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Sexual Offenses Against Students by Authority Figures

Florida legislators have implemented laws designed to protect underaged students from being sexually coerced or taken advantage of by authority figures. These laws have made committing a sexual act against a student as an authority figure an incredibly serious crime with life-long penalties. If convicted, you could be facing expensive fines and even possible incarceration.

It’s important to understand that the penalties for committing a sexual crime against a student as an authority figure extends past fines and incarceration. A conviction will mean you will never be able to retain another education or childcare-related position because your criminal record involves child sex offenses. In addition, you could face numerous issues applying for housing, loans, or getting admitted into an academic university.

If you or someone you know has been charged with a sexual offense against a student as an authority figure, then it’s imperative you seek legal representation.

Fort Lauderdale Attorney for Sexual Offenses Against Students by Authority Figures

Have you or someone you know been charged or accused of committing a sexual crime against a student as an authority figure? If so, it’s within your best interest to gain experienced legal representation as soon as possible. Having a sex crimes conviction on your record could uproot your educational career and destroy your livelihood. Gain trusted and skilled legal counsel by calling the attorneys at Meltzer & Bell.

The attorneys at Meltzer & Bell have been practicing for decades collectively. We want to use our resources, skills and prior experience for your legal defense. Call us now at (754) 755-8554 to set up your first consultation free. Meltzer & Bell accepts clients throughout the greater Broward County area including Fort Lauderdale, Pembroke Pines, Pompano Beach and Plantation.

Overview of Sex Crimes at Students by Authority Figures in FL


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Sexual Offenses Against Students by Authority Figures Under FL Law

It’s an unfortunate truth that most child sexual predators commit crimes within the home or at their work. This means that many predators assimilate themselves into the school system so they can have access to children easily. To deter sexual abuse cases within the school system, Florida has implemented harsh penalties for sexual crimes committed against students by authority figures in a school.

“Authority figure” is defined under the Florida Statutes Section 775.0862 as any person who is 18 years old or older and is employed by, volunteering at, or under contract at a school for minors. A few examples of authority figures as defined under Florida law include the following:

  • Vice principals;
  • Teachers;
  • Assistant teachers;
  • ESL teachers and assistants;
  • Principals;
  • Office administration;
  • School nurses;
  • Construction workers at the school;
  • Student resource officers;
  • Guidance counselors;
  • Coaches;
  • Custodians;
  • Volunteer coaches;
  • Cafeteria workers;
  • School librarians;
  • School bus drivers
  • Field trip volunteers; and
  • PTSA members.

It’s important to understand that “school” can include both private and public schools in Florida. It also includes voluntary pre-kindergarten education programs (pre-K), the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind as well as the Florida Virtual School. However, it doesn’t apply to any educational facility that exclusively teaches adults such as community college, an academic university or a trade school. The charges only apply to schools that teach any person younger than the age of 18 years old.


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Penalties for Committing Sex Crimes Against Students by Authority Figures

Committing a sex crime against a student as an authority figure comes with life-altering consequences. Florida laws enhance the penalties for sex crimes against students by authority figures due to the power the figure has over the minor in a school setting. The purpose of these penalties is to deter predators from preying on children through the school system.

A conviction for a sexual offense against a student as an authority figure will mean your crime will be reclassified by one felony degree. This means that your penalties will be enhanced dramatically. For example, if you were convicted of internet solicitation of a child, then you would be facing a third-degree felony. Now, if you were an authority figure and the victim was a student, then your crime will be elevated to a second-degree felony.  The court reclassified your crime up by one felony degree level because you manipulated your position to prey on minors.


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Additional Resources

Childhelp – Visit the official website for Childhelp, a non-profit and non-partisan organization dedicated to helping child sexual abuse survivors and those still suffering. Access the site to reas survivor stories, statistics for child abuse in the U.S., and how to help the organization.

FL Laws for Sexual Offenses Against Students by Authority Figures – Visit the official website of the updated Florida Statutes to read the laws and penalties for sexual crimes against students by authority figures. Access the law to learn the elements of the crime, penalties for video voyeurism or sexual battery to students by authority figures, and other related crimes.


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Lawyer for Offenses Against Students by Authority Figures in Broward County, FL

If you or someone you know has been accused of committing a sex offense against a student as an authority figure, then it’s imperative you seek experienced legal counsel. Our attorneys at Meltzer & Bell have been practicing for over twenty years and understand the Florida court system thoroughly. Call us to set up a formidable defense against your charges.

You can reach us at (754) 755-8554 and we will set up your first consultation absolutely free. Meltzer & Bell has clients throughout the greater Broward County area including Fort Lauderdale, Pompano Beach, Hollywood and Pembroke Pines.


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