An allegation of sexual battery can destroy an innocent person’s reputation, career, and personal life. If you have been accused of a sex crime, it’s crucial that you hire an experienced sexual battery lawyer in Tampa. Employing the right legal counsel can be the difference between proving your innocence and a prison sentence.
The Legal Definition of Sexual Battery
Under Florida law, sexual battery has a broad legal definition. Generally, the crime covers any offense that is sexual in nature from rape to assault to deliberately and inappropriately touching another person without their consent. In other words, sexual battery is classified as the physical act of making offensive and unwanted contact with a person.
The Penalty for Sexual Battery
In Florida, sexual battery is a felony that can result in up to fifteen to thirty years in prison depending on the circumstances of the case. In cases with a victim under the age of twelve, the perpetrator is sentenced to life in prison without parole. If convicted of the crime, the sentence can also result in up to $10,000 in fines.
Steps to Take If Accused
If accused of sexual battery, there are three steps you should consider taking to help prove your innocence. Here are those crucial steps:
Hire an Attorney: The first step a defendant should take is to utilize the services of a sexual battery attorney in Tampa. Ideally, you want an attorney experienced in defending sexual battery cases who is highly knowledgeable in sex crime laws. The right attorney will ensure that your rights are protected from the time you are charged to your trial date.
Budget for Litigation: Whether your case will rely on expert witnesses, special tests or analysis, or other evidence to be collected, it’s important to be financially prepared to undergo this legal process as well.
Prepare Yourself: Although your attorney can help you with the legal aspects of your case, it’s important that you do your homework. Start by recording any relevant details you remember regarding the alleged incident. It’s important to document this information as it will only offer your attorney more insight into your case. Research the laws, educate yourself on your rights, and learn more about the crime you have been accused of. Lastly, do not assume that just because you are innocent that your case is a “slam dunk.” The more prepared you are, the better the chances are of proving your innocence.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.