Have you been accused of statutory rape? If so, then you need to understand that it is an extremely serious charge which can result in penalties of up to life in prison if convicted.
Statutory rape allegations can have lasting effects on your reputation and possible even your employment options. The shame associated with this type of crime can make your day-to-day life extremely difficult. However, this may be avoidable.
If accused of a sex crime, it is vitally important that you consult with an experienced attorney, not only to avoid the possible penalties, but also to help prevent your reputation and standing in the community from being ruined.
South Florida Criminal Attorney Evan A. Hoffman is a former prosecutor and has a vast understanding of how the criminal justice system works, and how to best use the system to work in your favor. Evan A. Hoffman can use his prosecution experience to form the best possible defense against these allegations.
He has handled more than 100 jury trials and upwards of 120 non-jury trials, and is well prepared to get started developing your defense strategy. If you have been accused of statutory rape, and you are in the Miami area, call The Hoffman Firm at (305) 249-0090 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your charges and your options.
This firm accepts clients in North Miami, Miami-Dade County, Ft. Lauderdale, and surrounding areas.
- Statutory rape defined under Florida law
- Penalties for a statutory rape conviction
- Exceptions to Florida’s statutory rape law
- Statute of limitations on statutory rape
- More resources for information on statutory rape
Statutory Rape Charges in Florida
Florida Code §794.05 defines statutory rape is defined as engaging in sexual activity with a person who is younger than the legal age of consent.
Quoted from the Florida constitution:
“794.05 Unlawful sexual activity with certain minors:
- A person 24 years of age or older who engages in sexual activity with a person 16 or 17 years of age commits a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
- As used in this section, “sexual activity” means oral, anal, or vaginal penetration by, or union with, the sexual organ of another; however, sexual activity does not include an act done for a bona fide medical purpose.”
Under Florida law, a child under 16 years of age cannot consent to sexual activity, regardless of the age of the defendant. A child who is at least 16 years of age and less than 18 years of age cannot consent to sexual activity if the defendant is 24 years of age or older.
Possible Statutory Rape Penalties in Miami-Dade County
Statutory rape is a second-degree felony punishable by fifteen (15) years in prison or, 15 to 40 years or life in prison for habitual offenders. If the victim dies as a result of statutory rape the death penalty may apply.
Contrary to other rape crime provisions, consent is not a factor with statutory rape because the victim is considered incapable of giving consent, consequently removing it as a possible defense.
Statutory rape is also different from other rape crimes because the victim is not required to press charges; charges may be brought by the state.
Exceptions to Age of Consent in Miami-Dade County Statutory Rape Cases
Florida has exceptions to the age of consent. Primarily, Florida applies these exceptions to persons with a disability. Another exception is the distinction between age of consent and legal age of consent. Under this distinction, a person 16 or 17 years of age can consent to sex with someone who is not older than 24.
In Florida, a person under the age of 24 will not be charged with statutory rape unless the 16 or 17-year-old is disabled or has not consented to the sex act. A person 18 or older who does not have a disability can consent to sex with a person of any age.
Statute of Limitations for Statutory Rape in Florida
In the state of Florida, the statute of limitations for Statutory Rape is Three (3) years. This means that victims must file and bring forth any charges within 3 years for the statutory rape charges to be valid and subject to prosecution.
More Resources on Statutory Rape Laws in Florida
Online Sunshine- Florida’s state site provides full statutes on statutory rape laws in Florida.
FCASV- This organization provides information on sexual assault statistics and resources for victims of sexual violence.
If you are facing charges of statutory rape, ignorance of the victim’s real age is not enough to keep you out of jail. You need to have a good team of legal experts working for you as your defense.
Criminal defense attorney, Evan A. Hoffman and The Hoffman Firm can provide you with a free consultation and advise you of your best course of action. Give them a call today at (305) 249-0090 and set up an appointment.
The Hoffman Firm provides consultations to clients in Miami, Palm Beach, and neighboring regions.