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Sexual Battery

St. Petersburg Lawyers Defend Clients Facing Sexual Battery Charges In Florida

Aggressive defense for Florida residents accused of rape

Sexual battery, or rape, is one of the most serious charges under our criminal justice system. Yet, the circumstances pertaining to rape allegations differ wildly. Many allegations are supported by physical evidence of a savage attack, while others are “he said, she said” accusations. In our practice at Kidder & Bennett, we encounter many defendants who face overzealous prosecutions for questionable situations. We fight to get our clients the due process to which they are entitled and the fair outcome they deserve.

Florida's Sexual Battery Law

Florida law uses the term “sexual battery” for acts of rape. The degree of the crime and the severity of the sentence depend on factors such as:

  • The age of the victim
  • The age of the offender
  • The offender’s prior record
  • The amount of force used to accomplish the rape
  • Any ancillary physical harm resulting from the actions

In Florida, rape committed through violent force is a first degree felony punishable by up to 30 years in state prison. Rape accomplished without physical force or violence is a felony of the second degree. However, if a person 18 years of age or older rapes a child under the age of 12 and damages that individual’s sexual organs, the crime is a capital felony capable of incurring the death penalty.

The role of consent in Florida rape prosecutions

In most rape cases, consent is a pivotal issue. Florida statute 794.011(1)(a) says, “‘Consent’ means intelligent, knowing, and voluntary consent and does not include coerced submission. ‘Consent’ shall not be deemed or construed to mean failure by the alleged victim to offer physical resistance to the offender.” Minors are legally unable to consent, so a sexual act to which the minor assents still lacks consent and constitutes statutory rape. Circumstances leading to a conclusion that the victim has not consented include:

  • Being physically incapacitated or helpless to resist
  • Being under a credible threat of violence
  • Being under a credible threat of retaliation
  • Being under the influence of a drug the offender administered without the victim’s consent
  • Having a mental disability

In rape cases, lawyers are likely to argue that the accused did not have sexual relations with the alleged victim or that the sexual act was consensual. If DNA evidence shows that a sexual act between the alleged offender and the victim occurred, defense attorneys must prove that a reasonable person would have thought the alleged victim had consented. Kidder & Bennett uses the totality of the facts to create the impression that the defendant could have reasonably believed that the alleged victim gave consent.

For an aggressive defense to rape charges, contact our St. Petersburg lawyers

Sexual battery is a serious offense, and a conviction can lead to harsh consequences. Our former prosecutors can handle your defense professionally and with the utmost discretion. For quality defense representation, call Kidder & Bennett today at 727.821.8000 or contact our St. Petersburg office online.

Office Location

Kidder & Bennett

275 - 96th. Ave. North

St. Petersburg, FL 33702

727.821.8000

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275 96th. Ave. North, Suite 2, St. Petersburg, FL 33702

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