In Florida, the crime of Unlawful Sexual Activity with Minors makes it illegal for a person 24 or older to have consensual sex with a 16 or 17 year old. Under Florida Statute While it is legal under certain situations for an adult to have consensual sex with a minor it is nonetheless Sexual Battery Rape if the minor alleges the sex was non-consensual or forced. Additionally, a child who is 15 years of age or younger is deemed incapable of consenting to sex. As a result, even if the child verbally consented, it is considered Lewd and Lascivious Battery Statutory Rape to have sex with a child 15 years of age or younger. A person convicted of Unlawful Sexual Activity with Minors would not only be placed on sex offender probation , but would also be declared a sexual offender. As a result, they would be required to comply with sexual offender registration laws in Florida and throughout the United States for the remainder of their lives. This law allows certain individuals to petition the court to be excluded from the sex offender registry.
Florida Statutory Rape Law: What is age of consent?
The Florida Age of Consent is 18 years old. In the United States, the age of consent is the minimum age at which an individual is considered legally old enough to consent to participation in sexual activity. Individuals aged 17 or younger in Florida are not legally able to consent to sexual activity, and such activity may result in prosecution for statutory rape.
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Florida Child Pornography Law
To assist the public and governmental agencies in understanding the requirements and exemptions to Florida’s open government laws, the Attorney General’s Office compiles a comprehensive guide known as the Government-in-the-Sunshine manual. The manual is published each year at no taxpayer expense by the First Amendment Foundation in Tallahassee. Florida’s Government-in-the-Sunshine Law was enacted in Today, the Sunshine Law regarding open government can be found in Chapter of the Florida Statutes.
When Shakespeare brought Romeo and Juliet to life, he was intentional in choosing two young characters as his protagonists. Then as now, two teenagers having consensual sex is perfectly understandable. On the other hand, an adult molesting a child is reprehensible. The difference between the two situations would seem obvious. An older teen who has sex with his younger girlfriend can be arrested, prosecuted, and jailed for the act. Even worse, they may carry the stigma of being labeled a sex offender for the rest of their life.
The problem typically arises when the male is 18 or 19, the female is between 14 and 16, and the parent of the younger teen presses charges. Even Romeo would be labeled a sex offender today, as he was believed to be 16 and Juliet 13 when their relationship began. Though the age of consent i. In over half the states, sex between homosexuals is either not addressed by existing laws or is considered a crime.
How Young is Too Young? Age of Consent Laws in Florida
In the age of cell phones, texting has become ubiquitous. Everywhere you go, someone is on their phone texting someone. Some are even sexting, which involves sending sexually explicit messages and photos to others. Sexting is used to flirt with others and is especially common among high school and college students. Sexting among adults is not illegal, but there is some gray area when the sexting occurs between minors and adults.
A person can unknowingly be charged with child pornography , which refers to the possession of photographic images of minors—those under the age of
With over years of combined experience in the field, our Florida Romeo and Juliet Law attorneys know Florida’s sex crime laws inside and out. Get your case.
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Some defendants are initially shocked when charged with unlawful sexual contact with a minor, or statutory rape as it is commonly called. They may be surprised because they believed their partner was older or because their partner gave their consent. If you are trying to make sense of your statutory rape charge in Florida, hiring a skilled defense attorney is key. In Florida, Statute Sexual activity, in this context, includes oral, anal or vaginal intercourse or penetration.
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The Romeo and Juliet law is a relatively new statutory law that was passed in Under this law, teenagers can now be tried and convicted of sex offenses by engaging in sexual relations with teenagers younger than themselves. Receiving the label of a sex offender can have a significant impact upon a teenager’s life. Sex offender status limits housing, job employment opportunity, and personal life.
As such, the law has become fairly notorious. Unfortunately for offenders, while the Romeo and Juliet law does differentiate teenage offenders from adult offenders who prey on children, the sex offender registry does not. Before the Romeo and Juliet law was passed in , a year-old teenager and an year-old teenager could have consensual sexual relations. Afterward, if accused, the year-old, whether male or female, could then be labeled as a sex offender for a minimum of twenty years.
Thanks to the Romeo and Juliet law, the teenager now has just as much right to petition the court in order to have his or her sex offender status removed as a sexual offender. Note that just because the case meets the criteria listed above, that does not change the legality of the sexual contact. However, meeting the criteria will allow the offender to petition the courts to have his or her status a sexual offender revoked.
In the state of Florida, ignorance of the victim’s age is no longer considered a viable defense and thus will not constitute a repeal or revocation of the offender’s sex offender status. Since the year the Romeo and Juliet law was passed, more than two hundred and fifty would-be teenage sex offenders have successfully petitioned, and appealed, their sex offender status under the Romeo and Juliet law.
Much of the public in Florida believe strongly that this law allows a distinct line to be drawn between true sex offenders, and teenagers making lustful mistakes.
Statutory Rape in Florida: Frequently Asked Questions
When many people think of domestic violence they think of violence or abuse between spouses or couples who have children in common. This is not always the case. Florida law recognizes a type of domestic violence called dating violence. Dating violence is considered any violence between persons who have or had a continuing relationship of a significant or intimate nature.
However, in Florida, the law allows someone as old as 23 (an adult) to date someone as young as 16 (a minor), so you can see where the laws.
Florida statutory rape law makes sexual relationships between persons of certain ages illegal, even if both parties are consenting. Learn what the law says about age of consent, close-in-age laws, and prohibited defenses. Whatever the circumstances, make sure you have legal representation. Goldman Wetzel can help — call us at Generally, the age of consent in the state is However, sexual activity between a person who is 16 or 17 and up to 23 years old is not illegal under Florida law.
Sound confusing? For a lot of people it is. Several sections of the Florida Statutes pertain to age of consent. The charges one faces depend on the age of both the alleged victim and defendant, as well as the circumstances of the alleged incident. Even if you are able to prove that a reasonable person would have believed the victim was older than he or she appeared to be, it is not a valid defense in Florida.
Many cases of statutory rape involve people who are close in age. This law allows offenders to remove their names from mandatory registration as a sexual offender or predator, provided they meet the required criteria. The victim must have been between 13 and 17 years of age and must have consented to sexual contact with the perpetrator, who cannot have been more than four years older than the victim.
What Romeo and Juliet Laws Mean for Teens
In order to lawfully engage in sexual activity, a person must be old enough to give their consent. In Florida, the age of consent is 18 years old. Any person who is under the age of 18 does not have full authority to consent to sexual conduct. Engaging in sexual activity with an underage person is statutory rape. These cases are deeply complex.
The penalties for this type of sex crime will vary depending on the specific nature of the underlying allegations.
Next, you must obtain a final hearing date for the court to consider your request. If you are seeking to restore a former name, a hearing on the petition MAY be held.
Rather, the law allows certain people convicted of crimes involving unlawful sexual activity with minors to avoid designation as a sexual offender or sexual predator and being required to submit to lifetime sexual offender registration requirements. Under Florida Statute Florida strictly interprets the four-year window requirement.
If a defendant is one day past the four-year eligibility limit, the defendant is ineligible to petition for relief. Importantly though, even if a person qualifies for removal of the sex offender designation, the ultimate decision is a discretionary decision left up to the reviewing trial judge. The initial consultation is free and I am always available to advise you on the proper course of action that can be taken. Four Year Window Calculation Florida strictly interprets the four-year window requirement.
Discretionary Relief Importantly though, even if a person qualifies for removal of the sex offender designation, the ultimate decision is a discretionary decision left up to the reviewing trial judge. References Miller v. State, 17 So. Marcel, 67 So. Hornsby, P.