Date Rape Charges in Florida

Date rape is a common variation of sexual battery and is a serious felony offense. Date rape charges can completely change the direction of your life. If convicted, you can face imprisonment, fines, loss of privileges, and a lifetime label of a sex offender.

Date rape charges often fall on high school and college students, although anyone is subject to them. At Goldman Wetzel, we have represented clients accused of date rape after using Tinder and other hook-up/dating apps. If you have recently been accused of or arrested for date rape in St. Petersburg, call Goldman Wetzel at 727-828-3900 to discuss your case with a criminal defense lawyer today.

What constitutes date rape?

Florida law refers to rape as sexual battery; as a Level 8 offense severity ranking under Florida’s Criminal Punishment Code, rape/sexual battery is a second-degree felony.

Per Florida Statute § 794.011(1)(h), sexual battery is any “oral, anal, or vaginal penetration by, or union with, the sexual organ of another or the anal or vaginal penetration of another by any other object.”

The term “date rape” is not in the Florida Statutes. Rather, it is a more colloquial term that refers to sexual battery that occurs when the victim was in a romantic relationship (or a potentially romantic relationship) with the defendant. It is a form of “acquaintance rape.”

When it comes to sexual battery charges, the relationship between the victim and defendant has no real bearing on the severity of the offense. It does not matter if you knew the victim, if she was a friend, long-time girlfriend, or stranger — the charge will be the same: sexual battery.

What are the potential penalties for date rape charges in Florida?

Several factors influence the penalties that a defendant will face for sexual battery charges, including the age of the offender, the age of the victim, and any aggravating circumstances.

As a second degree felony, a basic conviction of sexual battery can mean 15 years prison time, 15 years of probation, and a $10,000 fine. Even mere allegations can affect your personal and private reputation, limit your job opportunities, and result in sanctions at college.

And if any of the following extenuating and aggravated circumstances are involved, the penalties will be higher:

  • The use of a deadly weapon
  • A victim who was a minor
  • A victim who was mentally or physically incapacitated
  • The presence of rohypnol (roofies) or GHB
  • Use of violence
  • The defendant is a law enforcement or correctional officer or other person in position of authority

How can Goldman Wetzel help me defend against date rape charges?

Date rape charges often boil down to one person’s word against the other. The most common defense is that the victim voluntarily consented to the sexual act. We will examine your case to determine any other potential defenses to your charges.

If you have been accused of date rape in the St. Petersburg area, call a criminal defense lawyer for rape charges at Goldman Wetzel to start working on your defense straightaway: 727-828-3900.

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