Statutory Rape

Engaging in sexual activity with a person of a certain age can result in criminal charges. In Florida, committing statutory rape also known as unlawful sexual activity with a minor is a crime. Even if the person is close to your age, it’s possible you could still be charged for the offense. Consent is not a factor when charging a person for statutory rape.

If you or someone you know has been charged with statutory rape, it’s vital you have legal representation. Hiring an attorney can significantly increase your chances of reducing or dismissing your crimes. Don’t be idle when it comes to these charges and speak to an experienced defense lawyer today.

Attorney for Unlawful Sexual Activity with a Minor in Ft. Lauderdale, FL

The state will still prosecute you for having sexual activity with a minor even if you are in an established relationship or you’re near in age. Having sexual relations with persons of a certain age can result in serious penalties including incarceration. To avoid these penalties, we highly advise you obtain legal representation.

Visit the sex crimes attorneys at Meltzer & Bell to gain skilled legal counsel. Our defense lawyers understand how stressful these charges are and want to do whatever we can to assist you. Call us today at (754) 755-8554 to learn more about our practice. Meltzer & Bell accepts clients throughout the greater Fort Lauderdale area including Pompano Beach, Coral Springs, Davie, and Hollywood.

Overview of Statutory Rape in Florida


What is Statutory Rape under Florida Law?

It’s illegal to have sexual activity with minors of a certain age. According to Florida Statute Section 794.05, it’s a crime for someone of the age of 24 or older to engage in sexual activity with a person who is 16 or 17 years old. Florida defines sexual activity as any type of oral, anal, vaginal penetration by an object or the sexual organs of another person.

Florida has a “Romeo and Juliet” exemption that can exempt someone from being charged with unlawful sexual activity with minors. People who are between the ages of 18 and 23 can legally participate in sexual activity with a person who is 16 or 17 years old.


Back to top

Penalties for Statutory Rape in Florida

Unlawful sexual activity with a minor carries heavy penalties even if the act was consensual. Statutory rape is a second-degree felony and can result in

  • Up to 15 years in prison; and
  • Maximum fine of up to $10,000

In addition to the statutory penalties, you may be required to register as a sex offender. Retaining sex offender status can have a detrimental effect to your life. Employers and landlords can find out your status with a simple background check. Being registered as a sex offender has stopped people from completing their professional and personal goals.


Back to top

Lewd and Lascivious Battery Charges in Florida

Another crime closely related to statutory rape is lewd or lascivious battery. Lewd or lascivious battery is when an adult person over the age of 18 has sexual activity with a person between the ages of 12 and 16. Mutual consent cannot be used as a defense for this crime.

Lewd or lascivious battery also includes causing someone 16 and younger to take part in sexual acts. This can include sadomasochism (S&M), bestiality, prostitution and any other sexual activity. The crime is a second-degree felony, which can result in:

  • Up to 15 years in prison; and
  • A fine of up to $10,000

If you have a conviction for one of the following, you’ll be charged with a first-degree felony:

  • Kidnapping;
  • False imprisonment;
  • Sexual battery;
  • Lewd or lascivious act on an elderly person or disabled adult;
  • Possession or transmission of child pornography;
  • Traveling to meet a minor for sexual reasons; or
  • Kidnapping or false imprisonment of a minor and committed sexual battery or a lewd act during the commission of the crime

Back to top

Additional Resources

Legislating Teen Sex | Rewire News – Visit the official website for Rewire News, a non-profit daily news publication that hosts in-depth articles about legislation. Access the site to read about the need for effective statutory rape laws in the United States.

Florida’s Statutory Rape Laws – Visit the official website for the Florida Statutes and learn more about their statutory rape laws. Access the site to read the penalties for having unlawful sexual activity with certain minors as well as it’s elements and defenses that are barred from the court.


Back to top

Statutory Rape Defense Lawyer in Broward County, FL

Florida laws are not forgiving to those who have sex with minors of a certain age. It’s important you have trusted representation if you’ve been charged with statutory rape. To obtain experienced counsel, contact the attorneys at Meltzer & Bell. Our defense attorneys have the resources and skills needed to defend you.

Get in contact with us by calling (754) 755-8554 and your first consultation will be completely free. Our legal team practices throughout the Broward County area including Davie, Fort Lauderdale, Pompano Beach, Coral Springs and Pembroke Pines.


This article was last updated on September 4, 2019. 

(754) 755-8554
  1. Our Firm

  2. Practices
  3. Contact