Sexual Battery

One of the most serious crimes under Florida law is Sexual Battery (often called “rape”). The penalties for sexual battery come with severe and long-lasting penalties.

In fact, life imprisonment sentences are given to capital felonies which include sexual battery or attempted sexual battery when the victim is less than 12 and the offender is 18 or older (s. 794.011(2)(a), F.S.) and lewd molestation when the victim is under 12 and the offender is an adult (ss. 800.04(5)(b) and 775.082(3)(a)4.a., F.S.).

The evidence in these cases often boils down to one person’s word against another person’s word even though no physical evidence supports the accusation. False allegations for sexual battery are more common than you might expect. A person might make a false allegation for any number of reasons including to gain an advantage in a family law or custody case, spite, or because of mental illness.

Many parents are shocked to learn that even children can be accused of these acts in juvenile court. Recent statistics show that nearly one-third of sexual battery charges are brought against a juvenile under the age of 18 years old who is accused of molesting a younger child. Allegations of sexual battery in juvenile court are particularly common against boys between the age of 12 to 14.

Criminal charges are also particularly common during the first year of college. Local colleges throughout Broward County, Palm Beach County, and Miami-Dade County take quick action against any college student even when law enforcement officers decide there is not enough evidence to go forward with a prosecution.

Your criminal defense attorney will investigate the case to uncover any reasons that the alleged victim or the victim’s parents would make a false allegation of sexual battery or related criminal offenses involving violence. 


Criminal Defense Attorneys for Sexual Battery in Broward County, FL

If you were accused of sexual battery in Broward County, FL, then contact the experienced criminal defense attorneys at Meltzer & Bell, P.A.. With offices in Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach, our attorneys represent clients charged with serious sexually motivated crimes throughout Boward County and West Palm Beach, FL. 

We represent adults charged with this serious crime. We also represent students in middle school, high school and college after an accusation of battery involving sexual penetration. We are experienced in fighting these cases in adult court, juvenile court, and during disciplinary hearings. 

Call us today at Meltzer & Bell, P.A. for a free consultation to discuss your case. Call (954) 716-8538 today.


Florida's Definition of Sexual Battery

Under Florida Statute 794.011, the sexual battery involves the penetration of oral, anal, or vaginal of another person using their sexual organ or an object without the other person’s consent. Florida law provides for several different types of sexual battery including aggravated sexual battery.

Sexual Battery on a Person 12 Years Old or Older

Sexual battery is a first-degree felony. A first-degree felony is generally punishable by up to 30 years in state prison. The crime is ranked in Level 9 of the Criminal Punishment Code offense severity ranking chart for a person to commit sexual battery upon a person 12 years of age or older without that person’s consent under any of the following circumstances:

  • The victim is physically helpless to resist;
  • The offender coerces the victim to submit by threatening to use force or violence likely to cause serious personal injury on the victim, and the victim reasonably believes that the offender has the present ability to execute the threat;
  • The offender coerces the victim to submit by threatening to retaliate against the victim, or any other person, and the victim reasonably believes that the offender has the ability to execute the threat in the future;
  • The offender, without the prior knowledge or consent of the victim, administers or has knowledge of someone else administering to the victim any narcotic, anesthetic, or other intoxicating substance that mentally or physically incapacitates the victim;
  • The victim is mentally defective, and the offender has reason to believe this or has actual knowledge of this fact;
  • The victim is physically incapacitated; or
  • The offender is a certified law enforcement officer, correctional officer, or correctional probation officer or is an elected official exempt from such certification by virtue of s. 943.253, F.S., or any other person in a position of control or authority in a probation, community control, controlled release, detention, custodial, or similar setting, and the officer, official, or person is acting in such a manner as to lead the victim to reasonably believe that the offender is in a position of control or authority as an agent or employee of government.

Sexual Battery upon a Person 12 Years Old or Older without Consent

Under Section 794.011(5), F.S., it is a second-degree felony ranked in Level 8 of the Criminal Punishment Code for a person to commit sexual battery upon a person 12 years of age or older without that person’s consent if, in the process of committing the sexual battery, the offender does not use physical force and violence likely to cause serious personal injury.

Sexual Battery if the Offender is an Authority Figure

It is a first-degree felony ranked in Level 9 of the Criminal Punishment Code for a person who is in a position of familial or custodial authority of a person who is 12 years of age or older, but less than 18 years of age, to engage in any act with that person that constitutes sexual battery.

Lewd and Lascivious Battery in Florida

Under Section 794.011(8)(b), F.S., is is a second degree felony ranked in Level 8 of the Criminal Punishment Code for a person to commit lewd or lascivious battery by:

  • Engaging in sexual activity with a person 12 years of age or older but less than 16 years of age; or
  • Encouraging, forcing, or enticing any person less than 16 years of age to engage in sadomasochistic abuse, sexual bestiality, prostitution, or any other act involving sexual activity.
  • Encouraging, forcing, or enticing any person less than 16 years of age to engage in sadomasochistic abuse, sexual bestiality, prostitution, or any other act involving sexual activity. 

See Section 800.04(4), F.S.


Find Lawyers for Sexual Battery Crimes in Fort Lauderdale, FL

If you were charged with sexual battery or any form of aggravated sexual battery in Broward County, FL, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at Meltzer & Bell, P.A.. Our attorneys represent clients from our offices in Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. We fight cases in courtrooms throughout Broward County, Palm Beach County, and the surrounding areas.  

We represent clients charged with sexually motivated crimes under Florida law including lewd and lascivious battery or molestation, computer crimes against children, child pornography, computer pornography, traveling to meet a child for an unlawful act, and voyeurism.

Let us put our experience to work for you. Call (954) 716-8538 for a free consultation.


This article was last updated on Friday, October 28, 2016. 

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