Can Statutory Rape Charges Arise After the Victim is 18 in Florida?

If you’ve engaged in sexual activity with someone under the age of 18, you may be concerned about being accused of statutory rape after the relationship ends. When feelings are hurt, you may worry (rightfully so) that the other person or their parents might file charges against you in anger. Once they turn 18, you might think you are in the clear regarding any possible charges, but unfortunately that may not be the case. 

In this brief article, a St. Petersburg federal defense lawyer with The Rickman Law Firm shares what you need to know about when a victim can bring charges against you. Remember, if you stand accused of any crime against a minor you’ll need an experienced attorney who will have your back. Contact The Rickman Law Firm as soon as possible.

When Can Statutory Rape Charges Be Filed?

Statutory rape, also called lewd and lascivious battery, is defined by Florida Statute 800.04 which states that the crime of lewd and lascivious battery is committed when a person engages “in sexual activity with a person 12 years of age or older but less than 16 years of age” or “encourages, forces, or entices any person less than 16 years of age to engage in sadomasochistic abuse, sexual bestiality, prostitution, or any other act involving sexual activity.” 

 

The statute of limitations (the time limit between when a crime is allegedly committed and when a case can be opened) on statutory rape in Florida is 3 years. However, this is not the case if the victim is younger than 12 at the time of the incident or if the incidents in question were connected to a family member or custodian. 


But when the person turns 18, does the possibility of charges disappear? The short answer is no. Even though they turned 18, they still will have at least 3 years to bring charges against you. That can be anxiety-inducing for young adults who engaged in sexual activity but ended their relationship poorly, which is why you need a federal criminal defense lawyer in St. Petersburg with The Rickman Law Firm.

Possible Penalties for Statutory Rape

If you find yourself in the worst case scenario and have been charged with statutory rape after  the other person is no longer a minor, you are probably wondering what your penalties might be. 

Lewd and lascivious battery is a second-degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison and up to 15 years of probation. If the victim is under the age of 12, a conviction can result in a minimum prison sentence of 30 years. For defendants under the age of 18, lewd and lascivious battery is a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison. Repeat offenders are committing a first-degree felony punishable by up to 30 years in prison. 

If you stand accused of statutory rape, don’t trust your fate to a public defender who has too many cases to focus on yours. You’ll need a St. Petersburg federal defense lawyer with The Rickman Law Firm to help defend you as soon as possible.

For a free consultation with a St. Petersburg federal defense lawyer, please contact The Rickman Law Firm today. 

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.

For a free consultation with a sex crime defense attorney in Tampa, please contact The Rickman Law Firm today.

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.

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