When Is It Statutory Rape?

Statutory rape is a criminal charge often viewed through shades of gray in our society, but the law is black and white. Florida's age of consent is 18, which leaves almost no wiggle room in cases where statutory rape is alleged to have taken place.

At O'Brien Hatfield, PA, we have put this guide together to answer your statutory rape-related questions, such as "How long is a statutory rape sentence?" and "How much jail time for a statutory rape conviction?"

Our attorneys have extensive experience and know how to beat a statutory rape charge in Florida, including first-degree statutory rape, second-degree statutory rape and aggravated statutory rape.

What The Law Says

Statutory rape in Florida can include a variety of specific acts, involving everything from taking indecent liberties with a child to sexual battery:

  • Unlawful sexual activity with certain minors is defined as sexual penetration between a minor who is 16-17 and an adult at least 24 years old. A conviction results in a penalty of $10,000 in fines and up to 15 years in prison.
  • Lewd and lascivious molestation is defined as sexual touching between a defendant and a minor. Penalties vary depending on the age of the victim and the defendant, varying from three to 15 years in prison.
  • Lewd and lascivious battery is defined as sexual penetration between an adult and a minor 13-15 years old. Penalties include at least seven years and six months in prison to as many as 15 years in prison.
  • Lewd and lascivious conduct is defined as sexual touching between an adult and a minor younger than 16. Depending on the age of the defendant, the penalties can range from two years and six months to five years in prison.
  • Contributing to the delinquency of a minor: If statutory rape results in a pregnancy, a conviction for this charge can result in at least two years and up to six years in prison.

Unfortunately, statutory rape falls under the category of sex offenses that require sex offender registration upon conviction. Registering as a sex offender can turn your life upside down, making you a pariah in the community for the rest of your life.

The "Romeo And Juliet" Exception

Should a 19 year old and his/her 16-year-old partner engaging in a sex act result in the 19 year old being a registered sex offender? The law in Florida says no, and offers a limited "Romeo and Juliet" exception to protect young lovers from a statutory rape conviction.

This exception applies to situations where a victim 14-17 years of age engages in consensual sex with a defendant who is no more than four years older than the victim. The defendant could still be subjected to criminal penalties, but would not have to register as a sex offender.

Is There A Statute Of Limitations On Statutory Rape?

There is a statute of limitations for statutory rape in Florida. Charges must be brought within three years of the alleged act taking place.

Are You Facing Statutory Rape Charges?

Put a proven defense lawyer on your side to protect your rights. Contact O'Brien Hatfield, PA, for your free initial consultation.