Committing an Unnatural and Lascivious Act

Florida has stringent laws to ensure people who act defiantly in a sexual manner are prosecuted. These are often referred to as unnatural and lascivious acts under Florida Statute Section 800.02. The statute is vague and can incorporate several types of sex crimes.

In the past, the unnatural and lascivious act statute was used to prosecute people for acts that were considered unnatural such as homosexuality. Now it’s used to charge people for lesser sex crimes such as engaging in sexual activity in a park or engaging in bestiality. If you or someone you know has been charged with committing an unnatural and lascivious act, then it’s important you have an experienced defense attorney on your side.

Attorney for Unnatural and Lascivious Acts in Fort Lauderdale, FL

If you or someone you know has been charged with committing an unnatural and lascivious act, then we recommend you get in contact with an attorney. Although it’s often a lesser sex crime, the penalties for unnatural and lascivious acts are nothing to laugh about. You could spend months in jail and be required to pay expensive fines.

Contact Meltzer & Bell if you need a skilled attorney. Our legal team approach clients with compassion but take charge in a courtroom. We can support you while representing your rights in a court of law. Don’t wait another day to call (754) 755-8554. We will set up an appointment and discuss strategies for moving forward.

Overview of Unnatural and Lascivious Acts in Florida


What is an Unnatural and Lascivious Act in Florida?

Florida law isn’t incredibly specific on what an unnatural and lascivious act is. In fact, the statute itself for the crime is no longer than three sentences. However, Florida’s standard jury instructions state the term “unnatural” means that the behavior was not in accordance with nature. The term “lascivious” is defined as being lustful or trying to excite desire for a personal sexual satisfaction.

In this context, the terms refer to an unlawful indulgence in some type of lust that is considered to be wicked, unchaste, and licentious by reasonable people. Therefore, there are various crimes that fall under unnatural and lascivious acts. It is often considered a lesser offense to other crimes such as lewd or lascivious battery, molestation or indecent exposure.


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Plea Deals for Unnatural and Lascivious Acts

Florida initially implemented the unnatural and lascivious act statute to punish people from engaging in homosexual anal or oral sex. Now, the crime is likely used as a negotiating tool for plea deals. Since it’s a lesser offense, the prosecution will often offer a necessarily included offense plea deal or a permissibly included offense plea deal.

The difference is necessarily included offense are always committed when a person commits a crime and a permissible included offense is sometimes committed alongside the other charges. The prosecutor may offer a plea deal that only includes the penalties for the lesser offense.

Accepting a plea deal can be the best option depending on what your other charges are. Especially for lewd and lascivious crimes, which are usually felony-level offenses. An unnatural and lascivious act is only charged as a misdemeanor, so your penalties will be less harsh.

The following are some crimes where committing an unnatural and lascivious act may be included as a lesser offense.

  • Exposing your genitals in a vulgar or indecent manner;
  • Lewd or lascivious molestation;
  • Lewd or lascivious conduct;
  • Lewd or lascivious battery;
  • Lewd or lascivious assault;
  • Lewd or lascivious assault in front of a child;
  • Lewd or lascivious exhibition in front of a child;
  • Lewd or lascivious crimes committed in front of an elderly or disabled adult

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Penalties for Unnatural and Lascivious Acts in Florida

The consequences surrounding unnatural and lascivious acts may not be as severe as other sex crimes, but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take them seriously. A conviction for an unnatural and lascivious act can result in a second-degree misdemeanor. The statutory penalties for a second-degree misdemeanor include:

  • Up to 60 days in jail; and
  • A fine of up to $500

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Additional Resources

RAINN – Visit the official website for RAINN, the Rape Abuse and Incest National Network to learn more about statistics surrounding sexual violence and crime. Access the site to read resources, survivors stories and gain access to their national help hotline.

Florida’s Unnatural or Lascivious Act Laws – Visit the official website for Florida’s Laws and Legislation to learn more about the unnatural and lascivious act statute. Access the site to learn more about the charges, penalties and other related sex offenses.


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Unnatural and Lascivious Act Defense Lawyer in Broward County, FL

Have you been accused of a sex crime including an unnatural and lascivious act? Are you unsure what to do next? If so, contact the attorneys at Meltzer & Bell. We can battle for you and your rights in court to help you have your charges reduced or dismissed entirely.

Contact us now at (754) 755-8554 to learn more. Your first consultation is free, and we can discuss legal options for your charges moving forward. Meltzer & Bell accepts clients throughout the greater Broward County area including Fort Lauderdale, Coral Springs and Pompano Beach.


This article was last updated on September 4, 2019. 

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