Under Florida, sexual battery, also known as sex assault or rape, is considered a felony criminal offense. You can be found guilty of sexual battery if there is proof that you engaged in oral, vaginal, or anal physical penetration or union with a sexual organ of another without their consent, or if you participated in anal or vaginal penetration of someone with an object without that person’s consent. Sexual battery also covers offenses where an offender engages in the sexual penetration of someone who is either physically helpless, or unconscious or asleep, or with someone who is physically incapacitated, meaning someone who is handicapped, or impaired to the extent that they can resist or flee the sexual battery.
As previously mentioned, sexual battery is considered a felony offense under Florida law, but the degree of felony and the severity of the punishment is dependent on the facts and circumstances of your case. For example, if you are eighteen years of age or older, and the victim of the sexual battery is less than twelve years of age, then you can be convicted of a capital felony which is punishable by life in jail or even the death penalty. If the victim is twelve years or older, but less than eighteen years, the offense is considered a first-degree felony, where penalties can possibly include up to thirty years in jail and a fine of up to $10,000. Finally, if the victim is older than eighteen, the offense is generally considered a second-degree felony which is punishable by up to fifteen years in jail, and a fine of up to $10,000. However, it is important to note that the severity of the offense and the punishment can be greater depending on the facts and circumstances of your case, such as whether the victim was incapacitated or helpless to resist at the time of the offense, or whether you or someone else administers a narcotic or other intoxicating substance to the victim that renders them mentally or physically incapacitated.
In addition, the penalties become harsher if the sexual battery was committed using physical force that is likely to cause serious injury, or using or threatening to use a deadly weapon on a victim to force them to engage in the sexual conduct. In these cases of forced rape, offenders can possibly face up to life in prison, or depending on the circumstances, even the death penalty.