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Gainesville Sex Crime Lawyer

Sexual assault refers to any number of criminal offenses, ranging from unwanted touching and groping to sexual battery and rape. Sexual crimes are severe in nature and carry significant penalties. If you or a loved one faces an accusation of any type of sexual assault, you need a criminal defense attorney in your corner. A conviction for any type of sexual crime can lead to severe legal penalties, including imprisonment, and may also require lifelong registration as a Sex Offender. Discuss your case with an attorney to protect your future.

Florida’s Sexual Assault Laws

Florida Criminal Statute Chapter 794 outlines all the pertinent definitions and qualifying factors for various sexual battery offenses in the state. Any type of physical sexual contact will result in a sexual battery charge. The nature of the offense and the ages of the victim and the offender will determine the penalties. Rape carries some of the harshest penalties under Florida law. To prove rape, a prosecutor must prove the defendant penetrated the victim’s mouth, vagina, or anus with a sexual organ or foreign object or prove a union with the defendant’s sexual organ and the victim’s mouth, vagina, or anus.

Under Florida law, the prosecutor must also show a lack of consent on part of the victim unless the victim was under the age of 12. This is too young to provide meaningful consent in the eyes of the law. The prosecutor does not need to prove the victim resisted or protested the act. Punishments for rape include:

  • Life in prison without parole or the death penalty for an offender over the age of 18 who victimized a person under the age of 12.
  • Life felony for an offender under 18 who victimized a person under the age of 12. This will lead to 30 years to life in prison.
  • Any rape committed on a person over the age of 12 is a second-degree felony with a maximum punishment of up to 15 years in prison.
  • Any rape committed on a person over the age of 12 involving threats, coercion, or the victim’s physical impairment is a first-degree felony with a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison.
  • Any rape committed with the use of a deadly weapon or physical force likely to cause serious bodily injury to a victim over the age of 12 is a life felony, with a sentence of 30 years to life in prison.

In addition to these penalties, offenders will have to register as Sex Offenders. The Sex Offender Registry is a publicly available database that stores the personal information of registered sex offenders. This allows citizens to search their local areas to see if any offenders live nearby. Sex offender registration can make it difficult to find housing, secure employment, or qualify for financial aid or personal loans. If you are facing any type of sexual assault charge, finding the right attorney should be a top priority.

Finding Legal Counsel

Anyone accused of a crime has the option of securing legal representation free of charge through a public defender. While public defenders have an obligation to provide comprehensive legal services to the best of his or her abilities, it’s important to understand that most public defenders manage several cases at once, making it difficult to secure one-on-one consultation time or to develop a strong rapport. A private defense firm like Fischer Redavid PLLC can provide more robust legal counsel.

We take a people-first approach to legal defense, which means our attorneys will take the time to get to know you and your case to provide the best possible defense. Sexual crimes carry severe legal penalties. Learn your options and protect your rights to avoid wrongful imprisonment, excessive fines, and lifetime registration as a sex offender. Contact our Gainesville office today to schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys, and we will let you know how we can help.