The “age of consent” refers to the age that a person can legally consent to sexual activity. Each state has established its own age of consent with the ages being either 16, 17, or 18. Here in Florida, the age of consent is 18 years old, while it’s only 16 in our neighboring states of Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina.
Under Section 794.05 of the Florida Statutes, it says, “A person 24 years of age or older who engages in sexual activity with a person 16 or 17 years of age commits a felony of the second degree,” punishable by up to 15 years in prison and by a fine not to exceed $10,000.
An individual aged 24 years of age or older does not need to have sexual intercourse with a 16 or 17-year-old to be guilty of an offense under Section 794.05. Under this section, “sexual activity” includes oral, anal or vaginal penetration by another’s a sexual organ or by an object. Sexual activity, however, does not include procedures performed for a bona fide medical purpose.
If someone who is 24 or older commits an offense under Section 794.05 and it results in a female victim becoming pregnant, the court shall have a paternity test performed and if it is deemed that the defendant is the father of the child, he shall be ordered to pay child support according to Florida’s Child Support Guidelines.
Florida’s Sexual Battery Law
In Florida, if someone age 18 or older engages in sexual activity with a minor without their consent, he or she can be charged with sexual battery under Section 794.011 of the Florida Statutes. Since the age of consent is 18 in Florida, a minor under the age of 18 is not legally capable of giving their consent.
“Sexual battery” is defined as “oral, anal, or vaginal penetration by, or union with, the sexual organ of another or the anal or vaginal penetration of another by any other object,” under Section 794.011. The penalties depend on the age of the perpetrator and the age of the minor.
If someone is 18 or older and he or she commits sexual battery upon a minor between the ages of 12 and 17, and the person did not use physical force, he or she commits a felony of the first degree even if the minor was a willing participant. The punishment for a felony of the first degree is up to 30 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000. That’s a hefty penalty, especially if the relationship was not coerced by the perpetrator.
If you are facing criminal charges for engaging in sexual activity with a minor in Miami, I urge you to contact Jonathan Blecher, P.A. to schedule a free case evaluation.