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The crime of sexual battery is codified in § 794.011, Fla. Stat. 2022 and is defined in subsection (j) of that statute. Under the law, sexual battery occurs when a person penetrates the vagina, anus, or oral cavity of a victim with the person’s sexual organ or an object without consent. Under subsection (5)(b), when someone age 18 or older commits sexual battery against someone who is also 18 or older without physical force or violence but without the victim’s consent, it is a second-degree felony carrying a maximum of 15 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. However, certain circumstances can lead to enhanced penalties when they are present as detailed by our Saint Lucie sexual battery lawyer below.
A person’s sexual battery charges can be aggravated when they penetrate another person’s anus, vagina, or oral cavity with their sexual organ or an object when certain aggravating factors are present. The following factors can result in aggravated sexual battery charges:
If one of the above-listed factors is present, the charges will be aggravated and will carry harsher penalties.
Committing Sexual Battery While Using a Deadly Weapon
When a defendant uses a deadly weapon while committing sexual battery against a victim, they can face enhanced charges. This offense carries more severe penalties than a standard sexual battery charge.
Sexual Battery Committed Against a Child Younger Than 12
Sexual battery against a child younger than 12 is a very serious offense. It can be charged as a capital felony or a life felony, depending on the age of the perpetrator.
Capital Sexual Battery Against a Child Younger than 12
Sexual battery committed against a child younger than 12 is a capital felony when the defendant is 18 or older. It is also a capital crime when a defendant is 18 or older and attempts to commit sexual battery on a child younger than 12 and injures the victim’s sexual organs during the attempt.
Sexual Battery Committed in a Way That Is Likely to Result in Serious Injury
A sexual battery that is likely to result in serious bodily injury occurs when the defendant uses physical force while committing the crime, and the force used is of a nature that is likely to cause serious bodily injury.
The penalties for all types of sexual battery crimes are severe and can range from a second-degree felony up to a capital felony. The penalties are detailed below.
Penalties for Sexual Battery Without Aggravating Factors: Sexual battery committed by a person 18 or older against another person 18 or older without the presence of aggravating factors is a second-degree felony in Florida. This crime carries a maximum sentence of 15 years, a $10,000 fine, and sex offender probation for 15 years. Since it is a level 8 offense under Florida law, the minimum sentence of incarceration is 7 years and nine months, and two years of sex offender probation.
Penalties When the Victim is 12 to Less Than 18: When the victim is 12 or older but less than 18, and the defendant is 18 or older, the charge of sexual battery will be aggravated to a life felony. This offense carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment, probation as a sex offender for life, and a $10,000 fine. The minimum prison sentence is nine years, and the defendant will have to serve at least two years of probation following their release from incarceration.
Penalties for Aggravated Sexual Battery With a Victim Who Is 18 or Older: Sexual battery committed against a person who is 18 or older with the presence of one of the previously listed aggravating factors is a first-degree felony. This offense carries a maximum prison sentence of 30 years, probation for 30 years, and a $10,000 fine. As a level 8 offense, the minimum sentence will be 7 years and nine months with two years of sex offender probation.
Sexual Battery Committed by a Defendant Younger than 18 on a Child Younger Than 12: When a defendant under the age of 18 commits sexual battery against a child under the age of 12, it is a life felony carrying a potential maximum sentence of life in prison, lifetime probation as a sex offender, and a $10,000 fine. As a level 9 offense, the minimum sentence will be at least nine years with a minimum of two years of probation.
Penalties for Capital Sexual Battery – Child Victim Younger than 12: If an adult over the age of 18 sexually batters a child younger than 12, it is a capital offense in Florida. This crime can be punished by the death penalty or a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Penalties for Sexual Battery Committed With Force Likely to Result in Serious Injury: The penalties for committing sexual battery while using force that is likely to result in serious bodily injury is a life felony in Florida. This offense carries a maximum sentence of life in prison, sex offender probation for life, and a fine of $10,000. As a level 10 offense, the minimum prison sentence is 10.5 years followed by probation for a minimum of two years.
Penalties for Sexual Battery Involving a Deadly Weapon: Sexual battery committed while using a deadly weapon is a life felony that carries a maximum of life in prison, lifetime probation, and a $10,000 fine. As a level 10 offense, the minimum period of incarceration will be 10.5 years followed by at least two years of sex offender probation.
The potential defenses that might be available will depend on the facts and circumstances of your case. However, the two primary defenses to this crime involve false accusations and consent.
Unfortunately, some people lie and accuse others of committing sexual battery against them. The most common circumstances in which false allegations might be made include the following:
Your Port Saint Lucie criminal defense lawyer will thoroughly investigate the circumstances of your case to uncover evidence that the allegations against you are false.
In some cases, the alleged victim will have consented to the sexual act but later decided to claim they did not. To qualify as consent, the alleged victim must have voluntarily, intelligently, and knowingly consented. However, if the alleged victim was intoxicated by alcohol or drugs, the jury will likely find the defendant guilty since the person’s intoxication could render them incapable of consenting. You also can’t defend against sexual battery charges by arguing the victim didn’t put up any resistance. However, the victim’s lack of resistance can be considered by the trier of fact to determine whether the sexual act was consensual or coerced.
If you have learned that someone is accusing you of sexual battery, or you have already been charged with this crime, you must reach out to the experienced Saint Lucie sexual battery lawyer at Kirschner & McEnery Law immediately. These types of criminal charges can result in some of the harshest possible sentences in Florida. We will thoroughly investigate your case and build the strongest defense case possible. Call us today to schedule an appointment at (772) 489-8501.
Jonathan Jay Kirschner, Esq. Awards & Ratings