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Miami Child Molestation Lawyer

Child Molestation Charges in Florida

According to Florida Statute § 800.04(5), child molestation is defined as a crime involving indecent or sexual activities shared between an adult and a child under the age of 16.

In Florida, offenses involving alleged acts of child molestation can be criminally charged under multiple laws, such as:

  • Lewd or lascivious battery
  • Lewd or lascivious molestation
  • Lewd or lascivious conduct
  • Lewd or lascivious exhibition

It is important to note that all sexual crimes involving lewd or lascivious behavior towards a child under the age of 16 are strict liability crimes. By these crimes being categorized as a strict liability offense, a defendant is unable to rely on commonly raised issues such as not knowing the child's real age or that the child consented to the sexual activity.


The Hoffman Firm is here for you. Schedule your free consultation today by calling 305-928-1669 if your case is out of Miami, 954-737-3004 if your case is out of Broward County, or contacting us online.


Lewd or Lascivious Battery

Lewd or Lascivious Battery, more commonly referred to as statutory rape, criminalizes consensual sexual intercourse between an adult and a child older than 12 years old but younger than 16.

According to Florida Statute 800.04, a person has committed a lewd or lascivious battery when:

  • The defendant engaged in sexual activity with a child between the age of 12 and 16 years of age, or
  • Encouraged, forced, or enticed a child below 16 years of age to engage in a sexual activity

Along with a mandatory prison sentence of 34.5 months, those convicted could face:

  • Additional time incarcerated of up to 15 years
  • Sex offender probation for up to 15 years
  • A fine of up to $10,000

Lewd or Lascivious Molestation

Lewd or lascivious molestation criminalizes consensual sexual intercourse with a child younger than 16 years of age that falls short of lewd or lascivious battery.

According to Florida Statute 800.04, a person has committed a lewd or lascivious molestation when:

  • The alleged victim is under the age of 16 years old
  • The defendant intentionally touched the breast, genitals, genital area, or buttocks, or the clothing covering them
  • Forces or entices a child under 16 years of age to touch the defendant

The nature of the offense and the circumstances surrounding the criminal act can vastly affect how the crime is categorized and the severity of the penalties imposed.

The different categorizations for a lewd or lascivious molestation offense and the ranges of punishment are as follows:

Life felony: defendant was 18 or older and the child was under the age of 12 when the offense occurred

  • Mandatory prison sentence of 25 years
  • Sex offender probation for the remainder of the defendant's life
  • Up to life in prison
  • Fine of up to $10,000

Second degree felony: defendant was 18 years or older and the child was older than 12 but younger than 16 when the offense occurred

  • Mandatory prison sentence of 51 months
  • Up to 15 years in prison
  • Up to 15 years of probation
  • Fines of up to $10,000

Third degree felony: defendant was younger than 18 years of age and the child was older than 12 but younger than 16 when the offense occurred

  • Mandatory prison sentence of 36 months
  • Up to 5 years in prison
  • Up to 5 years of probation
  • Up to a $5,000 fine

Lewd or Lascivious Conduct

Lewd or lascivious conduct criminalizes the inappropriate touching of a child younger than 16 years old in a lewd or lascivious manner but falls short of lewd or lascivious molestation.

According to Florida Statute 800.04, a person has committed a lewd or lascivious conduct when the defendant:

  • Intentionally touched a person under 16 years old in a lewd or lascivious manner
  • Solicited a person under the age of 16 to commit a lewd or lascivious act

Second degree felony: defendant was 18 years of age or older

  • Up to 15 years in prison,
  • Up to 15 years of sex offender probation
  • Up to a $10,000 fine

Third degree felony: Defendant was younger than 18 years of age

  • Minimum 24.5 months in prison
  • Up to 5 years in prison
  • Up to 5 years of sex offender probation
  • Up to $5,000 in Fines

 

Lewd or Lascivious Exhibition

Lewd or lascivious exhibition criminalizes intentional sexual performance in the presence of a child younger than the age of 16.

According to Florida Statute 800.04, a person has committed a lewd or lascivious exhibition when a person intentionally masturbates, exposes their genitals in a lewd or lascivious manner, or intentionally commits any other sexual act that does not involve actual physical or sexual contact with the victim, including, but not limited to, the simulation of any act involving sexual activity in the presence of a victim who is less than 16 years of age.

Second degree felony: defendant was 18 years of age or older when the offense occurred

  • Up to 15 years in prison
  • Up to 15 years of sex offender probation
  • Up to $10,000 in fines

Third degree felony: defendant was younger than 18 years of age when the offense occurred

  • Up to 5 years in prison
  • Up to 5 years of sex offender probation
  • Up to $5,000 in fines

Possible defenses to lewd and lascivious conduct include:

  • False allegations: The most common defense, usually stemming out of jealousy, manipulation of the child through an adult or parent, or due to a mental defect of the accuser
  • Lack of lewd intent: The prosecution must prove the defendant manifested lewd intent

Prohibited defenses to lewd and lascivious conduct include:

  • Ignorance of the victim's age: The defendant's ignorance of the victim's age, the victim misrepresenting his or her age to the defendant, or the defendant's bona fide belief of the victim's age cannot be raised as a defense
  • Victim's consent: The victim consenting and willfully engaging in sexual conduct with the defendant cannot be used as a defense
  • Victim's promiscuity or lack of chastity: The victim exhibiting promiscuous behavior or lacking chastity cannot be used as a defense

Also Protecting Clients in Fort Lauderdale

Crimes against children that are of a sexual nature are taken very seriously in Florida. Being convicted of a sex crime could result in financial hardships, destroy a family, result in years of incarceration, and permanently ruin a person's hard earned reputation—but the burdens and embarrassment do not stop there.

A person convicted of a sex crime is required by law to register themselves with Florida's sex offender registry, which can be extremely humiliating because it is public record. This means friends, family, employers, and neighbors would be able to research them by name and access details of their alleged transgression. At The Hoffman Firm, we believe false allegations of this magnitude that can cause irreparable harm to an innocent person have no place in society and we are prepared to fight for your rights.


Schedule your free consultation today by calling 305-928-1669 if your case is out of Miami, 954-737-3004 if your case is out of Broward County, or contacting us online. Don’t face your charges without help from an experienced Miami criminal defense lawyer.


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