Rape Defense Lawyers in Miami, Florida (FL)
How to Beat a Rape Charge in Miami, Miami-Dade County, FL
Florida defines “rape” as unwanted, non-consensual penetration of the vagina, anus, or oral penetration with a body part, usually the genitals. No matter of how insignificant the penetration was, as long as the alleged victim didn’t consent to the penetration, the alleged offender can be charged with Rape. According to 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 Miami 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 Miami, 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 Miami, and our defense firm's results speak for themselves. You and your family member can rest assured knowing that our Miami rape defense lawyers understand how to effectively represent you or your loved one at trial.
Call us 24/7 at (305) 203-0333 to receive your free consultation with one of our Miami 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 Miami, Florid
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 victim is under 18 and is under the age of 12, the criminal offense could be a "life felony." A life felony mean 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 ever sex crime perpetrators who has been convicted of a sex crime will be required to register. 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 criminal defense attorneys is the best first step to take when arrested.
Statutory Rape Charges in Florida
According to Florida Statute Section 794.05 . Unlawful Sexual Activity with Certain Minors states that it is a felony for a person who is 24-years-old or older to commit in sexual acts with a child who is 17-years-old or younger; even if the sexual act was consensual. In most cases, statutory rape is a second-degree felony, which is punished with up to 15 years in prison. In Florida, a defendant cannot use a defense that is based on the victim having a history of engaging in sexual activity.
Rape Charge Defenses in Miami, Florida
Defending against rape charges in Florida is possible and there are many credible legal defenses that your attorney could raise to beat a rape charge in Florida. The facts and circumstances of the case along with the relationship between the defendant and the alleged victim helps the defense attorney to devise the best defense possible.
Sex crimes usually lack witnesses and exclusively rely on forensic evidence and the alleged victim’s accusation. The following list are some potential legal defenses that could be used to defend against rape charges:
Pretrial Defenses: Succesful Miami rape defense attorneys try to block their clients from being indicted. The attorney will find and present evidence that contradicts the accuser’s story. This evidence might include:
- Proof that the accuser's made unfounded allegations against others in the past.
- Letters confirming the defendant's good character.
- Psychological evaluations.
- Polygraph test results.
Defenses at Trial: A powerful defense use during trial is the presentation of an alibi for the defendant. The alibi would testify that the defendant did not commit the crime since the defendant was somewhere else at the time of the purported rape. Moreove, the defense team could introduce forensic evidence that acquits the defendant.
Affirmative Defenses: In anaffirmative defense, the defendant admits to having sex contact with the accuser, but the defense argues that the sex act was consensual and therefore should not be a crime. An "affirmative defense" is not an admission of guilt, but only explains why the sexual conduct isn't a crime.
Innocence: Innocent people are criminally charged every single day. To use the Innocence Defense, the defendant must successfully argue that the victim was confused about the incident, or that the accuser is lying to cover up their actions. In some rape cases, people press false criminal charges to receive a large cash settlement in a subsequent civil lawsuit.
Mistaken Identity: In criminal trials, the accusers or witnesses are confused about the identity of the perpetrator. The victim or witness might not have actually seen the offender's face. In some rape cases, witnesses may have identified the wrong person. Photo lineups are not reliable.
Consent Was Given: If the accuser is old enough to consent to sex, and they were physically and mentally capable of giving consent, and he or she gave consent to the defendant, a rape did not transpire.
Impossibility: If the defendant was some place that is too far away for the defendant to be at the time and place of the alleged assault, the defense team could assert the "Impossibility Defense."
Diminished Capacity - One potential rape defense strategy contends the defendant did or does not have the requisite "mens rea" or mental state to commit the crime. For example, the defendant could have sustained some level of diminished capacity at the moment the criminal offense occurred and this would have precluded the defendant from committing the rape.
Procedural Errors - Law enforcement officers and prosecutors make mistakes or overstep their legal powers. If the defense can prove procedural errors or the law enforcement violated the defendant’s legal rights, the judge has the power to 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 due to greed, or to gain leverage in a highly contested child custody or divorce case. Florida law also grants victims of domestic violence orders of protection. Orders of Protection are help protect domestic violence victims from receiving any more injury. However, Orders of Protection are usually misused to benefit the alleged victim.
For example, a spouse, ex, or romantic partner might allege rape in order to receive a larger portion of the marital estate or cutody of minor children. Sometimes one parent will resort to coercing their children into falsy testifying against a parent. False accusations are difficult to establish, and Miami-Dade prosecutors typically do not believe the defendant's assertion of innocence.
Call (305) 203-0333 24/7 to Speak With Our Miami Rape Defense Attorneys!
The punishments for rape or sexual assault charges in Florida are devastating. To make sure that you or your loved one have the best defense possible, speak to one of our experienced Miami Rape Attorneys as soon as possible. Musca Law understands that the consequences of these criminal charges can destroy your future and your life. Call us 24/7 at (305) 203-0333 to receive your free consultation with one of our Miami rape defense attorneys today.
Miami Office Location
7950 NW 53rd St Suite 337
Miami, FL 33166
Telephone: (305) 203-0333
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