Please Note: Izquerido Law Firm remains open and available to serve you and meet your criminal defense, DUI defense and Federal Crimes attorney needs during the COVID-19 crisis. We can meet with clients, existing or new, in person, over the phone or with your preferred video-chat application. Please call our office at 305-707-7345 to discuss your options.

What is the difference between rape and sexual battery in Florida?

Miami Sex Crimes Defense Attorney Izquierdo Law FirmThese terms can be used interchangeably by accusers, police officers, and even lawyers. However, in an official legal context, you will not see the word “rape” used in Florida. While your accuser and even the law enforcement officers you deal with may use the term, the legal charge will be sexual battery. We take a look at this charge and why you need to hire a criminal defense attorney to defend you if you are accused of sexual battery.

What Falls Under a Sexual Battery Criminal Charge?

To answer this question, it is necessary to use the language as it appears in the state statute, which is necessarily graphic. In Florida, sexual battery is defined as “oral, anal, or vaginal penetration by, or union with, the sexual organ of another or…by any other object, without the other party's consent or capacity to provide consent.” In other states, and under federal law, the term for this crime is rape. Make no mistake; if you are charged with sexual battery in Florida, that means you are being charged with rape, and you will face serious penalties. This is a felony offense and should be taken seriously. If convicted of sexual battery, you face:

  • Life in prison without parole or the death penalty if you are over 18 and the victim is under 12
  • 30 years to life in prison if you are under 18 and the victim is under 12
  • Up to 15 years in prison if the victim is 12 or older
  • Up to 30 years in prison if the victim is 12 or older, and the crime included threats or coercive acts, or the victim was physically incapacitated
  • 30 years to life in prison if you used a deadly weapon or physical force likely to cause serious bodily injury
  • Anyone convicted of sexual battery in Florida will be required to register as a sex offender.

A possible defense to a sexual battery charge is to argue that the accuser provided consent. Under the statute, consent is defined as “intelligent, knowing, and voluntary, and does not include coerced submission. ‘Consent’ shall not be deemed or construed to mean the failure by the alleged victim to offer physical resistance to the offender.” If you believe you had consensual sex with a partner who later accuses you of sexual battery, you will need an experienced sex crimes defense attorney to make this argument in court.

Do You Find Yourself In Need Of A Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer?

If you've recently found yourself in need of an experienced criminal defense attorney in Miami you should contact me as soon as possible. Please feel free to contact me online or to call my Coral Gables office directly at 305.707.7345. You can also request my free book "The Ultimate Guide To Fighting Criminal Charges In Florida", a detailed download discussing the myths, rumors and hearsay often associated with criminal charges, what to expect from your criminal court proceedings and important steps you must take to battle your charges.

 

Daniel Izquierdo
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Coral Gables defense lawyer helping clients accused of Federal Crimes, DUI, Domestic Violence & Sex Crimes.