Rape Defense Lawyers in Jacksonville, Florida (FL)
How to Beat a Rape Charge in Jacksonville, Duval County, FL
Florida criminal statutes define “rape” as non-consensual, unwanted penetration anus, vagina, or oral penetration using a body part or the alleged offenders genitals. In Florida, it does not matter how insignificant the penetration was, and if alleged victim did not consent to the penetration, the alleged perpetrator could be charged with rape. Under Florida Statute Section 794.011, rape is called sexual battery. Sexual battery is a felony in the state of Florida.
In the state of Florida, children who are under the age of 12 are unable to “legal” consent to sexual behavior. Moreover, the alleged perpetrator might also be criminally charged with felony rape if the victim was not able to give consent due to mental or physical incapacity. In some cases, the victim might not have been able to consent if they were under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
The victim is not required to prove physical resistance to provide they did not consent.
If you or a loved one are being interviewed by police or law enforcement have been charged with sexual battery in Florida, hire the Florida Rape Defense Lawyers at Musca Law. At Musca Law, our rape attorneys provide a powerful legal defense, and our attorneys will fight hard to beat your Florida criminal charges. The firm will ensure that your rights are protected throughout the entire case proceedings. With more than 150 years of total criminal defense experience, Musca Law has the knowledge, resources, and expertise necessary to defend you or your loved one. Our rape defense attorneys at our Jacksonville office will work hard to obtain the best results possible in your criminal case, and we do not back down from the prosecutors.
Fighting Rape Charged in Jacksonville, FL
Sex crimes, such as rape, are severely punished. Musca Law defends its clients in all sorts of sex offenses throughout the state of Florida. Our sex crimes defense law firm maintains more than 30 office locations throughout Florida, including Jacksonville, and our defense firm's results speak for themselves. You and your family member can rest assured knowing that our Jacksonville rape defense lawyers understand how to effectively represent you or your loved one at trial.
Call us 24/7 at (904) 610-6545 to receive your free consultation with one of our Jacksonville rape defense attorneys today.
How Does Florida Define the Rape?
Florida’s criminal statutes refer to "rape" and "sexual assault" as "sexual battery." Moreover, the legal term "sexual battery" also covers various types of sexual offenses, such as child molestation, rape, and other types of sexual harassment. The following is a list of sex crimes that could charged as a "sexual assault" offense in the state of Florida:
- Attempted rape
- Statutory rape
- Committing sexual acts while the victim was unable to give consent
- Coercing a person into engage in sexual activity
- Non-consensual fondling or touching
- Certain forms of sexual harassment
- Using force or violence in a sexual, non-consensual way
- Unwanted sexual advances
Sexual battery charges could be filed in situations of sexual intimidation, such as threatening to stalk a victim or perpetuate an unwanted sexual act. One spouse may also file rape charges against their spouse.
Statute of Limitations in Florida Sexual Battery Cases
Statute of limitations are legal deadlines imposed by the state. Florida's statute of limitations is based upon the type of offense that was committed. Florida prosecutors are required to follow these time deadlines. If the statute of limitations expire in a criminal case, the court could dismiss all criminal charges.
In the state of Florida, the crime victim has a limited amount of time to file criminal charges against their perpetrator. However, the statute of limitations in rape cases do not always "expire." In other words, rape victims are permitted to file criminal charges at any time of their choosing.
Florida’s statute of limitations in rape cases:
- Capital Felony Charges - Capital Felony offenses don’t have time deadlines in Florida.
- First-Degree Felony - The prosecution is mandated by Florida law to file first-degree felony rape charges against the alleged perpetrator within four years of the commission of the crime.
- 2nd- or 3rd-Degree Felonies - The prosecution is required press criminal charges within three years of the day the alleged crime occurred.
Under “special” situations that existed at the time of the alleged rape, the criminal justice court might also suspend the statute of limitations. Those important factors include:
- First-degree Sexual Battery - When the victim is under the age 18 at the time of the purported rape, Florida doesn’t have a deadline or statute of limitations for the prosecution.
- First or Second-degree Felony – In first or second-degree felony rape cases, and the victim is a child who is 16-years-old or older and the criminal offense is reported to law enforcement within 72 hours after its commission, there are no statute of limitations.
Sexual Battery (“Rape”) Penalties in Jacksonville, FL
Since Florida prosecutors and law enforcement officers typically charge rape as a felony, the defendant is facing a significantly long prison sentence. In some Florida rape cases, the defendant could be punished with either a life sentence prison or be sentenced to receive the death penalty. This will depend on several factors such as the age of the victim, the nature of the crime, and other important facts of the crime. Having an experienced Florida Rape Lawyer who knows how to defend against overzealous prosecutors is an important part of developing a powerful defense.
Rape, date rape, statutory rape, and all other types of sexual assault offenses are classified under Florida Statutes section 794.011. Florida defines sexual battery as the union or penetration of a person’s sexual organ with the anus, vagina, or mouth of another. The prosecutor’s job is to prove that the conduct committed by the defendant was non-consensual. Also, any form of sexual groping or touching of a child who is under the age of 12 is automatically deemed non-consensual in Florida.
First-Degree Felony Rape: The prison sentence for a defendant found guilty of a first-degree felony is up to 30 years in prison.
Second-Degree Felony Rape: If the defendant is charged with a second-degree felony rape or sexual battery they could receive up to 15 years in a Florida state prison.
Life Felony Rape: If the defendant is under 18 and the alleged victim is under the age of 12, the criminal offense could be a "life felony." A life felony means the same as “life in prison” if found guilty. Sexual battery also becomes a “life felony” once the defendant threatens to use or did use physical force or a deadly weapon to commit rape.
Capital Felony Rape: If the defendant is 18 or older and the accuser is under the age of 12, the offense could be charged as a "capital felony." So if the defendant is found guilty, they could be sentenced to death.
Those who are found guilty of committing sexual battery do not qualify for a sentence reduction also known as a gain-time in prison, or "time off for good behavior."
Federal and Florida Sexual Offender Registries
One of the most severe penalties for sexual offenses in Florida is the requirement to register as a sex offender. Not all sex crimes require sex offender registeration. This is why speaking with one of our experienced Florida rape attorneys right away will protect your legal rights and help your case. Speaking with one of our experienced rape defense attorneys is the best first step to take when arrested.
Statutory Rape Charges in Florida
Under Florida Statute Section 794.05 - Unlawful Sexual Activity with Certain Minors explains that it is a felony for an individual who is 24-years-old or older to engage in sex acts with a child who is 17-years-old or younger; no matter if the sexual contact was consensual or not. Statutory rape is usually a second-degree felony in Florida, which is punished with a prison sentence of up to 15 years. A defendant is not allowed to use a defense that is based on the accuser's history of engaging in sexual behavior.
Rape Charge Defenses in Jacksonville, Florida
It is possible to successful defend against rape charges in Florida and there are several credible legal defenses that your Jacksonville Rape Defense Lawyer may raise to beat your rape charge. The facts of the case and the relationship between the accuser and the defendant helps an experienced criminal defense attorney devise the best defense possible.
Sex crimes often lack witnesses and rely exculsively on the alleged victim’s accusation and forensic evidence. The following are a few potential legal defenses that might be used to defend against rape charges:
Pretrial Defenses: Rape defense lawyers try to block their clients from being indicted in the first place by presenting evidence that contradicts the accusations. This evidence might include:
- Letters confirming the defendant's good character.
- Evidence showing the accuser has made unfounded allegations against others in the past.
- Polygraph test results.
- Psychological evaluations.
Defenses at Trial: Common legal defenses used in a rape trial include presenting an alibi for the defendant. The alibi would testify to the court that the defendant did not commit the crime because he or she was somewhere else at the time of the purported rape. The defense might introduce forensic evidence to acquit the defendant.
Affirmative Defenses: An affirmative defense is a criminal defense strategu where the defendant admits to sexual acts with the accuser, but states that the sexual behavior was consensual and should not be a criminal offense. An "affirmative defense" is not an admission of guilt, but only an explaination why the sex act wasn't a crime.
Innocence: Many innocent people are charged with criminal offenses they didn't commit. The defence would allege that the rape accuser was confused about what occurred, or that he or she is lying to cover up their actions. Sometimes people will file false criminal charges in hopes of obtaining a large amount of money from a civil lawsuit.
Mistaken Identity: On occasion, a victim may be confused about who actually committed the rape. The victim might not have seen the offender's face. Moreover, witnesses may have identified the wrong person who was responsible for committing the crime. The witness or victim may have recognized the defendant from a different encounter. This si way photo lineups are not reliable.
Consent Was Given: If the supposed victim is old enough to consent to sexual behavior, and he or she was mentally and physically able to give consent, and gave consent to the defendant, a rape did not occur.
Impossibility: If the defendant was somewhere else that was too far away for the defendant to be at the time and place of the alleged sexual assault, the legal defense will likely assert an "Impossibility Defense."
Diminished Capacity - Another defense strategy argues the defendant did not have the requisite "mens rea" or mental state to commit the rape. For example, the defendant may have sustained some level of diminished capacity which would have precluded the defendant from committing the rape.
Procedural Errors - Law enforcement officers make mistake or overstep their legal powers by violating the defendant's legal rights. When the defense attorney is able to show that procedural errors occurred and the defendant’s legal rights were violated, the criminal justice court judge might suppress part or all of the prosecution's evidence.
False Accusations: The most common rape defense strategy is to accuse the accuser of lying. False rape accusations are common. These accusations stem from highly contested divorce or child custody cases. Florida law allow victims of domestic violence to obtain an order of protection. Orders of Protection help to protect domestic violence victims from suffering more harm. However, Orders of Protection are often misused since Orders of Protection can provide other benefits to the alleged victim.
In some rape cases, an ex, a current or former spouse, or romantic partner might allege sexual assault in order to receive a larger portion of the marital estate. Others bring false rape charges to obtain leverage in a child custody or divorce case. In these circumstances, it is common for a parent to resort to coercing their child into testifying that they observed sexual abuse or they were sexually abused by the defendant. False accusations are difficult to establish, and prosecutors typically do not believe the defendant's assertion of innocence.
Call (904) 610-6545 24/7 to Speak With Our Jacksonville Rape Defense Attorneys!
The punishments for rape or sexual assault in the state of Florida are devastating. To make sure that you or your loved one have the best possible legal defense, speak to one of our experienced Jacksonville Rape Attorneys as soon as possible. When you or a loved one have everything on the line, you deserve to have the best legal representation possible.
Call Musca Law 24/7 at (904) 610-6545 to receive your free case review with one of our Jacksonville rape defense attorneys today.
Jacksonville Office Location
88HM+PM Downtown, Jacksonville, FL, United States
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