Dade City & Zephyrhills Lewd & Lascivious Battery Attorney
The crime of Lewd or Lascivious Battery in Florida is a 2nd degree felony and is punishable up to 15 years in prison. Florida Statute 800.04(4) states that a person commits a Lewd or Lascivious Battery when the person commits one of the following:
- Engages in sexual activity* with a person 12 years of age or older but less than 16 years of age, or
- Encourages, forces, or entices any person less than 16 years old to engage in sadomasochistic abuse, sexual bestiality, prostitution, or any other act involving sexual activity.
*Sexual Activity is defined in the statute as meaning the oral, anal, or vagina penetration by, or union with , the sexual organ of another or the anal or vaginal penetration of another by any other object; however, sexual activity does not include an act done for a bona fide medical purpose.
Hire an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney before Speaking with the Police
If you are the subject of a Lewd or Lascivious battery investigation, the police probably will attempt to obtain a verbal or written statement from you. Sometimes the officer will read the suspect his Constitutional Rights or Miranda warnings. In many instances the officer does not read the suspect his Miranda warnings because the officer believes the law doesn’t require it. Frequently, the police officer or detective will attempt to obtain the statement from an L&L battery suspect in a casual and relaxed setting without Miranda warnings. This law enforcement interview technique is done this way for two reasons. The first reason is to make the suspect comfortable and to get the suspect to talk openly. The second reason is to avoid having to read the suspect his Miranda Warnings out of concern the suspect will invoke his rights and demand an attorney before questioning. Keep in mind that an officer is not required to read a suspect his Miranda warnings during consensual encounters. A consensual encounter occurs when a suspect is free to leave and agrees to answer the questions. Also, be aware that officers are allowed to lie to you when they interview you. This is also a technique that law enforcement officers use to get a suspect to admit details of an incident. Additionally, interviews may be recorded without your knowledge and others times they are not. If you are confronted with this situation, you have the right to remain silent and talk with an experienced Dade City & Zephyrhills Lewd & Lascivious battery attorney before making any statements.
A SUSPECT SHOULD NOT TALK TO THE POLICE UNTIL AN EXPERIENCED CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY IS RETAINED.
The experienced Lewd or Lascivious battery lawyers at the Madonna Law Group are available to offer guidance during this crucial stage of the investigation. If you are a suspect in an L&L battery investigation, you need to assemble your legal team as early as possible. Our criminal defense attorneys have extensive experience in dealing with law enforcement officers and prosecutors during these types of investigations. Call 352.567.0411 to schedule a free initial consultation.
Sexual Offender/Predator Lifetime Registration Requirements if Convicted
Any person convicted of a Lewd or Lascivious battery would be declared either a sexual offender or sexual predator and be forced to comply with sexual offender/predator registration laws in Florida and throughout the United States
Defenses that cannot be used in Florida Lewd or Lascivious Cases
- The alleged victim’s past sexual experience or lack of chastity cannot be used as defense. Even if the alleged victim is a prostitute, that fact in most cases will be ruled inadmissible.
- The alleged victim’s consent cannot be used as a defense in L&L cases.
- The belief that the alleged victim was of legal age. It is not a defense if the alleged victim lied about his/her age or the perpetrator had a good faith reason to believe the alleged victim was of legal age.
Florida Criminal Punishment Code (Score Sheet)
If charged with Lewd or Lascivious Battery, a prosecutor employed by the State Attorney’s Office will prepare a Criminal Punishment Code Score Sheet and forward a copy to your criminal defense lawyer. This document is commonly referred to as the Score Sheet.
The score is determined by evaluating the defendant’s current pending charges and past criminal history. Once completed, the score sheet will compute the lowest possible prison sentence in months. This lowest possible prison sentence is commonly referred to as the Bottom of the Guidelines. The Bottom of the Guidelines is the minimum amount of months in prison the circuit court judge can lawfully sentence you to unless the judge finds a lawful reason for a downward departure and is willing to go below guidelines. Downward departures are discussed below.
The crime of Lewd or Lascivious Battery is a Level 8 offense that carries 92 points. An additional 40 points can be added to a defendant’s score if there is sexual contact with the victim, and 80 points if the case involves penetration. A defendant with no prior criminal record, if convicted of L& L Battery will score at the bottom of the guidelines a prison sentence of 48 months, 78 months if there is sexual contact, and 108 months if there is sexual penetration.
Downward Departures Due to Mitigating Circumstances
A downward departure allows a judge to sentence an offender convicted of Lewd & Lascivious Battery below the Bottom of the Guidelines. There are many mitigating circumstances that the sentencing judge may consider when deciding whether to grant a motion for a downward departure. The judge may still decline to give a downward departure even when the facts presented establish a reason to depart downward.
Free Initial Consultation on Lewd or Lascivious Battery Allegations
Call (352) 567-0411 today to speak with a Dade City & Zephyrhills Lewd & Lascivious battery attorney. Our firm is in Dade City, located in Pasco County, Florida. We are located directly across the street from the Pasco County Courthouse. The Madonna Law Group also represents clients involving criminal matters in but not limited to Hernando County, Sumter County, Citrus County, Hillsborough County, Polk County, and Pinellas County, including Tampa, Brooksville, New Port Richey, Clearwater, St. Petersburg, Lakeland, Bushnell, Bartow, and Plant City. We will defend you anywhere in the State of Florida.