In Florida, a person commits sexual battery when they penetrate another's mouth, anus, or vagina with the actor's own sexual organs or the sexual organs of someone else. The offense is also committed when such penetration occurs by any other object. Commonly known as rape, this crime is a serious offense in Florida and is always charged as a felony.
Technically, when someone is charged with an offense referred to as Capital Sexual Battery, they are not being accused of a different crime than standard sexual battery. Instead, the term refers to the degree of felony a person can be charged with for committing the crime under certain circumstances, which depend on the age of the perpetrator, the victim, and the relationship between the two.
Sexual Battery Committed on a Child Under 12 Years of Age
One of the circumstances in which a person faces a capital felony charge for sexual battery is when they engaged in sexual intercourse with a minor under 12 years of age. For the offense to be considered Capital Sexual Battery, the alleged actor must have been 18 years of age or older. If they were younger than that, the crime is charged as a life felony.
Sexual Battery that Injures the Victim
Another way a person could be charged with Capital Sexual Battery is when they attempt to have sexual intercourse with a child under 12 years of age, and they cause injury to the victim's sexual organs. Again, for the offense to be charged as a capital felony, the perpetrator must have been 18 years of age or older; otherwise, it's a life felony.
Sexual Battery Committed by a Family Member or Custody
A person may also be accused of Capital Sexual Battery if they have a familial or custodial relationship to the victim and the victim is a child under 12 years of age.
What Are the Punishments for Capital Sexual Battery?
In Florida, the most serious offenses are charged as capital felonies. As such, Capital Sexual Battery comes with the harshest of penalties. If a person is convicted of the offense, they may be sentenced to life in prison.
If you've been accused of a sex crime in Miami, you need serious defense on your side. At Hager & Schwartz, P.A., we have experience on both sides of the courtroom and can provide the insightful and vigorous legal representation you need. Call us at (305) 330-1360 or contact us online today.