Fort Walton Beach Criminal Defense Attorney Explains Sexual Battery
Sexual battery is a felony sex offense in the state of Florida. Sexual battery is rigorously investigated, vigorously prosecuted, and aggressively punished by the Fort Walton Beach police, Assistant State Attorney’s Office, and local judges. More commonly referred to as rape, Florida Statute 794.011 defines sexual battery as “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” that occurs without legally recognized consent.
While many people are aware of the popular “No means no” campaign and understand that rape occurs when an individual states they do not want to have sex and actively resists, a multitude of other situations are recognized as sexual battery under Florida law.
Some individuals are never able to consent to sex because they have a mental condition that prevents them from being able to fully grasp and understand the concept of sex. In addition, they are especially vulnerable because they are unable to protect themselves. Mental defects can cover individuals with severe intellectual disabilities. They can also cover individuals who have medical conditions such as Alzheimer’s or mental illness.
Other individuals may be able to consent at times, but at the moment of the alleged act, are temporarily unable to consent due to mental incapacitation. Mental incapacitation can be caused by drugs, alcohol, or prescription drugs that render the individual unconscious, intoxicated, or especially vulnerable. The individual must become intoxicated by a substance without his or her consent or knowledge. For example, Rohypnol, a popular date rape drug, is a tranquilizer that is commonly slipped into unsuspecting party-goers drinks so that the individual can be taken advantage of later.
Physical Incapacitation and Helplessness
If an individual is unconscious or not awake, they are unable to consent. Often times, they do not even know something is happening until they are woken up. In addition, some individuals are physically unable to resist due to a mobility issue, such as paralysis.
Some individuals may verbally agree to have sex, but they only do so because they have been coerced through threats, intimidation, or violence.
Statutory rape can occur when two consenting individuals have sex, but one of them is too young to legally consent. In Florida, a minor under the age of 16 can never consent to sex, even if his or her partner is aged 16. In addition, it is illegal for an individual aged 24 or older to have sex with a minor who is 16 or 17, regardless of consent.
Sexual battery is a serious offense in Florida, and the Fort Walton Beach police take complaints of rape and sexual assault seriously. The potential maximum penalties for sexual battery vary based on the age of the victim, as well as other aggravating factors.
- Victim is an adult: First degree felony
- Victim is under 12: Capital felony
- Victim is between 12 and 17: First degree felony
- Victim and defendant are between 12 and 17: First degree felony
- Victim is under 12 and defendant is under 18: Life felony
A capital felony is punishable by up to life in prison or death. A life felony is punishable by up to life in prison. A first degree felony is punishable by up to 30 years in prison.
Defend Against Allegations of Rape with a Fort Walton Beach Sexual Battery Defense Lawyer
If you were accused of sexual battery in Fort Walton Beach, you need to consult with an attorney immediately. Stephen G. Cobb, a board certified specialist in Florida criminal law, will discuss what happened with you and advise you on what to do next. You want a trusted Fort Walton Beach criminal defense lawyer on your side. Call Stephen G. Cobb today at (850) 423-0035.
Cobb Law Firm
1992 Lewis Turner Blvd, Suite 101-B
Fort Walton Beach, FL 32547
For more information, please visit: https://cobblawfirm.com/fort-walton-beach-florida/