BOCA RATON FL SEXUAL BATTERY/RAPE DEFENSE LAWYERS

WITH OFFICES IN BOCA RATON, FLORIDA

sexual battery floridaAfter a significant push to enhance the penalties associated with sexual offenses in Florida, State legislators recently passed Bill SB 526, which was signed into law by Governor Rick Scott on April 1, 2014 and is scheduled to take effect on October 1, 2014.

This law significantly increases punishments for those convicted of sex crimes, imposing lengthy mandatory-minimum sentences, increasing maximum penalties for a number of crimes, and disallowing the issuance of gain-time to incarcerated sex offenders.* Additionally, SB 526 requires all sex offenders who do not receive the maximum prison sentence to be monitored under life-long community supervision.

Clearly, Florida looks harshly upon those convicted of sex crimes, making it even more critical for individuals charged with these offenses to hire a formidable defense attorney. Arnesen Law is a group of talented legal professionals who frequently appear on behalf of clients facing any number of sexual offense charges in South Florida, ranging from sexual battery (rape) to child pornography and prostitution-related offenses.

With notoriously hard-working and passionate leader Jay Arnesen at the firm’s helm and a practice devoted solely to clients charged with criminal and DUI offenses, the lawyers at Arnesen Law have the skills and experience required to successfully represent their clients, as they formulate calculated defenses based on each individual’s case. Notably, the firm’s founding partner and former police officer, Jay Arnesen, utilizes his professional background to provide unique insight into the formulation of the State’s case, anticipating and targeting potential weaknesses.

With offices conveniently located in Boca Raton and Fort Lauderdale, Arnesen and his attorneys assist clients facing charges throughout South Florida, including Boca Raton, Delray Beach, and Jupiter. Contact the offices of Arnersen Law anytime at 561-419-9630 for a free consultation about your case.

As a former police officer, I used to help prosecute these charges for the State. Now, let me use my training and experience to combat these charges for you in court.” Jay Arnesen, Esq.

*The definition of gain-time is provided below, for your reference.

Sexual Battery (Rape) – Florida Statutes Section 794.011

Sexual battery, often called “rape,” is considered one of the most egregious crimes under the Florida Criminal Code. Chapter 794, Section 011 of the Florida Statutes, which governs these crimes, is an extraordinarily detailed law, enumerating the penalties associated with sexual battery offenses committed under a myriad of different circumstances.

There are a host of subsections by which to categorize these crimes, based on factors including: the age of the alleged victim, the extent of injury sustained by said victim, the presence of a deadly weapon during the commission of the offense, the use of physical force or violence, the defendant’s criminal history (if any), and the defendant’s relationship to the alleged victim. The circumstances of these cases are so variable that an individual convicted of sexual battery can be sentenced to a punishment ranging from the death penalty in the most serious of cases, to a maximum of 15 years in prison under less grave circumstances.

The aforementioned specifications of Section 794.011 are included in greater detail below:

(2)   (a) 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 12 years of age commits a capital felony.

(b) A person less than 18 years of age who commits sexual battery upon, or in an attempt to commit sexual battery injures the sexual organs of, a person less than 12 years of age commits a life felony.

(3)    A person who commits 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.

(4)    (a) A person 18 years of age or older who commits sexual battery upon a person 12 years of age or older but younger than 18 years of age, without that person’s consent, and in the process does not use physical force and violence likely to cause serious personal injury commits a felony of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, s. 775.084, or s. 794.0115.

(b) A person 18 years of age or older who commits sexual battery upon a person 18 years of age or older without that person’s consent, under any of the circumstances listed in paragraph (e), commits a felony of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, s. 775.084, or s. 794.0115.

(c) A person younger than 18 years of age who commits sexual battery upon a person 12 years of age or older without that person’s consent, under any of the circumstances listed in paragraph (e), commits a felony of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, s. 775.084, or s. 794.0115.

(d) A person commits a felony of the first degree, punishable by a term of years not exceeding life or as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, s. 775.084, or s. 794.0115 if the person commits sexual battery upon a person 12 years of age or older without that person’s consent, under any of the circumstances listed in paragraph (e), and such person was previously convicted of a violation of:

1. Section 787.01(2) or s. 787.02(2) when the violation involved a victim who was a minor and, in the course of committing the violation, the defendant committed against the minor a sexual battery under chapter 794 or a lewd act under this section or s. 847.0135(5);
2. Section 787.01(3)(a)2. or 3.;
3. Section 787.02(3)(a)2. or 3.;
4. Section 800.04;
5. Section 825.1025;
6. Section 847.0135(5); or 
7. This chapter, excluding subsection (10) of this section.

(e) The following circumstances apply to paragraphs (a)-(d):

1. The victim is physically helpless to resist.
2. The offender coerces the victim to submit by threatening to use force or violence likely to cause serious personal injury on the victim, and the victim reasonably believes that the offender has the present ability to execute the threat.
3. The offender coerces the victim to submit by threatening to retaliate against the victim, or any other person, and the victim reasonably believes that the offender has the ability to execute the threat in the future.
4. The offender, without the prior knowledge or consent of the victim, administers or has knowledge of someone else administering to the victim any narcotic, anesthetic, or other intoxicating substance that mentally or physically incapacitates the victim.
5. The victim is mentally defective, and the offender has reason to believe this or has actual knowledge of this fact.
6. The victim is physically incapacitated.
7. The offender is a law enforcement officer, correctional officer, or correctional probation officer as defined in s. 943.10(1), (2), (3), (6), (7), (8), or (9), who is certified under s. 943.1395 or is an elected official exempt from such certification by virtue of s. 943.253, or any other person in a position of control or authority in a probation, community control, controlled release, detention, custodial, or similar setting, and such officer, official, or person is acting in such a manner as to lead the victim to reasonably believe that the offender is in a position of control or authority as an agent or employee of government.

(5)    (a) A person 18 years of age or older who commits sexual battery upon a person 12 years of age or older but younger than 18 years of age, without that person’s consent, and in the process does not use physical force and violence likely to cause serious personal injury commits a felony of the first degree.

(b) A person 18 years of age or older who commits sexual battery upon a person 18 years of age or older, without that person’s consent, and in the process does not use physical force and violence likely to cause serious personal injury commits a felony of the second degree.

(c) A person younger than 18 years of age who commits sexual battery upon a person 12 years of age or older, without that person’s consent, and in the process does not use physical force and violence likely to cause serious personal injury commits a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, s. 775.084, or s. 794.0115.

(d) A person commits a felony of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, s. 775.084, or s. 794.0115 if the person commits sexual battery upon a person 12 years of age or older, without that person’s consent, and in the process does not use physical force and violence likely to cause serious personal injury and the person was previously convicted of a violation of any of the violations listed under section 4(d) 1-7 of this section.

(7) A person who is convicted of committing a sexual battery on or after October 1, 1992, is not eligible for basic gain-time under s. 944.275.

  • Gain time: deductions from sentences designed to encourage satisfactory prisoner behavior, to provide incentive for prisoners to participate in productive activities, and to reward prisoners who perform outstanding deeds or services.

(8) Without regard to the willingness or consent of the victim, which is not a defense to prosecution under this subsection, a person who is in a position of familial or custodial authority to a person less than 18 years of age and who:

(a) Solicits that person to engage in any act which would constitute sexual battery under paragraph (1)(h) commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

(b) Engages in any act with that person while the person is 12 years of age or older but younger than 18 years of age which constitutes sexual battery under paragraph (1)(h) commits a felony of the first degree, punishable by a term of years not exceeding life or as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

(c) Engages in any act with that person while the person is less than 12 years of age which constitutes sexual battery under paragraph (1)(h), or in an attempt to commit sexual battery injures the sexual organs of such person commits a capital or life felony, punishable pursuant to subsection (2).

(9) For prosecution under paragraph (4)(a), paragraph (4)(b), paragraph (4)(c), or paragraph (4)(d) which involves an offense committed under any of the circumstances listed in subparagraph (4)(e)7., acquiescence to a person reasonably believed by the victim to be in a position of authority or control does not constitute consent, and it is not a defense that the perpetrator was not actually in a position of control or authority if the circumstances were such as to lead the victim to reasonably believe that the person was in such a position.

(10) A person who falsely accuses a person listed in subparagraph (4)(e)7. or other person in a position of control or authority as an agent or employee of government of violating paragraph (4)(a), paragraph (4)(b), paragraph (4)(c), or paragraph (4)(d) commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

Sexual Battery (Rape) – Potential Penalties

Sexual battery can be considered a capital, life, first, or second degree felony, depending on the circumstances of the specific case. In addition, an individual can be charged with a third degree felony in violation of this statute if they falsely accuse a government employee or law enforcement officer of violating this section.

Capital Felony Sexual Battery: sentences vary based on the determination of the court in the separate sentencing proceeding mandated under Sections 921.141 and 921.1401 and may result in the death penalty, life-long imprisonment without parole, or at least 40 years in prison (see below).

    • For defendants over the age of 18, a capital felony, as provided by Florida Statute Section 775.082, is punishable by a death sentence, if the court deems such a sentence as appropriate. Otherwise, those convicted of a capital felony must be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
    • For defendants below the age of 18, a capital felony conviction requires a specific sentencing proceeding, which is governed under Section 921.1401. According to this statute, a defendant convicted of capital felony murder who is under the age of 18 must be sentenced to a term of incarceration ranging from 40 years to life, depending on the determination of the court. (Defendants who have not been previously convicted of any of the crimes listed under 921.1402 are entitled to a review of their sentence after 25 years).

Life Felony Sexual Battery: A fine of up to $15,000, in addition to the penalties listed below, which are determined based on the date of the alleged offense.

    • Committed prior to October 1, 1983: term of incarceration ranging from 30 years to life
    • Committed on or after October 1, 1983:  term of incarceration ranging from 40 years to life
    • Committed on or after July 1, 1995: life-long term of incarceration

First Degree Felony Sexual Battery: maximum sentence of life in prison, possibility of life-long parole, and fines not to exceed $10,000

Second Degree Felony Sexual Battery: maximum sentence of 15 years in prison, up to 15 years of probation, and fines not to exceed $10,000

Third Degree Felony Sexual Battery: maximum sentence of 5 years in prison, up to 5 years of probation, and fines not to exceed $5,000

*If a defendant meets the criteria listed in Florida Statutes Section 794.0115, known as the “Dangerous Sexual Felony Offender Act,” he or she will be subject to a mandatory-minimum prison sentence of 25 years. However, if the offense was committed on or after October 1, 2014, a person who qualifies as a dangerous sexual felony offender must receive a mandatory-minimum sentence ranging from 50 years to life imprisonment.

Contact Our Palm Beach County Sexual Battery (Rape) Defense Lawyers for a Free Consultation

Being accused of sexual battery has the potential to alter the course of your life forever and in some cases, it can even become a matter of life and death. As a result, it is essential to hire a highly skilled defense lawyer if you or someone you love is facing charges of this kind. Don’t delay in contacting the attorneys at Arnesen Law for a free consultation about your case in South Florida. They are accessible day or night by phone at: 561-419-9630.

Tell Us About Your Case

Jay Arnesen is a retired police officer turned criminal defense attorney who now defends clients charged with criminal and traffic (DUI) offenses in South Florida. With offices conveniently located in Fort Lauderdale and Boca Raton, Mr. Arnesen appears in courts throughout South Florida on a regular basis. Protect your rights, contact experienced criminal defense lawyer Jay Arnesen anytime for a free initial consultation at 866-347-6296.

Arnesen Law, P.A.

Areas We Serve

Palm Beach County, Atlantis, Belle Glade, Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Briny Breezes, Cloud Lake, Delray Beach. Glen Ridge, Greenacres, Gulf Stream, Haverhill, Highland Beach, Juno Beach, Jupiter, Lake Park, Lake Worth, Manalapan, North Palm Beach, Ocean Ridge, Palm Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, Palm Springs, Riviera Beach, Royal Palm Beach, Wellington, West Palm Beach

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Boca Raton

1825 NW Corporate Blvd. Suite 110

Boca Raton, FL 33431

  (201) 556-1570  

Fort Lauderdale

633 South Andrews Avenue

Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301

  (866) 317-5164  

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