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Sexual Assault One of Florida's Most Reputable Defense Law Firms

Orlando Sexual Assault Defense Lawyers

Aggressive Defense for Serious Charges

Sexual battery, sometimes known as "sexual assault" or "rape," is one of the most serious criminal charges a person can face. If you have been arrested for a sexual crime, it is critical that you retain a highly qualified Orlando sexual assault attorney who is committed to protecting your rights and seeking the best possible outcome in your case.

For a strong defense to a sexual battery charge, contact the Law Offices of Horwitz & Citro, P.A., in Orlando. We handle all charges and related sex offenses, including:

  • Sexual battery (sexual assault)
  • Rape
  • Date rape
  • Spousal rape

Florida's Sexual Battery Laws

Florida has some of the toughest laws in the country against sexual battery. Florida Statute 794.011 defines sexual battery as the:

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; however, sexual battery does not include an act done for a bona fide medical purpose.

All sexual battery charges in Florida are felony charges, but the level of felony offense and the possible penalties vary on a number of factors including the age of the defendant, the age of the alleged victim, whether the use of force was likely to cause serious personal injury to the alleged victim, and the status of the defendant as a family member or person in a position of authority. Penalties which may result from a sexual battery charge include imprisonment, registration as a sex offender, court-ordered sex offender treatment, probation and numerous restrictions on an offender's personal liberty.

Statutory Rape Laws in Florida

Florida has tough laws against statutory rape (sex with a minor). Neither mistake of age, consent of the victim, or false statements by the victim regarding age is a defense to a charge of statutory rape in the state of Florida.

  • Florida Statute § 794.05 makes it a crime for a person 24 years of age or older to engage in sexual activity with a person 16 or 17 years of age. Sexual activity is defined as "oral, anal, or vaginal penetration by, or union with, the sexual organ of another." A violation of statute § 794.05 is a second-degree felony.
  • Florida Statute §794.011(5) (as clarified by statute §794.005) makes it a crime for an adult or minor to commit a "sexual battery" upon a person who is between the age of 13 and 17. Sexual battery as used in this statute does not require the use of force and is substantially similar to the definition of sexual activity under statute § 794.05. A violation of statute § 794.011(5) is a second-degree felony.
  • Florida Statute § 704.011(2)(a) makes it a capital felony for an adult to commit a sexual battery of a child under age 12; Florida statute § 704.011(2)(b) makes it a life felony for a person under age 18 to commit a sexual battery upon a child under age 12.

What is "Date Rape"?

Date rape is not an actual legal term, but is a vernacular description of a situation in which one party forces sexual relations on the other in a dating situation. These cases often amount to a "he said/she said" situation in which a judge and jury must decide whether a sex act was consensual or forced based on each person's testimony and other evidence.

Is Marital Rape a Legitimate Criminal Charge in Florida?

Any act of forced intercourse is considered a crime — and marriage does not lessen the charges. Whereas common law used to consider marital rape a contradiction in terms, that is not the case today. If your spouse forced sex on you, you may ask law enforcement and prosecutors to press charges. If your spouse has accused you of rape, you need an Orlando sexual assault lawyer.

You Need a Skilled Orlando Trial Lawyer

Since Florida law does not allow a defendant to raise a defense of consent or mistake of age, the prosecution is really only required to prove two things to obtain a conviction on a statutory rape charge. First, the prosecution must prove the ages of the parties at the time of the alleged offense. Second, the prosecution must show that the defendant engaged in sexual activity with the alleged victim that constitutes sexual conduct or sexual battery (including consensual oral, vaginal or anal penetration).

Typically, the prosecution will not have significant difficulty establishing the age of the defendant and the minor at the time of the alleged offense. Thus, most statutory rape cases that go to trial hinge on one simple issue: Did the defendant engage in sexual contact with the alleged victim?

Given the nature of statutory rape charges, many defendants choose not to take their case to trial. That person still needs a skilled trial lawyer. Even in cases where the defendant wishes to resolve his case by plea agreement, he needs a skilled trial lawyer who has gained the respect of the prosecutor. Prosecutors may be more inclined to be reasonable if a defendant is represented by a skilled trial lawyer who is thoroughly prepared to take a case to trial and raise a strong defense.

Contact Our Orlando Sex Crimes Lawyers

Whether your case is best handled by negotiating a plea agreement that minimizes the impact of your charges or by aggressively fighting your charges at trial, we are committed to the protection of your record, rights, and freedom.

We defend clients throughout Florida who have been charged with sex crimes, including statutory rape. To schedule a consultation with one of our Orlando statutory rape defense lawyers, call (407) 901-5852. You may also contact us by e-mail.

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  • Former Federal Prosecutors
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