If you have been arrested or are facing criminal charges for sexual battery in Baker County, you need to understand what you are up against. Understanding the charges against you is vital to knowing how to proceed with your defense. To get the best possible defense, you will need to consult with a Baker County sexual battery attorney as opposed to defending yourself or relying on an over-worked and underpaid Public Defender.
What Is Sexual Battery?
Sexual battery, also known as sexual assault or rape, is the conduct of engaging in a sexual act with someone without their consent. In Florida, this can also include engaging in a sexual act with someone under the age of 18, even if they give their consent. Sexual battery is a serious crime and carries serious penalties. A defense lawyer for sexual assault in Baker County can protect and defend your legal interests, if you are charged with such a crime.
The potential penalty for sexual battery in Baker County can vary depending on many factors such as the age of the victim, the relationship of the suspect to the victim, if a weapon was used, or if the victim was handicapped. Additional factors that could make the penalty harsher include the victim being threatened by the suspect, the victim being drugged, the ability of the victim to resist or not resist at the time of the offense, or the suspect being a law enforcement officer.
Ignorance is not a defense to sexual assault in Baker County. Florida law provides that ignorance or belief of a person’s age cannot be used as a defense if charged with sexual assault or sexual battery.
Why Consult A Baker County Sexual Assault Attorney?
All criminal charges are serious; however, sexual battery carries a whole new dimension of penalty. If you are convicted, plead guilty, or even enter a plea agreement for your charges, you will potentially be faced with registering as a sex offender. This also includes those who engage in consensual sex with someone under the age of sixteen. So, if you are eighteen years of age and have consensual sex with someone 17 years of age, you could potentially have to be a registered sex offender for life, something that will follow you no matter what state you live. Explaining this to employers, friends, and family will be a lifelong chore.
You could be considering whether you can defend yourself against sexual battery charges. Although there are some crimes where defending yourself could be cost beneficial, sexual battery is not one of them. Depending on how your charges are classified you could be facing up to life in prison, sex offender registration and tens of thousands of dollars in court cost, restitution, and fines. When you consider the cost of a defense lawyer for sexual assault in Baker County, weigh the cost of hiring an attorney against the possible penalties that you are facing. Finally, if you have a previous conviction for sexual battery or the offense was done within 5 years of you being released from prison, you could face harsher sentencing which means you could be facing 5 years to life in prison simply based on enhanced sentencing guidelines. Facing the penalty for sexual battery in Baker County should not be undertaken without an attorney.
Stephen Cobb is a sexual battery defense attorney, serving clients in Baker County and statewide. With over 20 years experience and handling more than 10,000 cases, he has practiced criminal defense law exclusively since 1990. If you are faced with charges of sexual assault and need to consult with a Baker County sexual battery attorney, contact the Cobb Law Firm immediately.
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