A charge of sexual battery in Florida against a victim older than 12 years where a weapon or actual physical force was not used can be charged as a felony of the 1st or 2nd degree depending on several factors. You will need the help of an experienced Miami criminal defense attorney to assess your case and help you prove that you should not be hit with the maximum punishments for your charges.
Charges of sexual batter in Florida will result in a 1st degree felony if the crime falls into any of these circumstances:
- the victim was physically helpless to resist;
- you threatened to use force or violence;
- you threatened to retaliate in any other way;
- you administered an intoxicating substance to the victim or had knowledge of someone else doing so;
- the victim was mentally impaired;
- the victim was physically impaired; or
- you are considered to have been in a position of authority or control over the victim (police officer, government official, etc.)
If your charges do not fall into these specific categories you will face charges of a 2nd degree felony.
If you are in a position of familial or custodial authority to a victim under the age of 18 and you solicit them to engage in any act considered sexual battery in Florida regardless of willingness or consent, you can be found guilty of a 3rd degree felony. If the victim is under the age of 12 the penalty increases to a 1st degree felony.
The consequences you face for sexual battery in Florida are largely dependent on the evidence used against you in court. You will have the best shot at reducing or dropping these charges when you work with an experienced Miami criminal defense attorney.
Contacting a Miami Criminal Defense Attorney
You are entitled to know all your legal rights before being prosecuted for any suspected criminal activity – including your right to legal representation. If you are facing criminal charges in South Florida, your legal team is your best defense. Contact the South Florida criminal defense team at Falk & Ross to discuss your case – 877-663-5110.