Unlawful Sexual Activity with Minors
In Florida, Unlawful Sexual Activity with Minors is committed when a person twenty-four (24) years of age or older engages in consensual sexual activity with a person 16 or 17 years of age.
"But I thought she was 18!"
It doesn't matter. Ignorance of the victim's age is precluded by statute as a defense to the crime of Unlawful Sexual Activity with Minors.
"Young Adult" Exception
Moreover, while it may be legal for someone between 18 and 23 (carefully note the age here), to have sex with a minor between 16 and 17 years old (again, the specific age matters), it is always illegal to have non-consensual sex with a minor of any age.
Possible penalties for Unlawful Sexual Activity with Minors
Unlawful Sexual Activity with Minors is a Second Degree Felony punishable by up to fifteen years in prison, fifteen years of sex offender probation, and a $10,000 fine. Because of its' high offense severity ranking, a judge must sentence a person convicted of this crime to almost 6 years in Florida state prison, pursuant to Florida's Criminal Punishment Code.
Which is why it's important to contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer. I have personally filed successful motions for downward departure and have argued for "a below the guidelines" sentences in Unlawful Sexual Activity with Minors cases.
"Romeo and Juliet" Exception
I have also been successful in petitioning the court to remove a defendant's "sex offender" designation from sex offender registries and databases employing the so-called "Romeo and Juliet" exception.
Finally, consider the following defenses to the crime of Unlawful Sexual Activity with Minors:
First, such conduct must be proven. In testimonial cases, for example, all the State Attorney has is a minor child's word. In those instances, a good investigator may discover other, underlying reasons for the child's accusation ― for example, parents going through a nasty divorce or custody battle and pitting the child against a parent.
This is why it's critically important to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney to develop an effective defense strategy and hold the State Attorney's Office to their burden of proving the crime of Unlawful Sexual Activity with Minors beyond and to the exclusion of any reasonable doubt.
There is hope
If you or a loved one is arrested and charged with Unlawful Sexual Activity with Minors, please call our 24-hour telephone number 305-461-1066 to set up an appointment and free consultation so we can assess your particular case and provide you with the best legal advice on how to proceed. Your meeting with me will be strictly confidential and subject to the attorney-client privilege.
I want to hear your side of the story.
State and Federal Criminal Defense Attorney
55 Merrick Way ~ Suite 212
Coral Gables, Florida 33134
305-461-1066 (24 Hours)
We are solely a Criminal Defense Law Firm. That's all we do and all we have done since 1987.