Being accused of any sex offense in Florida is a serious situation and one that should only be handled by a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney who has ample experience gathering evidence to support the rights of a person who has been accused. Regardless of the type of offense you are facing, you should retain the services of an attorney as soon as possible. You should never blow off a sex offense allegation because you could find yourself behind bars or dealing with the other consequences of a conviction far too easily.
One of the most commonly charged sex offenses throughout the state of Florida is known as lewd or lascivious molestation. This criminalizes any sexual interaction with a person younger than age 16, but these charges do fall short of lascivious or lewd battery.
Florida Statute 800.04(5) outlines the definition of lewd or lascivious molestation. This occurs when an individual purposely touches the genitals, buttocks or breasts of a child younger than age 16 in a lascivious or lewd manner. It can also include behavior such as forcing, encouraging or enticing a child under age 16 to touch another person in lascivious or lewd manner. Lewd and lascivious are technically classified as meaning the same thing and reference a sensual intent. This is a strict liability crime and it is classified this way in order to combat the commonly raised defenses that the child consented to the sexual act or that the child’s real age was unknown.
Given the serious consequences associated with any sex offense conviction in the state of Florida, you should schedule time to consult with an experienced sex offense criminal defense attorney immediately. There are many different ways that your life can be forever changed by a sex offense allegation and the support of a lawyer is extremely valuable. You deserve to work with an attorney who is deeply concerned about your future and one who will keep you updated for the entirety of your case, including if any plea deals are offered or are in your best interests.