Florida Laws and Penalties Resulting from Rape Charges

Posted on October 4, 2012 in: Rape Sex Crimes

Facing a rape charge? Miami criminal defense attorneys should be consulted immediately. This is a serious charge with severe penalties.

Florida Law in a Rape Charge

The prosecutor must establish that the accused engaged in vaginal, oral, or anal penetration using a sexual organ or other object with the victim, or that there was a union of the accused person’s sexual organ with the vagina, mouth, or anus of the victim.

Concerning victims under 12 years old, proof of lack of consent is not required. If the victim is 12 years old or older, it must be proven that the act was involuntary. In the state of Florida, resistance does not have to be proven. Even if the victim did not protest or fight back, if he or she did not give consent, it is considered rape.

The only possible defense that could be used in a rape charge is that the victim consented to the act. Of course, the potential to be charged with statutory rape may still exist even if consent was given.

For instance, an individual who is over the age of 24 is accused of having sexual intercourse with an individual who is 16 years old. Even if the victim is found to have given consent, the adult can still be charged with statutory rape. An individual who is 16 or 17 years old may consent with another individual who is no more than 24 years old.

In the state of Florida, the accused cannot use certain defenses. For instance, if the victim was already sexually active, this cannot be used as a defense. Not knowing the victim’s age or mistaking the victim’s age may not be used as a defense, either.

Penalties for a Rape Charge in Florida

The penalties will depend on the age of the victim and of the accused, as well as the injuries sustained by the victim. If any weapons were used, this may also affect the penalty.

Any individual over the age of 18 who rapes an individual under the age of 12 faces a capital felony. The penalties could include life imprisonment without parole, or even the death penalty. If the accused is under the age of 18 and the victim is under 12 years old, the sentence could be a minimum of 30 years in jail or life imprisonment.

At a minimum, if the victim is over the age of 12, the accused will be charged with a second-degree felony. This could result in a sentence of up to 15 years. However, this could be increased to a first-degree felony depending on the circumstances. In that case, there is the possibility of facing up to 30 years imprisonment.

When a deadly weapon is used in a rape, or if injuries are caused by physical force, the defendant may face life imprisonment for what can be considered a life felony.

Contact South Florida Criminal Defense Attorney

If facing rape charges, contact a Miami criminal defense attorney at Falk & Ross to better understand the charges against you and the potential penalties, and to go over your defense. Call today at 877-663-5110 or 305-741-6997.

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