Lewd and Lascivious Charges

Certain sexual crimes in Florida involving minors under the age of 16 are classified as lewd or lascivious crimes. It can include specific sexual conduct, molestation and unlawful sexual activity. These crimes carry serious penalties and mutual consent isn’t a defense to the crime.

Accusations of a lewd and lascivious crime are extremely detrimental. You could be charged with a crime and face a felony. If convicted, you could be sentenced to years in prison and to pay fines that are thousands and thousands of dollars. To avoid these penalties, it’s highly recommended you seek an experienced criminal defense attorney.

Attorney for Lewd & Lascivious Crimes in Ft. Lauderdale, FL

Lewd and lascivious crimes are associated with harsh penalties and carry a lifetime of consequences. It can cause you to lose your career, miss housing opportunities and be sentenced to years in prison. We suggest you hire a skilled criminal defense attorney to represent you.

One great option is to contact Meltzer & Bell. Our skilled attorneys understand the complexities behind these cases. That is why we want to provide any resources we can and represent you the very best of our ability. Call us now at (754) 755-8554 to set up your first consultation free today.

Meltzer & Bell represents people throughout the greater Broward County area including Fort Lauderdale, Pompano Beach, Hollywood, Davie, Miramar, and Coral Springs.

Overview of Lewd & Lascivious Crimes in Florida


Types of Lewd or Lascivious Crimes in Florida

Unlawful sexual activity that doesn’t meet the bar of sexual battery can be classified as a lewd or lascivious crime. Normally, a lewd and lascivious offense involves a person under the age of 16. Even if the act is consensual, the defendant can still be charged with an offense. The following are lewd or lascivious listed under the Florida Statutes.

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Lewd or Lascivious Battery

Having sexual activity with a child between the ages of 12 and 15 is considered lewd or lascivious battery. The term “sexual activity” refers to the penetration of the anus, vagina, or oral regions of another person using an object or someone’s sexual organs. Encouraging, forcing or enticing another person under the age of 16 into sexual activity is also considered to be lewd or lascivious battery under the law.

In Florida, lewd or lascivious battery is charged as a second-degree felony. It’s punishable by up to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. The charge can be elevated to a first-degree felony if you have a prior sex offense conviction. A first-degree felony can result in up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

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Lewd or Lascivious Molestation

You can also be charged with a lewd and lascivious crime without having sexual activity. Intentionally touching a person under the age of 16 in a sexual manner such as on the breasts, genitals, genital area, buttocks or clothing covering any of those specified areas. It’s also a crime to entice, encourage or force another person under 16 years old to sexually molest you.

The penalties for this offense depend o the ages of the accused and the victim. If the victim is between the ages of 12 and fifteen and you’re a minor, then you’ll face a third-degree felony. The consequences for a third-degree felony include up to five years in prison and a maximum fine of up to $5,000.

Those who are over the age of 18 with a victim between 12 and 15 years old will face a second-degree felony. The penalties for a second-degree felony include up to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. If you have a prior lewd or lascivious offense conviction, then you’ll face a first-degree felony, which is up to 30 years imprisonment and a $10,000 fine.

If you are under 18 years old and the victim was under the age of 12, then you’ll be charged with a second-degree felony, which is punishable by up to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. Being over the age of 18 with a victim under the age of 12 will result in a life felony. A life felony is one of the highest level of offense and can mean life in prison and a $15,000 fine.

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Lewd or Lascivious Conduct

Intentionally touching someone under the age of 18 in a sexual manner or soliciting them to commit a sexual act is referred to as lewd or lascivious conduct. If you are over the age of 18, then you’ll face a second-degree felony. You will be sentenced to up to 15 years in prison and pay a $10,000 fine. If you are under 18 years old, then it will be reduced to a third-degree felony. Instead you will face up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.

You can also be charged with lewd or lascivious conduct for using an electronic device. Soliciting a person under the age of 18 to commit a lewd or lascivious act over the computer, phone or any other electronic communication device can land you with a criminal charge. It’s also considered lewd or lascivious conduct if you feature a minor who you have familial or custodial authority over online acting in a sexual manner.

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Lewd or Lascivious Exhibition

Displaying or performing sexual activity in front of a child under the age of 16 is criminalized as lewd or lascivious exhibition. You can be convicted of lewd or lascivious exhibition if you do any of the following in the presence of a child under the age of 16 years old.

  • Masturbate;
  • Expose genitals sexually; or
  • Commit any sexual act that didn’t involve physical or sexual contact with the victim

If you are under the age of 18 during the commission of the crime, you’ll be charged with a third-degree felony. The judge can sentence you to a maximum of five years in prison and order you to pay a $5,000 fine. However, if you weren’t a minor during the offense you’ll be charged with a second-degree felony. This can result in up to 15 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.


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Sex Offender Registration as a Penalty

Conviction for any of the crimes above will also require you to register as a sex offender. Depending on the circumstances of the crime, you could be required to annually register as a sex offender for the remainder of your life. You must update your records with law enforcement and have your public information including a photo feature on the sex offender registry in Florida.

Many sex offenders have issues in the future when it comes to their personal and professional goals. Since your status is now public record, the general public can access information about the offense. A simple background check can easily identify you as a sex offender to employers and future housing opportunities. You may even be required to notify the community of your status every time you move to a new residence.


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Additional Resources

Florida’s Lewd and Lascivious Crime Statute – Visit the official website for Florida’s Statutes to learn more about lewd and lascivious offenses. Access the site to read more on the crime’s penalties, admissible defenses and other related crimes.

Florida’s Public Sex Offender Registry – Visit the official website for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) and learn more about the sex offender registry in Florida. Access the site to find sexual offenders and predator by first and/or last name.


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Lewd & Lascivious Defense Attorney in Broward County, FL

If your or someone you know has been arrested for a lewd and lascivious crime, then it’s imperative you seek some sort of legal representation. Hiring an attorney can significantly increase the chances of your charges being reduced or dismissed. Find out more by contacting the skilled attorney at Meltzer & Bell.

Set up your first free consultation by contacting us at (754) 755-8554 or simply filling out an online contact form. During our appointment, our legal team will discuss strategies for your case and the possible routes it could take. Meltzer & Bell accepts clients throughout the greater Fort Lauderdale area including Pembroke Pines, Hollywood, and Coral Springs.


This article was last updated on September 4, 2019.

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