Part of it depends on how old the people engaging in sex are. If a man or a woman (a person) engages in sex with another person whether or not it is the crime of sexual battery is determined by ages. Generally, the age of consent in Florida is 18. However people sixteen and seventeen years old can engage in sex as long as the other party is not over 23. In other words, if a man 24 years or older engages in sex with a seventeen year old, he commits sexual battery.
It does not matter if the seventeen year old has lied about her age or is promiscuous.
If you are over 23 and the girl is under 18 you are in deep trouble.
This creates great danger for men and if there is any remote doubt about age, walk away. What if a seventeen year old girl has a false ID and is in a bar drinking. If you are over 23, as crazy as it may sound, even if she shows you a false ID claiming to be 19, and you hookup, it is a crime. If you are under 24 and she is 16 or 17, it is not a crime. The law is incredibly confusing for young men and women and a simple mistake can land you in prison and make you a registered sex offender, unless you qualify under the Romeo and Juliette law.
Under the law, 14 and 15 year old girls (jail bait) are incapable of giving legal consent and they are strictly off limits. Many times the police, conducting an interview will trick the person being questioned into thinking that if the 14 or 15 year old consented it is ok. If you are under investigation for any sex crime, particularly sexual battery, you absolutely should talk to a lawyer before saying anything to a detective or deputy. Your ignorance of the law may have gotten you into trouble. Do not let your ignorance of your constitutional rights bury you. There is nothing wrong with “lawyering up” and if you are under investigation for a sex crime, you should.
I have been defending men (and women) for over thirty years. Sadly, many teenage girls falsely accuse stepfathers, the mother’s new boyfriend and other relatives and have an agenda of their own. I have found that many of these accusations are simply false. Also, sadly, here in Sarasota the prosecutors have a tendency to always believe the accuser. They simply do not understand how a false accusation can destroy a life and a reputation.
If you have a son, brother, father or loved one under arrest or under investigation and want to discuss options call 941 366 3506 for a free consultation
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