenton area can explain these nuances to you. Under Florida Statute section 794.05, sexual activity between someone who is 24 or older and someone who is 16 or 17 can result in the older person facing second-degree felony charges. Under Florida Statute 800.04, anybody who is over 18 is committing a second-degree felony when they have any sort of sexual conduct with a person who is 12-16 years old.

There are also other charges that may take the place of or accompany statutory rape charges. When a minor is impregnated due to statutory rape, the adult can also be charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor. If you filmed or photographed an interaction with the minor, you may face a child pornography charge.

Sometimes a statutory rape conviction can result in a requirement that the adult register as a sex offender. People who fail to register when required to do so can face additional criminal charges. However, there are certain situations in which a Bradenton statutory rape defense attorney can help you request the removal of the requirement that you register as a sex offender, such as the Romeo and Juliet exception. This allows you to remove this requirement in a situation in which the victim was 14-17, and you were older than the victim by at most 4 years. For example, if you were charged with statutory rape of a 15-year-old when you were a 16-year-old, even though the sex seemed to both of you then to be consensual, you may be able to get the registration requirement removed.

Unlike with other rape charges, you cannot defend against statutory rape charges by claiming that the minor consented. Minors are considered legally unable to provide consent for sexual activities. However, like other charges, statutory rape must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. In some cases, we may be able to raise a reasonable doubt as to one or more elements of the charge. Certain witnesses may not be credible. There may also be issues that can be raised in connection with medical evidence.

Consult an Experienced Statutory Rape Defense Lawyer in Bradenton

Statutory rape is a charge that is aggressively pursued in and around Bradenton. Many people are surprised to learn that ignorance of the victim's true age is not a defense. You cannot even raise this defense if a minor tricked you about his or her age. This is one reason why it is so important to seek counsel. If you believe that you are being investigated, you should consult a skillful trial attorney as soon as possible. Will Hanlon has provided strong legal representation to people accused of sex crimes since 1994. Contact Hanlon Law at 941.253.0254 or via our online form.

Client Reviews
★★★★★
As a practicing attorney, I was shocked to hear that a family member of mine was alleged to have committed a sex crime. Knowing full well the consequences this type of allegation can have on anyone and their future, I immediately reached out to William Hanlon for help. I had every confidence that Mr. Hanlon had the knowledge, expertise, and experience to handle this problem. Approximately 4 weeks from an initial conference with Mr. Hanlon, we received a call with the news that a letter of release was being issued and the case was being dropped. Now my family member can finally exhale, take a deep breath, and go on with his life. Thank you, William! Jerry
★★★★★
Was on the ball. Remembered names, events, places, situations. Never need to re explain the situation. Keeps in touch through out the entire experience and keeps you feeling safe, comforted and protected. Fights hard. Worth every single penny. Would never settle for anything less than Will. Carrie
★★★★★
I was facing a charge that if convicted would carry two years in prison minimally. Not only was he empathetic and listening to what I had to say but he arranged with the prosecutor for my charges not to be filed under terms of a pre trial investigation. Would highly recommend. Alec
★★★★★
I am very happy for what he did for me. Always there when I needed him. Explained everything well. He Fights for his clients. He got me what I needed. Hes an excellent lawyer. Mutaz
★★★★★
Mr. Hanlon did what no other lawyer could do. Not only did he turn my criminal history into a thing of the past so I could move on, he was a loyal associate. No matter how bad the situation is, he has miraculously cleared me on every charge since he became my lawyer 5 years ago. I have the best lawyer that the legal system has to offer. I have had other really good lawyers try to get my business, but I know that no one can do a better job than William Hanlon. Jesse