Sexual Battery

I have extensive experience in defending sexual battery cases in Orange County and Seminole County. I examine each sexual battery case for a lack of evidence or conflict in evidence that would support not filing formal criminal charges. It is important that you start building your defense immediately after your arrest. Hiring an experienced sexual battery attorney is essential. Once hired, I will:

1. Collect and review all written statements, photographs and 911 calls;
2. Find flaws in the police officer’s investigation;
3. Identify all possible defenses;
4. Immediately start negotiating with the prosecutor not to file formal charges, and
5. Do whatever is necessary to avoid a conviction.

EARLY REPRESENTATION CAN MAKE ALL THE DIFFERENCE

Early representation can often times convince your prosecutor to not file formal charges against you. It is important to start preparing your best defense as soon as possible, well before your first court date. Important facts in your case to consider are:

  • Was any of the evidence collected against you illegally obtained?
  • Is identity an issue? Do they have the wrong person?
  • Were you read your Miranda rights? Were your statements illegally obtained?
  • Are there other factors or motivations that show your lack of intent to commit a crime?
  • Is there a lack of evidence or a conflict in the evidence?

WHAT IS SEXUAL BATTERY

Under Florida Statute 794.011, sexual battery occurs when a person has non-consensual oral, vaginal, or anal contact with someone else using their sexual organ or another object. There are also a variety of enhanced forms of sexual battery in Florida. For example, when a sexual battery involved aggravating circumstances, the defendant’s charge could be increased to an aggravated sexual battery. Aggravating circumstances include the following:

  • The victim was physically unable to resist because he or she was unconscious, asleep, or otherwise physically unable to communicate an unwillingness to participate in a sexual act
  • The victim was coerced into submission by threats of violence and the victim reasonably believed that the defendant had the ability to follow through on those threats
  • The victim was coerced into submission by threats of retaliation against the victim and his or her family, which could include threats of future physical violence, extortion, kidnapping, or forcible confinement
  • The victim was unknowingly drugged with a narcotic, anesthetic, or intoxicant, which caused him or her to become mentally or physically incapacitated and unable to appraise or control his or her own conduct
  • The victim had a known mental defect, which includes diseases that render a person either temporarily or permanently unable to fully grasp the nature of his or her own conduct
  • The victim was physically incapacitated, which means that he or she was physically impaired or handicapped and substantially limited in the ability to resist or escape
  • The offender was a law enforcement officer, probation officer, correctional officer or someone else in a position of control or authority

Those who are convicted of aggravated sexual battery of victims who were 18 years or older face first-degree penalties. These offenses are punishable by a minimum sentence of three years in jail and up to 30 years as well as a $10,000 fine. When the victim was between the ages of 12 and 18 years old, the defendant will spend at least nine years in prison, although he or she also faces a life sentence.

Another enhanced form of sexual battery is sexual battery with a deadly weapon, which is committed when a person uses a deadly weapon during a rape. The final type of enhanced sexual battery offense is sexual battery where a defendant uses physical force or a weapon that is likely to cause serious personal injury. Serious personal injury includes great pain or bodily harm, as well as permanent disability or disfigurement. When an offender is charged with either of these crimes, he or she automatically faces between ten years to life in prison.

HOW IS SEXUAL BATTERY PROVEN IN FLORIDA

In order to be convicted of sexual battery, the State is required to prove the following two elements:

  • The Defendant orally, vaginally, or anally penetrated another person with a sexual organ or another object;
  • And did so without the other party’s consent.

PENALTIES FOR SEXUAL BATTERY

Those convicted of rape under Florida’s sexual battery law are sentenced based on a series of factors, including:

  • The respective ages of the defendant and the other party;
  • Whether the defendant used any weapons during the encounter; and
  • The extent of the injuries suffered by the victim.

For example, if a defendant is accused of rape and both parties were over the age of 12 years old, he or she can be charged with a second-degree felony, which is punishable by as much as 15 years in prison. However, the charge can be increased to a first-degree felony if the evidence demonstrates that:

  • The defendant used threats or coercive tactics against the victim during the encounter and the victim believed that the offender had the present ability to execute the threat;
  • The defendant coerced the victim into submitting by threatening to retaliate against him or her or another person and the victim believed that the defendant had the ability to do so;
  • The victim was physically incapacitated at the time of the incident, which includes physical impairment, disability, and handicaps;
  • The victim was mentally incapacitated, which includes situations where the victim was unable to control his or her own conduct as a result of consuming alcohol, narcotics, or anesthetics;
  • The victim was physically helpless, unconscious, asleep, or otherwise unable to communicate or withdraw consent;
  • The defendant administered or knew that someone else had administered a narcotic or other intoxicating substance that incapacitated the victim;
  • The defendant knew that the victim had a mental handicap; or
  • The defendant was a law enforcement officer or an elected official who led the victim to believe that he or she was in a position of authority as a government agent.

First-degree felonies can lead to a prison sentence of up to 30 years. However, when a victim is under the age of 12 years old and the defendant is over 18 years old, the charge can be increased further to a capital felony, which is punishable by life imprisonment or death. If the defendant was under the age of 18 years old, on the other hand, the charge will be reduced to a life felony regardless of the circumstances involved. Rape can also be charged as a life felony if the defendant:

  • Used a deadly weapon during the commission of the offense; or
  • Used enough physical force to cause a serious bodily injury, including great bodily harm or pain, permanent disfigurement, or permanent disability.

DEFENSES FOR SEXUAL BATTERY

Consent: Consent is a defense to an accusation of sexual battery or rape, but only if the consent was found to be intelligently, knowing, and voluntarily made. This means that if a person says they were unknowingly drugged or too intoxicated to consent, a jury could find that they did not consent to the sexual activity voluntarily. Likewise, the failure of the accuser to offer physical resistance will not be deemed consent. Rather it will be something a jury can consider when determining whether the sexual interaction was consensual or coerced submission.

Coerced Submission: On the other hand, sexual battery or rape will be deemed coerced submission if force, threats, or intimidation were used to compel the sexual interaction. This is an important distinction, because if an accuser alleges they feared for their life, physical safety, or the life and safety of a loved one, they can assert that they had no other alternative than to submit to a sexual act – thus they did not consent under the law.

False Allegations: False allegations of sexual battery or rape are increasingly common in Florida and one of the primary reasons people find themselves accused of sexual battery or rape. Typical reasons for false allegations include:

  • Fear of being caught in an affair
  • Jealousy
  • Manipulation of children by an angry parent
  • Mental illness of the accuser
  • Mentally ill parents influencing a child

As a result, it is vitally important that an accuser’s motives are thoroughly investigated so that any motive for making a false accusation of sexual battery or rape can be exposed to a jury.

CALL AN EXPERIENCED SEX CRIMES DEFENSE LAWYER

If you have been accused of or arrested for a sex crime contact my experienced central Florida criminal defense lawyer to discuss your case and how I can help you. I offer a free confidential consultations to all prospective clients. In addition to keeping extended business hours, my office is open every Saturday. Call 407-740-7275 to speak directly with me.

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I have extensive experience in defending sexual battery cases in Orange County and Seminole County. I examine each sexual battery case for a lack of evidence or conflict in evidence that would support not filing formal criminal charges. It is important that you start building your defense immediately after your arrest. Hiring an experienced sexual battery attorney is essential. Once hired, I will:

1. Collect and review all written statements, photographs and 911 calls;
2. Find flaws in the police officer’s investigation;
3. Identify all possible defenses;
4. Immediately start negotiating with the prosecutor not to file formal charges, and
5. Do whatever is necessary to avoid a conviction.

EARLY REPRESENTATION CAN MAKE ALL THE DIFFERENCE

Early representation can often times convince your prosecutor to not file formal charges against you. It is important to start preparing your best defense as soon as possible, well before your first court date. Important facts in your case to consider are:

  • Was any of the evidence collected against you illegally obtained?
  • Is identity an issue? Do they have the wrong person?
  • Were you read your Miranda rights? Were your statements illegally obtained?
  • Are there other factors or motivations that show your lack of intent to commit a crime?
  • Is there a lack of evidence or a conflict in the evidence?

WHAT IS SEXUAL BATTERY

Under Florida Statute 794.011, sexual battery occurs when a person has non-consensual oral, vaginal, or anal contact with someone else using their sexual organ or another object. There are also a variety of enhanced forms of sexual battery in Florida. For example, when a sexual battery involved aggravating circumstances, the defendant’s charge could be increased to an aggravated sexual battery. Aggravating circumstances include the following:

  • The victim was physically unable to resist because he or she was unconscious, asleep, or otherwise physically unable to communicate an unwillingness to participate in a sexual act
  • The victim was coerced into submission by threats of violence and the victim reasonably believed that the defendant had the ability to follow through on those threats
  • The victim was coerced into submission by threats of retaliation against the victim and his or her family, which could include threats of future physical violence, extortion, kidnapping, or forcible confinement
  • The victim was unknowingly drugged with a narcotic, anesthetic, or intoxicant, which caused him or her to become mentally or physically incapacitated and unable to appraise or control his or her own conduct
  • The victim had a known mental defect, which includes diseases that render a person either temporarily or permanently unable to fully grasp the nature of his or her own conduct
  • The victim was physically incapacitated, which means that he or she was physically impaired or handicapped and substantially limited in the ability to resist or escape
  • The offender was a law enforcement officer, probation officer, correctional officer or someone else in a position of control or authority

Those who are convicted of aggravated sexual battery of victims who were 18 years or older face first-degree penalties. These offenses are punishable by a minimum sentence of three years in jail and up to 30 years as well as a $10,000 fine. When the victim was between the ages of 12 and 18 years old, the defendant will spend at least nine years in prison, although he or she also faces a life sentence.

Another enhanced form of sexual battery is sexual battery with a deadly weapon, which is committed when a person uses a deadly weapon during a rape. The final type of enhanced sexual battery offense is sexual battery where a defendant uses physical force or a weapon that is likely to cause serious personal injury. Serious personal injury includes great pain or bodily harm, as well as permanent disability or disfigurement. When an offender is charged with either of these crimes, he or she automatically faces between ten years to life in prison.

HOW IS SEXUAL BATTERY PROVEN IN FLORIDA

In order to be convicted of sexual battery, the State is required to prove the following two elements:

  • The Defendant orally, vaginally, or anally penetrated another person with a sexual organ or another object;
  • And did so without the other party’s consent.

PENALTIES FOR SEXUAL BATTERY

Those convicted of rape under Florida’s sexual battery law are sentenced based on a series of factors, including:

  • The respective ages of the defendant and the other party;
  • Whether the defendant used any weapons during the encounter; and
  • The extent of the injuries suffered by the victim.

For example, if a defendant is accused of rape and both parties were over the age of 12 years old, he or she can be charged with a second-degree felony, which is punishable by as much as 15 years in prison. However, the charge can be increased to a first-degree felony if the evidence demonstrates that:

  • The defendant used threats or coercive tactics against the victim during the encounter and the victim believed that the offender had the present ability to execute the threat;
  • The defendant coerced the victim into submitting by threatening to retaliate against him or her or another person and the victim believed that the defendant had the ability to do so;
  • The victim was physically incapacitated at the time of the incident, which includes physical impairment, disability, and handicaps;
  • The victim was mentally incapacitated, which includes situations where the victim was unable to control his or her own conduct as a result of consuming alcohol, narcotics, or anesthetics;
  • The victim was physically helpless, unconscious, asleep, or otherwise unable to communicate or withdraw consent;
  • The defendant administered or knew that someone else had administered a narcotic or other intoxicating substance that incapacitated the victim;
  • The defendant knew that the victim had a mental handicap; or
  • The defendant was a law enforcement officer or an elected official who led the victim to believe that he or she was in a position of authority as a government agent.

First-degree felonies can lead to a prison sentence of up to 30 years. However, when a victim is under the age of 12 years old and the defendant is over 18 years old, the charge can be increased further to a capital felony, which is punishable by life imprisonment or death. If the defendant was under the age of 18 years old, on the other hand, the charge will be reduced to a life felony regardless of the circumstances involved. Rape can also be charged as a life felony if the defendant:

  • Used a deadly weapon during the commission of the offense; or
  • Used enough physical force to cause a serious bodily injury, including great bodily harm or pain, permanent disfigurement, or permanent disability.

DEFENSES FOR SEXUAL BATTERY

Consent: Consent is a defense to an accusation of sexual battery or rape, but only if the consent was found to be intelligently, knowing, and voluntarily made. This means that if a person says they were unknowingly drugged or too intoxicated to consent, a jury could find that they did not consent to the sexual activity voluntarily. Likewise, the failure of the accuser to offer physical resistance will not be deemed consent. Rather it will be something a jury can consider when determining whether the sexual interaction was consensual or coerced submission.

Coerced Submission: On the other hand, sexual battery or rape will be deemed coerced submission if force, threats, or intimidation were used to compel the sexual interaction. This is an important distinction, because if an accuser alleges they feared for their life, physical safety, or the life and safety of a loved one, they can assert that they had no other alternative than to submit to a sexual act – thus they did not consent under the law.

False Allegations: False allegations of sexual battery or rape are increasingly common in Florida and one of the primary reasons people find themselves accused of sexual battery or rape. Typical reasons for false allegations include:

  • Fear of being caught in an affair
  • Jealousy
  • Manipulation of children by an angry parent
  • Mental illness of the accuser
  • Mentally ill parents influencing a child

As a result, it is vitally important that an accuser’s motives are thoroughly investigated so that any motive for making a false accusation of sexual battery or rape can be exposed to a jury.

CALL AN EXPERIENCED SEX CRIMES DEFENSE LAWYER

If you have been accused of or arrested for a sex crime contact my experienced central Florida criminal defense lawyer to discuss your case and how I can help you. I offer a free confidential consultations to all prospective clients. In addition to keeping extended business hours, my office is open every Saturday. Call 407-740-7275 to speak directly with me.

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