What Are My Rights If I Am Being Investigated For a Domestic Sexual Battery Charge?

Sexual battery charges are considered very seriously in the Florida legal system. If you find yourself being investigated for an unjust domestic sexual battery charge in Florida, you should immediately seek legal counsel and protection from an experienced sex crimes defense attorney.

At The Rickman Law Firm, each of our successful, skilled Tampa sexual battery attorneys are firmly committed to helping individuals like you navigate these challenging situations.

Understanding Domestic Sexual Battery in Florida

Domestic sexual battery involves non-consensual sexual contact between individuals who are married or residing together as a family. Under Florida law, domestic sexual battery is defined as the unlawful touching or penetration of another person’s sexual organs, without their consent, when the act occurs between spouses or partners. To fully understand the scope of a domestic sexual battery charge, there are three statutes to bear in mind:

  • Under Florida Statute 741.28, domestic violence is any assault, battery, sexual assault, or other criminal offense resulting in the injury or death of a family or household member by another family or household member. Domestic battery is defined as the actual and intentional touching, striking, or causing of bodily harm to another family or household member without their consent. 
  • The act of violence is defined in 784.046(1)(a) as any assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, or false imprisonment, or any criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death, by a person against any other person.
  • Florida Statute § 794.011(8) defines sexual battery as oral, anal, or female genital penetration by, or union with, the sexual organ of another or the anal or female genital penetration of another by any other object; however, sexual battery does not include an act done for a bona fide medical purpose. 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, punishable as a potential penalty of up to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

Rights of Individuals Being Investigated for Domestic Sexual Battery

As an individual facing an investigation for domestic sexual battery, you have important rights that are essential to protect your innocence and ensure a fair legal process. These rights include:

Presumption of Innocence

In accordance with the principles of justice, you are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. The burden of proof rests on the prosecution to establish your guilt.

Right To Remain Silent

You have the right to remain silent and avoid self-incrimination. It is crucial to exercise this right and refrain from providing any statements to law enforcement or investigators without the presence of legal counsel.

Right To Legal Counsel

Your attorney will protect your interests, ensure your rights are upheld, and develop a robust defense strategy. Sexual battery charges of any kind are notoriously tried severely in court and equipping yourself with a strong, skilled Tampa sexual battery attorney with The Rickman Law Firm will grant you the greatest chance at achieving a more favorable outcome.

Right To Due Process

The right to due process guarantees fair treatment under the law, including timely and adequate notice of the charges against you, access to evidence, and the opportunity to confront witnesses.

Protection Against Unreasonable Search and Seizure

The Fourth Amendment protects individuals from unreasonable searches and seizures by law enforcement. Evidence obtained in violation of these protections may be challenged in court.

Building a Defense Strategy

To mount an effective defense against domestic sexual battery charges, it is essential to construct a robust strategy. Building off of years of experience, your Tampa sexual battery lawyer with The Rickman Law Firm may employ various strategies in order to help build an effective defense strategy against your charge.

Collecting Evidence and Witness Testimonies

The first step that your attorney will take is to begin gathering any available evidence and testimonies that support your innocence and can significantly strengthen your defense. Some forms of evidence gathered may include surveillance footage, text messages, or testimonies from witnesses present during the alleged incident.

Your attorney may also begin gathering testimonies from witnesses or individuals who would be able to provide a character statement or any additional information concerning your relationship with the alleged victim.

Challenging Credibility

Another strategy that your attorney will likely employ is challenging the credibility of the prosecution’s argument and evidence. After the discovery period, your attorney will meticulously comb through the prosecution’s evidence and determine if they can scrutinize inconsistencies in their statements. 

Your attorney may also choose to challenge the ulterior motives of the prosecutor, often drawing on past behaviors when this strategy is taking place.

Exploring Defenses

While collecting evidence and reviewing the prosecution’s evidence and argument, your attorney will explore potential defenses for your case as determined by the circumstances of your charge’s details. 

Some defenses that have been skillfully accepted during trial include arguing a lack of evidence or demonstrating that the alleged act was consensual.

Addressing Consent Within a Marital Relationship

Consent is fundamental, even within a marital relationship. Your defense may involve examining the dynamics of your marriage, communication patterns, and any prior agreements or understandings between you and your spouse in order to determine consent being given. 

This defense strategy undermines the prosecution’s entire argument and requires very specific arguments to be made during the trial proceedings.

Do Not Fight a Domestic Sexual Battery Charge Alone

Facing a domestic sexual battery charge can be overwhelming, but understanding your rights and seeking experienced legal representation from a highly-skilled, expert Tampa sexual battery lawyer with The Rickman Law Firm can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case.

To contact one of our attorneys today, fill out our consultation form or call us any time at 813-999-0502.

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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