Sexual Battery Offender Over 18 Victim Under 12 Years of Age
Among the criminal charges that a person can face, sexually based offenses can be particularly challenging and particularly life changing. While any sexually based offense can be extremely serious and dangerous, there are few offenses that are treated more seriously than sexual battery. Sexual battery is merely the modern term for rape. Even as the criminal justice system moves toward more diversion, less incarceration, and more leniency for criminal defendants, those accused of sexual battery are not usually given the benefit of the doubt and are zealously prosecuted by the office of the State attorney. If you or someone you know has been charged with or investigated for sexual battery, you should contact a dedicated Sarasota criminal defense lawyer immediately.
Sexual battery prosecutions are usually initiated in one of two ways. When a victim makes a complaint immediately after or shortly after the alleged offense, the police will often determine that they have probable cause and will make an arrest, initiating the prosecution. More commonly, allegations of sexual battery will arise weeks, months, or even years after the alleged events. An allegation like this will instead trigger a lengthy investigation instead of an immediate arrest. If you come to learn that such an investigation has been initiated targeting you, the first thing you should do is meet with an attorney.Sexual Battery Elements
Sexual battery is prohibited and punished under Florida Statute 794.011. Under the terms of the statute, sexual battery is defined as the oral, anal, or vaginal penetration by the offender’s sexual organ or another object. Sexual battery is specifically distinguished from other sex based offenses by the penetration element. Crimes like lewd and lascivious molestation and similar sexually based crimes do not involve penetration and are treated less seriously than sexual battery. Even still, any sex based offense carries serios significant penalties and will be prosecuted zealously by the State. No matter the sexual offense you might be charged with, contacting a dedicated Sarasota criminal lawyer is always the best path you can take.
Within the sexual battery statute, different factual scenarios will result in different offense levels. The offense levels are based specifically on the age of the defendant and victim at the time of the offense. The most serious version of the offense is known as Sexual battery by an offender over the age of 18 on a victim under the age of 12. This offense level punishes an adult who commits a sexual battery on any child under the age of 12. As one might expect, this version of sexual battery is not treated kindly by police, judges, or prosecutors.
The seriousness of sexual battery with a victim under 12 is reflected in the sentencing section of the statute. Under the law, an adult convicted of sexual battery on a person under the age of 12 commits a capital felony offense. A capital felony typically means that the offense is punishable by the death penalty. Luckily, as it relates to sexual battery, capital felony does not actually mean the death penalty, as punishment by death has been abolished in Florida for all cases except for capital murder cases. Even so, a conviction for this level of sexual battery will carry a maximum sentence of life in prison. Don’t leave this type of case up to chance. Contact a dedicated Sarasota criminal defense lawyer to find out what your options are.Speak to Our Lawyers Today
The attorneys at Hanlon Law have decades of combined experience defending our clients facing even the most serious of charges. We apply proven strategies to combat the overzealous prosecutions, difficult judges, and problematic police officers. Our strategies have resulted in excellent results for many of our clients. If you would like to meet with us to form your defense strategy today, call us for a consultation at 941.462.1789.