In Florida, lewd or lascivious molestation is described as the crime of touching the genitals, buttocks, or breasts of a person younger than 16 in a manner that is lustful or wicked, or with sensual intent. This offense is also the forcing, encouragement, or enticement of a child under 16 to touch another individual in a lewd or lascivious (lustful or wicked) manner. At Adams & Luka, our Orlando sex crime defense lawyers know the life-changing consequences individuals face if found guilty of this serious offense. We urge you to contact our firm today so that we can begin to mount an effective, solid defense in an effort to protect your freedom, reputation, and future.
Lewd or lascivious molestation may be charged as a second or third degree felony, or a life felony depending on the ages of the victim and the perpetrator. For example, if the offender is younger than 18 and the victim is between the ages of 12 and 16, the crime is generally charged as a third degree felony. In cases where the perpetrator is older than 18 and the victim younger than 12, it may be charged as a life felony.
It is important that anyone under investigation understand they should avoid speaking with police without an Orlando sex crime attorney, as police will use underhanded tactics in order to get you to talk. Police or investigators will often act as a suspect's friend, providing a relaxed or casual atmosphere in order to get the suspect to say something that may be used against him or her. It is also not against the law for police to lie in an interview in order to trick you into giving them further ammunition. You have Constitutional rights, and one of those rights is your right to remain silent and speak with an experienced criminal defense lawyer.Defenses to Charges of Lewd or Lascivious Molestation in Florida
While there may be pretrial and trial defenses that are effective in defending against charges of lewd or lascivious molestation, two that are frequently used, depending on the facts of a case, include:
Lack of lewd intent - the very core of this offense is that the intent is lewd, or in other words lustful, wicked, or sexually enticing. If the intention of the contact was not lewd or lascivious, the crime cannot be proven.
False allegations - children are often "coached" or coerced by adults to falsely accuse other people of crimes they did not commit. This may be done out of anger or jealousy of a spouse, or accusations may be made by someone who is mentally unstable, or even an unstable parent who coerces a child into making these accusations.
The defense developed in your case will depend largely on the strength or existence of evidence and other factors unique to your situation. Ignorance of a child's age, proximity in age, and consent are not valid defenses in these types of cases.Criminal Penalties for Lewd or Lascivious Molestation in Orlando & Central Florida
The criminal penalties for lewd or lascivious molestation are extremely severe, one reason it is vital to your freedom and future to consult with a capable defense attorney. If convicted, the defendant may face penalties determined by whether he or she is charged with a life felony, or second or third degree felony. These penalties include:
A life felony involves a perpetrator who is older than 18 and a victim who is younger than 12. First time offenders may be sentenced to a minimum of 25 years in prison to life behind bars. If sentenced to 25 years, the defendant will then be placed on probation or community control for the rest of his or her life.
Second degree felony occurs when the victim is younger than 12, and the perpetrator younger than 18, or when the perpetrator is older than 18 and the alleged victim between the ages of 12 and 16. Criminal penalties include a minimum of 4 1/4 years in prison to a maximum of 15 years in prison.
Third degree felony occurs when the perpetrator is younger than 18, and the alleged victim is over 12 years of age but younger than 16. The criminal penalties if convicted of third degree felony lewd or lascivious molestation include a minimum of three (3) years in prison, and a maximum of 15 years in prison.
Any person who is convicted of lewd or lascivious molestation will be determined to be a sexual offender or predator upon his/her release from prison. Being labeled a sex offender or sexual predator affects every aspect of your life, including employment, housing, and your reputation within the community.Contact Adams & Luka Immediately
Crimes of a sexual nature are always serious, and are vigorously prosecuted in the state of Florida. At Adams & Luka, we urge you not to put your very freedom and future in jeopardy. We will provide aggressive, effective legal guidance and representation, always focusing on positive results. Call us immediately for a free consultation at (407) 872-0307 or (352) 787-2101 and put your case in capable hands.