The laws governing sex crimes in Florida are very strict. While, the same can be said for most sex crime laws in the country, but if you are facing charges in Florida, you have every reason to be scared. You are looking at very serious legal and personal consequences and now is not the time to take things lightly.

If you are convicted of a sex crime in Florida, you will be forced to deal with very stringent registration laws for the rest of your life. This is in addition to any prison time you are sentenced to. The lasting repercussions of such a conviction can dramatically impact the quality of your life and the lives of those people close to you.

Florida Sex Offenses and Penalties

There are many laws in Florida governing sex offenses. To know for certain what you are up against requires consulting with a local criminal defense lawyer. Here are just a few of the more commonly seen sex offenses.

Unnatural and Lascivious Act

This crime is considered a 2nd Degree Misdemeanor and is punishable by up to 60 days in jail. It is not explicitly defined by the statute and is commonly applied in situations where you, the accused, commit a sexually offensive act in front of another.

Exposing Sexual Organs

If you are accused of exposing yourself to someone, whether in a public place, someone else’s private property or on your own property so that it can be seen from the outside, you could be charged with this offense. Exposure is considered a 1st Degree Misdemeanor and carries up to one year in jail.

Solicitation / Prostitution

Florida law enforcement can be very aggressive in pursuing charges of prostitution, against both those purchasing sex and offering sexual acts for money.

Many prostitution charges are classified as misdemeanors under the Florida Statutes Ch 796 Sec 07.

Penalties for “Johns”

To solicit or procure prostitution (sex) or lewdness (non-penetrative sexual acts e.g. handjob) is a misdemeanor of the second degree for a 1st offense, and a misdemeanor of the first degree for a second offense or violation.

For a first offense, Second-degree misdemeanor offenses have a maximum sentence of 60 days in jail. A second offense is a first-degree misdemeanor offenses with a maximum sentence of 1 year in jail. A third offense makes it a felony of the third degree.

Any soliciting prostitution penalty conviction can also result in community service requirements and educational programs about the harms of prostitution, human trafficking, and sexual violence.

Penalties for Organized Prostitution / Pimping

To force or coerce another to commit prostitution, or to earn money, (profit, device support from the proceeds of prostitution) is to engage in pimping.

These offenses are all felony charges of at least a 3rd-degree misdemeanor, which has a maximum of 5 years in jail under Chapter 796 of the Florida statutes.

Child Pornography

Possession of child pornography and transmission of child pornography are both felony offense under Florida law.

Even children under 18 can be charged with child pornography, for sending photos of themselves. “Sexting” has not been reformed

As of Feb 1, 2017 the State’s Attorney Office started a program for teens accused of Sexting”, that would allow them to enter a diversion program that would avoid criminal charges in exchange for 8 hours of community service or a payment of $65.

This reform is an excellent step in the right direction, but begs the question of “why is this even a crime?”.

Florida Sexual Battery Laws

Sexual battery is the most well-known sex crime. It is commonly referred to as rape and is defined by the statutes as “oral, anal, or vaginal penetration by, or in union with, the sexual organ of another or the anal or vaginal penetration of another by any other object.”

Under the sexual battery law, you can be charged in a variety of ways depending on the specific circumstances of the case including the age of the victim and even your age at the time of the offense.

  1. If the victim is under the age of 12 and you are 18 years or older, you could face a capital felony charge. This means you could be sentenced to die.
  2. If the victim is under the age of 12 and you are under the age of 18, you could be sentenced to life in prison under a life felony charge.
  3. If the offense is committed against someone who is over the age of 12 and is done without their consent, using or threatening to use a deadly weapon, or using physical force likely to cause serious injury—you could be charged with a life felony and be sentenced to life in prison.
  4. If you are suspected of committing the offense against someone over the age of 12 and it falls under any of the below criteria, you could face a first degree felony, punishable by up to 30 years in prison:
    1. If the victim is physically helpless to resist,
    2. If you coerce the victim to submit by threatening to use force or violence,
    3. If you coerce the victim by threatening to retaliate against them or another person,
    4. If you administer a narcotic or intoxicating substance that mentally or physically incapacitates the victim,
    5. If the victim is physically incapacitated,
    6. If the victim is mentally defective,

Other subsections of the statute involving sexual battery classify it as a lesser felony, though any conviction for sexual battery carries a potential prison sentence and permanent designation as a convicted felon.

Ref: FL Statutes Chapter XLVI

All sex crimes are serious criminal offenses. If you are accused of a serious offense like this, get legal help from an experienced Florida criminal defense lawyer immediately.