Statutory Rape

When a person of any age engages in sexual activity with an individual less than 16 years, it is considered statutory rape According to Florida Sex Crime Defense Attorney Jim Weick. Sex crime laws in Florida cover an exceptionally broad field of conduct. When facing Statutory rape charges its critical for a highly experienced Sex Crime Attorney to counsel the defendant.

“Consent cannot be considered a defense, since a person under 16 years, legally cannot give consent to sexual activity. Additionally, an individual who is 16 years old and lest than 18 years, cannot legally give consent to sexual activity to a person who is 24 years or older.”– Florida Sex Crimes Attorney Weick

The age limits in Florida Law also distinguishes between legal age of consent, and age of consent. Under such distinction, an individual whose age is 16 or 17 years can give consent to sexual activity to a person who is below the age of 24. The person below the age of 24 can only be charged with statutory rape, if the victim of 16 or 17 years was disabled, or had not given consent to sexual activity.

Statute of limitations of 3 years applies to statutory rape, and the victim has to file rape charges within this period to prosecute the guilty party.

“The charge of statutory rape is considered a second-degree felony, and if convicted the person can be imprisoned for up to 15 years. Apart from the jail sentence, the person is also mandatorily registered as a sexual offender, which will result in severe limitations of rights and opportunities.” –Former Broward County Prosecutor now Sex Crime Defense Jim Weick Consensual sex between minors has increased dramatically, before they have reached the legally recognized age of consent.

In such instances, the older member of the couple will be technically guilty of statutory rape and will be facing severe penalties, including registration as a sexual offender. “This will restrict chances of getting a job and higher education.

The severity of punishment was not considered appropriate, as sexual activity was consensual, but simply did not meet the condition of legally recognized age for consent.” – Jim Weick Florida Sex Crimes Lawyer In view of such instances, Romeo and Juliet law was passed in 2007 in Florida. The Romeo and Juliet law is designed to protect teenagers having consensual sex, from being registered as sexual offenders.

According to the law, the victim must be a willing participant in the sexual activity, must be between 14 and 17 years, and should not be more than four years younger than the other partner.” – Florida Attorney Jim Weick Romeo and Juliet law appears in Florida Statute 943.04354, and states the conditions for removal of the requirement for such a person to be registered as a sexual offender or sexual predator. The said person should not have any other conviction or adjudication of guilt for violating similar statutes in the past.

When defending this type of case Sex Crimes Attorney Jim Weick explains: 
 “The person has to formally move the court and must allege in the motion that he or she meets the criteria as laid down in this law for not beings registered as a sexual offender.” – Florida Sex Crime Defense Lawyer Jim Weick

If this motion is denied for any reason by the court, the person can no longer petition for the removal of sexual offender registration.
When the order is passed by the court, the person has to submit the certified copy of the order to Department of Law Enforcement, and the department will remove the record of the person from sexual offender and sexual predator registry. The public can however, still access other criminal history of the person that is on record.

There are advantages in The Romeo and Juliet Law. This law has effectively addressed the concerns of high school kids being labeled as sexual offenders or sexual predators, just because they have participated in consensual sexual activity. Such kids can now avoid the stigma and severe consequences related with being classified as a sexual offender.– Florida Sex Crimes Attorney Jim Weick

The age limits in Florida Law also distinguishes between legal age of consent, and age of consent. Under such distinction, an individual whose age is 16 or 17 years can give consent to sexual activity to a person who is below the age of 24.

The person below the age of 24 can only be charged with statutory rape, if the victim of 16 or 17 years was disabled, or had not given consent to sexual activity. Statute of limitations of 3 years applies to statutory rape, and the victim has to file rape charges within this period to prosecute the guilty party. “The charge of statutory rape is considered a second-degree felony, and if convicted the person can be imprisoned for up to 15 years. Apart from the jail sentence, the person is also mandatorily registered as a sexual offender, which will result in severe limitations of rights and opportunities.” – Former Broward County Prosecutor now Sex Crime Defense Jim Weick Consensual sex between minors has increased dramatically, before they have reached the legally recognized age of consent.

In such instances, the older member of the couple will be technically guilty of statutory rape and will be facing severe penalties, including registration as a sexual offender. “This will restrict chances of getting a job and higher education. The severity of punishment was not considered appropriate, as sexual activity was consensual, but simply did not meet the condition of legally recognized age for consent.” – Jim Weick Florida Sex Crimes Lawyer In view of such instances, Romeo and Juliet law was passed in 2007 in Florida.

The Romeo and Juliet law
The Romeo and Juliet law is designed to protect teenagers having consensual sex, from being registered as sexual offenders. 
 According to the law, the victim must be a willing participant in the sexual activity, must be between 14 and 17 years, and should not be more than four years younger than the other partner.” – Florida Attorney Jim Weick Romeo and Juliet law appears in Florida Statute 943.04354, and states the conditions for removal of the requirement for such a person to be registered as a sexual offender or sexual predator. The said person should not have any other conviction or adjudication of guilt for violating similar statutes in the past.

When defending this type of case Sex Crimes Attorney Jim Weick explains:
The person has to formally move the court and must allege in the motion that he or she meets the criteria as laid down in this law for not beings registered as a sexual offender. – Florida Sex Crime Defense Lawyer Jim Weick

If this motion is denied for any reason by the court, the person can no longer petition for the removal of sexual offender registration. When the order is passed by the court, the person has to submit the certified copy of the order to Department of Law Enforcement, and the department will remove the record of the person from sexual offender and sexual predator registry.

The public can however, still access other criminal history of the person that is on record. “There are advantages in The Romeo and Juliet Law. This law has effectively addressed the concerns of high school kids being labeled as sexual offenders or sexual predators, just because they have participated in consensual sexual activity. Such kids can now avoid the stigma and severe consequences related with being classified as a sexual offender.” – Florida Sex Crimes Attorney Jim Weick References

For more information about this type of case contact:
William R. Moore Criminal Defense Attorneys at 
(954) 523-5333

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