Sexual Assault Charges in Pinellas County
Sexual assault is one of the most damaging crimes for a victim. It can haunt them for years and years. It damages the victim not only physically, but mentally and emotionally. Unfortunately, many sexual assault cases go unnoticed. The state of Florida has been trying harder than ever to crack down on this crime, in some cases, handing out life sentences. In the state of Florida, sexual assault is also known as sexual battery; and it is a felony offense.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, in 2016, the sexual assault rates in the state of Florida increased 6.1 percent. This is a growing issue in our state. If you have been accused of sexual assault, you will need to speak with a sexual assault defense attorney immediately. Pinellas Criminal Defense has years of experience defending the accused in a sexual assault case. Our team of sexual assault lawyers will complete a thorough investigation and develop and execute a strategy that will get you the verdict you deserve.
Sexual Battery “Rape” In Florida
According to Florida law, sexual battery “rape” is defined as oral, anal, or vaginal penetration, or union with the sexual organ of another, or anal or vaginal penetration of another by any object. This section of the law also mentions a number of alternate offenses that follow a similar idea and penalty; they are:
- Sexual battery against a victim under 12 years of age, during which, the sexual organs of the victim are injured. — Life felony
- The offender is under 18, victim under 12 years of age, during which, the sexual organs are injured. — Life felony
- Sexual battery against a victim 12 years of age or older without consent, by means of physical force likely to cause serious injury, or threats to use a weapon. — Life felony
- Sexual battery against a victim 12 years of age or older when the victim is helpless to resist or by means of threats of force, violence, or retaliation. — First degree felony
- Sexual battery against a victim 12 years of age or older when the offender, without knowledge or consent from the victim, administers or has knowledge tha someone else has administered to the victim any narcotic, anesthetic, or other intoxicating substance that incapacitates the victim. — First degree felony
- Sexual battery against a victim 12 years old or older that is physically incapacitated. — Life felony
- Sexual battery against a victim 12 years of age or older, without the person’s consent and without the use of force, violence, or threats . — Second degree felony
What is the Penalty for Sexual Assault in Florida?
For felonies in Florida the penalties are long and harsh. If you receive a life felony penalty, you may serve 30 years to life in prison and a maximum fine of $15,000. If you receive a first degree penalty, you may serve up to 30 years in prison and a maximum fine of $10,000. If you receive a second degree penalty, you may serve up to 15 years in prison and a maximum fine of $10,000.
In the state of Florida, statutory rape is when an individual 24 years of age or older engages in a sexual relationship with a partner 16 or 17 years of age. The crime of statutory rape is considered a second degree offense; therefore, it is punishable by up to 15 years in prison and maximum fine of up to $10,000. The offender is unable to use prior ssexual encounters as a defense for their actions.
Defense to Sexual Assault Charges
Sexual assault is one of the harder felonies to prove. There are an abundance of factors that weigh into a sexual assault case. The attorneys at Pinellas Criminal Defense will develop a plan around factors like:
- Consent or no consent
- In some cases, the original encounter may be consensual, but one party may regret their actions later and claim that they never gave consent.
- Identification of the perpetrator
- Sexual battery often occurs at night or in a dark, secluded area. This can lead to confusion and a general description of the perpetrator. If you fit the general description, you may be arrested for a crime you did not commit.
- Other defenses
- Other general defenses can include improper police procedure coerced confessions, or evidence improperly obtained.
At Pinellas Criminal Defense our team of attorneys and professionals will use these strategies, in addition to others, to defend you in a sexual assault case. If you are a resident of Florida and have been accused of sexual battery, contact our office today.
Contact a Sexual Assault Attorney in Florida
At Pinellas Criminal Law, we know that if you are facing felony charges for sexual assault charges, there is a lot at stake. A sexual assault conviction can have life-altering effects including imprisonment, a fine, and mandatory sex offender registration.
Pinellas Criminal Law has a proven track record defending the accused in a sexual assault case. If you have been accused of sexual assault in the state of Florida, contact our office today. Regardless of your situation, we will create and execute a plan to get you the verdict you deserve.