Lewd and Lascivious Battery
While it is important to always consult with a lawyer whenever you are charged with a crime in the State of Florida, there are some offenses that are prosecuted so zealously and punished so harshly that you should not even consider going forward without discussing your options with a skilled Sarasota criminal defense attorney. Many people choose to enter pleas to minor charges like cannabis possession, disorderly conduct and even some felony drug possession cases. While this is never advisable, and a criminal defense attorney can often negotiate or fight for much better results for you, it is usually not the end of the world as prosecutors and judges have little interest in harshly punishing minor criminal offenses like those.
On the other hand, Florida has instituted broad and wide ranging sex crimes that are punished extremely seriously and can result in a lifetime of hardship if a person is convicted and placed on Florida’s sex offender registry. Prosecutors, judges and juries are often biased against people who have been charged with sex offenses resulting in unfair convictions with little or sometimes conflicting evidence. Often, alleged victims of these types of offenses have bias against the defendant or reason to lie about the crime for their own benefit that can be exposed to a jury by a skilled lawyer in your corner. If you believe that there is an investigation being conducted into a sex crime committed by you, you should not wait for charges to be filed but should consult with a Sarasota sex crimes attorney immediately to start building evidence of your innocence.Elements of Lewd and Lascivious Battery
Lewd or lascivious battery or molestations is one of the most serious sex offenses that you can be charged with in the state of Florida. What sets a lewd and lascivious offense apart from other sex offenses is the required age of the alleged victim in the case. Pursuant to Florida Statute 800.04, lewd and lascivious battery is defined as: engaging in sexual activity with a person 12 years of age or older but less than 16 years of age; or encouraging, forcing or enticing any person less than 16 years of age to engage in sadomasochistic abuse, sexual bestiality, prostitution, or any other act involving sexual activity.
The offense of lewd and lascivious battery is put in place to harshly punish those who are convicted of sex offenses against victims under the age of 16. As you can see by the wording of the statute, lewd and lascivious battery is what is more commonly known as “statutory rape.” The law requires no force or coercion. If a defendant is found to have engaged in sexual activity with another person between ages 16 and 12, they are guilty of lewd and lascivious battery regardless of whether there was any consent. A conviction for this offense is a second degree felony punishable by up to fifteen years in prison and mandatory registration for life on Florida’s sex offender registry. If you are charged with lewd and lascivious battery, you should not hesitate to contact a skilled Sarasota sex crimes lawyer to aid you in your defense.
Lewd and lascivious molestation is punished under the same statute and carries with it many of the same penalties. A person who is convicted of intentionally touching in a lewd or lascivious manner the breasts, genitals, or buttocks of a person less than 16 or who is convicted of forcing the victim to do the same to the perpetrator is guilty of lewd and lascivious molestation. The seriousness of the offense is determined by the age of the defendant. A person 18 or older who commits such an offense against someone less than 12 years old can be sentenced to life in prison, while a person less than 18 who commits such an offense on someone between 12 and 16 commits only a third degree felony.Speak to Our Lawyers Today
The attorneys at Hanlon Law have years of experience dealing with even the most serious criminal offenses. Don’t hesitate to call us today for a consultation at 941.462.1789.