Tampa Statutory Rape Attorney
Consent is Not a Defense for Statutory Rape
In Florida, the age of consent is 18 years old. The fact that a minor agreed to or gave consent for a sexual act does not make for a defense or an allowable act. The facts are that legally a minor is not recognized as having the capacity to give consent. In other words, any consent given is invalid.
There are a number of complexities to the application of this law but in general it is meant to punish adults that took advantage of or engaged in sex with a minor.
Rape is commonly defined as:
- An act of forced sex or sex obtained through threats of force and intimidation
- Having sex with another that has not or cannot give their consent
The law is very precise in defining even an act of consensual sex with a minor as rape. Unable to give consent this violates our legal and social principles. If the act also included force, threats or intimidation then the punishment will be much harsher and treated as a crime of violence as well.
These are very tough charges to be up against and an individual will face great social pressures as well as harsh prosecution efforts. Having a Tampa sex crimes defense attorney with in depth familiarity of how to not only defend but to prosecute such charges is invaluable. Our job at The Law Office of Timothy Hessinger is to work hard to keep you out of prison and to do everything we can to prevent you from being labeled as a sex offender.
Penalties for Statutory Rape
Law enforcement agents are only concerned with finding evidence or getting a confession of guilt. Prosecutors are concerned with getting convictions. Sex crimes that involve minors carry a level of penalty that is relatively unique. While as with any other felony an individual will be looking at time behind bars these crimes also carry heavy social stigma and the subsequent labeling as a sex offender. This action alone can stain your name and haunt you for years, if not life.
The penalties for conviction of having sex with a minor include:
- Second degree felony charges
- Prison sentences of up to 15 years
- registration as a sex offender
Sex Offender Registration
Registration allows public access to your personal information and may well affect your future employment and standing in the community. Depending on the type of sex crime you are charged with, you could be required to list your information on the sex offender registry or for the rest of your life.
Sex Offenders are obligated to report the following:
- Report their address
- Notify the sheriffs of change in address within 10 days of moving
- Report in person to the sheriff if he or she intends to travel outside of Florida or the US
Contact a Skilled Tampa Sex Crimes Lawyer Today
Attorney Tim Hessinger has many years of experience in the State Attorney's Office prosecuting such crimes. This gives us the background and insight of how to look for weaknesses in cases and to pursue dismissals of cases or effectively negotiate for reduced charges. Sex crimes that involve minors can lead to harsh sentencing and mandatory registration as a sex offender. Please act quickly and contact a Tampa sex crimes attorney. The earlier we get started, the better our chances are of a beneficial outcome for you.