Miami Sexual Assault Defense Lawyer
Sexual battery is a violent crime that can leave a lasting physical and emotional impact on its victims. There are many myths about sexual battery and other sex crimes commonly spread in our culture, such as the assumption that victims somehow “ask for” their attacks or that only individuals of a specific race, age, or gender can commit sexual crimes. The truth is, anybody can be a victim or a perpetrator of a sex crime. Minors and women can be perpetrators, men can be victims, and it is possible for a married individual to commit sexual assault or battery against his or her spouse.
If you are charged with sexual assault or battery, start working with a member of our team of experienced Miami sexual assault defense lawyers as soon as you can. These offenses carry serious penalties that vary according to the ages of the offender and the victim and the nature of the offense. In some cases, an individual convicted of sexual battery can face life in prison.
What is Sexual Assault and Battery?
In Florida, sexual battery is defined as the “oral, anal, or vaginal penetration by, or with the sexual organ of another or the vaginal or anal penetration of another by any other object” without the victim’s consent. The term is used synonymously with the terms “sexual assault” and “rape.”
The difference between an illegal sexual act and a legal one is the presence of consent from all parties. Certain parties, such as those under the age of 18 (unless the other party is aged 23 or younger and the relationship is consensual under Florida’s “Romeo and Juliet” law) and mentally incapacitated individuals, cannot consent to sexual activity. Individuals who are drunk or under the influence of other drugs also cannot consent to sexual activity.
Although the term “battery” implies violence, an act of nonconsensual sex does not have to involve violence to be rape. Any time sex occurs without the victim’s consent, whether it is due to coercion, threat, or violence, sexual battery has occurred.
Effects of Sexual Assault and Battery on a Victim
When sexual battery does involve violence, a victim can suffer bruises, cuts, and damage to the area of the body where the nonconsensual penetration occurred. Whether violence occurred or not, the victim can also suffer emotional damage, such as post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression following the incident, and anxiety. Victims might feel ashamed and avoid discussing their experiences or seeking help for their trauma. In some cases, this shame keeps victims from seeking legal help.
Contact Our Experienced Miami Sexual Assault & Battery Lawyers
If you have been charged with sexual assault or sexual battery, you need work work with an experienced criminal defense lawyer to fight the charge. When you are facing one or more of these charges, you are facing steep penalties that can impact your liberty for the rest of your life. To get started on your case’s defense strategy, contact our team of experienced Miami sexual assault and battery lawyers at Ratzan & Faccidomo, LLC to schedule your initial consultation with us.