Unlawful sexual activity with a minor is a serious crime that can result in a felony conviction. You could also be required to register as a sex offender. You must take the criminal charges you face seriously. An experienced attorney at Katz & Phillips, P.A. can help you defend yourself or respond appropriately to the charges you face to potentially minimize the penalties and long-term consequences.
Unlawful sexual activity with a minor has a very specific definition in Florida. You will be charged with this crime only if you are 24 or older and you have consensual sexual activity with someone aged 16 or 17. If you engage in sexual behavior with someone younger than this age or if the sexual behavior is not consensual, you will be charged with a different criminal act.
You need to understand Florida law related to unlawful sexual activity with a minor and you need to know how best to respond to the charges you face. Katz & Phillips, P.A. is here to help, so call today to speak with a member of our legal team.
Unlawful sexual activity with a minor is defined in section 794.05 of the Florida code. This crime occurs only if you are 24 or older and have consensual sex with someone who is 15 or 16. Ignorance of the victim’s age is not a defense to this criminal charge. This means that you can be found guilty of this offense even if the minor lied to you about his or her age and claimed to be 18 or older.
Penalties for unlawful sexual activity with a minor may include a fine of as much as $10,000, as long as 15 years of incarceration, and up to 15 years of required registration as a sex offender. The crime is considered a second-degree felony and has a Level 6 severity ranking.
If you have been accused of unlawful sexual activity with a minor, you may not use either consent or ignorance of the victim’s age as a defense to the charges. To avoid conviction, you will need to argue that the allegations against you are false or you will need to demonstrate that the prosecutor did not prove the claims against you.
You are innocent until proven guilty, so if the prosecutor is not able to show beyond a reasonable doubt that you engaged in sexual activity with a minor, then you should not be convicted.
An experienced attorney can help you to demonstrate that the accusations against you were false, or can assist in undermining the prosecutor’s evidence to introduce doubt as to your guilt. Your attorney can also assist you in negotiating a plea bargain with the prosecutor to minimize the penalties and consequences of a conviction for unlawful sexual activity with a minor.
Because of the seriousness of these criminal charges, it is essential to contact an experienced attorney as soon as you are accused of unlawful sexual activity with a minor. Katz & Phillips, P.A. is here to help, so call today to speak with a member of our legal team.