In Florida, sexual battery “means 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.” Committing sexual battery upon another person without that person’s consent can result in rape charges. In St. Petersburg, Goldman Wetzel helps those facing these sex crime charges exercise their rights to defense. Call 727-828-3900 to start building your defense.
Possible Charges for Sexual Battery
The details of the crime determine the degree of felony that the defendant will face, as well as the possible sentence. The age of the victim and the age of the defendant can play a large role in the charges. The following are the charges defendants may face if they allegedly committed sexual battery without another person’s consent and did not use force or violence that is likely to cause serious injury. [FL Statutes 794.011(5)]
Defendant 18 or older, victim 12-17: First-degree felony
Defendant 18 or older; victim 18 or older: Second-degree felony
Defendant under 18; victim 12 or older: Second-degree felony
Further, a defendant regardless of age who commits sexual battery upon a person 12 or older could face first-degree felony charges if he or she has previous convictions for sexual battery, lewd and lascivious offenses, kidnapping, or child pornography.
If a person commits sexual battery without another’s consent and in the process “uses or threatens to use a deadly weapon or uses actual force likely to cause serious physical injury,” then that person faces life felony charges. [FL Statutes 794.011(3)]
Circumstances That Could Elevate Rape Charges
Below are several circumstances that could elevate charges to those of a first-degree felony. Additionally, if the defendant is 18 or older and the victim is 12 to 17, or if the defendant has previous convictions for sex-related offenses, the victim could face first-degree felony charges punishable by up to life imprisonment. [FL Statutes 794.011(4)]
- The victim is physically unable to resist;
- The defendant threatens force or violence and the victim believes the defendant capable of such force or violence;
- The defendant threatens to retaliate against the victim, who believes the defendant capable of such retaliation in the future;
- Without the victim’s consent or knowledge, the defendant administers (or knows someone else administered) a drug to mentally or physically incapacitate the victim;
- The victim is mentally incapable of consenting to sex and the defendant is aware of this;
- The victim is physically incapacitated; or
- The defendant is a law enforcement officer or leads the victim to believe that he or she is a law enforcement officer.
If you’re facing rape charges in St. Petersburg, Tampa, or Bradenton, retain an experienced criminal defense lawyer at Goldman Wetzel. We offer free initial consultations and can help you mount your defense. Contact us at 727-828-3900 or fill out our online contact form.