Sexual Battery Vs. Rape: What’s the Difference?

Accusations of rape are among the most serious in the state of Florida. If you’ve been charged with rape, you might be surprised to learn that you’re actually being charged with sexual battery. So what does that mean? 

In this brief article, a sexual battery attorney in Tampa with The Rickman Law Firm has shared the differences between sexual battery and rape and the penalties you could face if convicted. 

What Is Sexual Battery?

The big question is always whether sexual battery and rape are the same thing. Although the legal definitions vary state-by-state, in Florida sexual battery and rape are typically one in the same. 

Florida Statute Chapter 794 defines sexual battery as one party forcing another person to engage in sexual intercourse without consent, in a manner that is against their will. The key here is consent: that means that if one party is unable to give consent – for example, they’re a minor, are mentally incapacitated or handicapped, or are unconscious – and a sex act is performed on them, then a sexual battery charge may be the result. 

This is different from sexual assault, because sexual assault can include rape but sexual assault does not have to rise to the level of rape. Sexual assault also includes unwanted touching which does not necessarily rise to the level of sexual battery.

Penalties for Sexual Battery or Rape

Sexual battery, or rape, carries some of the most serious penalties in the state. Depending on the severity of the sexual battery, you may face anywhere from 25 years to life for this felony charge. 

There are additional penalties and punishments if the victim was or is currently a minor, if there were multiple perpetrators, or if the offender was an officer of the law or in another position of power. Additionally, if there were serious injuries as a result of the sexual battery, there may be additional charges and penalties added. 

There is such a wide range of punishments for sexual battery, and it is not one-size-fits-all. A lawyer will help you understand the penalties you might be facing in your unique case. 

Best Defense for Sexual Battery

If you’re facing sexual battery or sexual assault charges, you’ll need a sexual battery lawyer in Tampa with The Rickman Law Firm. Sexual battery or rape accusations can ruin your life, and you’ll need to defend yourself aggressively. Further, our team with The Rickman Law Firm will help you navigate the legal process, and will be able to pursue all necessary evidence and witnesses to obtain a favorable outcome. 

Our attorneys will not only look into the event, but will also examine the arrest to determine if your rights were violated. Don’t leave your future to a public defender. For a free consultation, 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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