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An Overview Of Florida’s Sexual Battery Law

Under Florida law, it is a crime to engage in sexual battery, or other sex-related crimes such as indecent assault, rape, or sodomy. You can be convicted of sexual battery if you participate in vaginal, oral, or anal physical penetration or union (a fancy way of saying just touching) with the sexual organ of someone without their consent, or if you engage in vaginal or anal penetration of someone with an object without that person’s consent.  Sexual battery is a felony, but the level of felony is dependent on the facts and circumstances of your case.  The penalties for a sexual battery conviction are also dependent on the circumstances.  In some extreme cases, such as Capital Sexual Battery, if someone is a repeat sexual offender or sexual predator, a conviction of sexual battery can result in significant fines and life in prison.

And this does happen.

Recently, an Okaloosa County man was sentenced to mandatory life in prison after he was convicted earlier this year on charges of kidnapping, burglary, and sexual battery.  The man had been accused of breaking into his ex-girlfriend’s Fort Walton Beach apartment, holding her hostage and sexually battering her against her will for several hours.  The woman was able to escape and reported the incident to law enforcement.  At a court hearing much later, the defendant was classified as a habitual sexual offender and prison release re-offender. He will not be eligible for release.  If this had been my case, representation would have been contingent upon brain imaging for mitigation.

Florida law2 provides enhanced sentencing penalties, particularly for repeat sex offenders and sexual predators, because according to the law they are likely to repeat their offenses3, many of which go undetected or are not reported.  This tendency toward recidivism, or reoffending makes some sexual offenders and predators an extreme risk to the public safety.

However, even if this is the first time you have been charged with sexual battery, the penalties can be harsh depending on the circumstances.  If the victim of a sexual battery is younger than twelve years old and you are over the age of eighteen, the offense is considered a capital felony that is punishable by the death penalty or life in prison without parole.  If you are under the age of eighteen, and the victim is younger than twelve, you can still be subject to at least thirty years in jail.

As a practical matter, damage control should always begin at the same time as defensive pleadings in sex offense cases. This is not your lawyer giving up on you and your case. This is smart lawyering.

Other penalties for sexual battery convictions depend on your age, the age of the victim, whether you used force or violence to commit the battery, whether you used a deadly weapon, the victim’s ability to resist, whether the victim was physically incapacitated, or whether you caused physical injury to the victim, among other factors.  Again, any sexual battery is considered a felony that is punishable by hefty fines, prison sentences, and as a convicted sexual batterer, you will be required to register as a sex offender or sexual predator.  You may be required to register for life unless you are pardoned, receive post-conviction relief, or if you meet certain criteria.  Failure to register as a sex offender or sexual predator as required is also considered a felony.

And we have not even addressed permanent civil commitment after serving any prison sentence. These types of cases are among the most serious in Florida criminal law.

Let a certified Fort Walton Beach Criminal Defense Attorney Help Fight Your Sex Offense Charge

If you or someone you love has been arrested and charged with sexual battery or another sex offense under Florida law, it is important that you consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney right away.  Sex offense charges should not be taken lightly as a conviction has serious long-lasting consequences.  Schedule a free consultation with Stephen G. Cobb today by calling (850) 423-0035 and let a qualified and experienced Fort Walton Beach criminal defense attorney help you fight your sex offense charge.

Cobb Law Firm
1992 Lewis Turner Blvd, Suite 101-B
Fort Walton Beach, FL 32547
(850) 423-0035

References:

1 https://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0700-0799/0794/0794ContentsIndex.html&StatuteYear=2015&Title=-%3E2015-%3EChapter%20794
2 https://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0700-0799/0775/Sections/0775.084.html
3 https://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0700-0799/0775/Sections/0775.21.html


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Disclaimer: This article is in response to questions frequently asked of Mr. Cobb and is an unedited dictation transcript. Just…

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“"This is actually one of the best law firms I've had the pleasure of dealing with. They stick with you throughout the entire process, walking you through every step and they know the law! They were able to help me get out of a situation that had occurred because of a technicality and was very knowledgeable in the process. I would recommend them to anyone."”

James S.

“"Such a great service to go through when dealing with any legal matter! Mr. Cobb is very knowledgable and will take the time to understand and communicate with you in a timely manner."”

Dreeana A.

“"Everything was great and smooth working with Mr. Cobb. He was fast and efficient and answered any questions I had."”

Joshua T.

“"I would recommend Attorney Cobb to others. I would describe him as an honest and straightforward lawyer. All my concerns were addressed."”

Crystal H.

“"He was excellent, he did everything without me having to do much especially not living close. I hired him and told him everything and he did it all and it was a great experience. The legal assistant that works there was also amazing."”

Joseph S.

“"It was as clean of a process as it could have been for me. He handled everything for me because I live out of state and made it so simple and easy. He was great and thorough and I hardly had to do anything."”

William S.

“"If you can hire Stephen as your attorney then definitely do that. He talked openly and gave me assurance and even his legal assistant that works there is amazing. I never had any problems or trouble with them."”

Lonnie M.

“"I have used other lawyers in the past. I was facing years but left court with probation and a suspended sentence. Thank you and god bless you."”

Jason

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