Defense Against Your Sex Crime Charges

Sex Crime Defense Lawyer in St. Petersburg

If you or a loved one have been arrested and/or charged with a sex crime it is imperative that you retain the assistance of a experienced legal professional as soon as possible. At The Kilfin Law Firm, P.C., we represent persons charged with sex crimes throughout the Tampa Bay area. Attorney Donald J. Kilfin has handled countless sex crime cases as both a Pinellas county state prosecutor and criminal defense attorney, including

  • Capital Sexual Battery
  • Lewd and Lascivious Molestation,
  • Lewd and Lascivious Exhibition
  • Unlawful Sexual Activity with a Minor

A conviction for a sexual offense carries extremely harsh penalties, including lengthy prison sentences, extended periods of intensive probation and, as a collateral consequence of the plea, a sex offender registration requirement that, in all likelihood, will remain in effect for the rest of the person's life.

What follows is a brief overview of the more common sex offenses in the state of Florida and their corresponding penalty provisions. The listed penalty provisions include the maximum sentences allowed by law. The minimum incarcerative sentence is determined by Florida's sentencing guidelines (except Capital Sexual Battery) and most sexual offenses in Florida will score mandatory imprisonment. For more information, see the Sentencing section of our website. Also, a conviction for most sexually related or sexually motivated offenses in Florida will require the person to register as a sex offender as a collateral consequence of the plea. This requirement will apply even if adjudication is withheld.

Sexual Battery

In Florida, sexual battery is defined as "oral, anal, or vaginal penetration by, or union with, the sexual organ of another or the anal or vaginal penetration of another by any other object.

A person 18 years of age or older who commits sexual battery upon, or in an attempt to commit sexual battery injures the sexual organs of, a person less than that 12 years of age, commits a capital felony. This means that the person is sentenced to life in prison and will never be released. If, at the time the crime is committed, the defendant is less than 18 years of age, he or she commits a life felony.

A person who commits a sexual battery upon a person 12 years of age or older without that person's consent, and in the process thereof, uses or threatens to use a deadly weapon, or uses actual physical force likely to cause serious personal injury, commits a life felony.

A person who commits a sexual battery upon a person 12 years of age or older without that person's consent, under any of the following circumstances, commits a felony of the first degree:

  • When the victim is physically helpless to resist;
  • When the offender coerces the victim to submit by threatening to use force or violence;
  • When the offender coerces the victim by threatening to retaliate against the victim or any other person;
  • When the offender, without consent, administers a narcotic or intoxicating substance which mentally or physically incapacitates the victim.
  • When the victim is mentally defective and the offender has reason to believe this or has actual knowledge of this fact;
  • When the victim is physically incapacitated.

A felony of the first degree is punishable by up to thirty years in state prison.

A person who commits a sexual battery upon a person 12 years of age or older, without that person's consent, and in the process thereof does not use physical force and violence likely to cause serious personal injury, commits felony of the second degree. A second-degree felony is punishable by up to fifteen years in prison.

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.

Sexual activity means oral, anal or vaginal penetration by, or union with, the sexual organ of another.

Lewd or Lascivious Offenses

It should be noted that a victim's consent is not a defense to any of the crimes proscribed in this subsection. Also, the defendant's ignorance of the victim's age, the victim's misrepresentation of his or her age, or the defendant's bona fide belief of the victim's age cannot be raised as a defense in a prosecution for any offense listed under this subsection.

Lewd or Lascivious Battery

A person who engages in sexual activity with a person 12 years of age or older but less than 16 years of age or encourages, forces, or entices any person less than 16 years of age to engage in sadomasochistic abuse, sexual bestiality, prostitution, or any other act involving sexual activity commits a lewd or lascivious battery, a second degree felony.

Lewd or Lascivious Molestation

A person who intentionally touches in a lewd or lascivious manner the breasts, genitals, genital area, or buttocks, or the clothing covering them, of a person less than 16 years of age, or forces or entices a person under 16 years of age to so touch the perpetrator, commits a lewd or lascivious molestation.

An offender 18 years of age or older who commits a lewd or lascivious molestation against a victim less than 12 years of age commits a life felony.

An offender less than 18 years of age who commits a lewd or lascivious molestation against a victim less than 12 years of age, or an offender 18 years of age or older who commits a lewd or lascivious molestation against a victim 12 years of age or older, but less than 16 years of age commits a felony of the second degree.

An offender less than 18 years of age who commits a lewd or lascivious molestation against a victim 12 years of age or older but less than 16 years of age commits a felony of the third degree. A third degree felony is punishable by up to five years in state prison.

Lewd or Lascivious Conduct

A person who intentionally touches a person under 16 years of age in a lewd or lascivious manner, or solicits a person under 16 years of age to commit a lewd or lascivious act commits lewd or lascivious conduct.

An offender 18 years of age or older who commits lewd or lascivious conduct commits a felony of the second degree.

An offender less than 18 years of age who commits a lewd or lascivious conduct commits a felony of the third degree.

Lewd or Lascivious Exhibition

A person who intentionally masturbates, intentionally exposes the 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, sadomasochistic abuse, sexual bestiality, or the simulation of any act involving sexual activity, in the presence of a victim who is less than 16 years of age, commits lewd or lascivious exhibition.

An offender 18 years of age or older who commits a lewd or lascivious exhibition commits a felony of the second degree.

An offender less than 18 years of age who commits a lewd or lascivious exhibition commits a felony of the third degree.

If you have been charged with a sex crime in the Tampa Bay area, it is imperative that you contact The Kilfin Law Firm, P.C. Law Firm, P.C. to schedule a consultation at our office as soon as possible. As with all criminal matters, the sooner an experienced defense attorney can begin advocating on your behalf, the better chance you have at attaining a more favorable outcome. We are available to discuss your matter during normal business hours, and evening and weekend appointments are always available.