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Sexual Offenses Against Students by Authority Figures

The state of Florida has imposed laws to protect minor students from being sexually taken advantage of by authority figures. Committing a sexual act against a student as an authority figure is an incredibly serious crime that carries harsh penalties. A conviction could mean steep fines that are thousands of dollars and since it’s a felony level offense you could even be sentenced to years in prison.

The penalties for committing a sexual crime against a student as an authority figure extends beyond the courtroom. It’s likely you will never be able to retain another education-related job or childcare-related position because you have a child sex crime on your criminal record. A conviction could cause you to not just lose your freedom, but your livelihood. Not to mention you could have issues applying to housing, jobs, and loans because of your felon status.

If you or someone you know has been charged with a sexual offense against a student as an authority figure, then it’s important you seek experienced legal representation.

West Palm Beach Attorney for Sexual Offenses Against Students by Authority Figures, FL

If you or someone you know has been charged with committing a sexual offense against a student as an authority figure, it’s within your best interest to gain legal representation. A sex crimes conviction involving children could devastate your educational career. This doesn’t even include the statutory penalties such as expensive fines or prison you could face. Don’t wait another moment to protect yourself and call Meltzer & Bell, P.A..

Our attorneys at Meltzer & Bell, P.A. collectively have decades of experience we can utilize for your case. Don’t let these accusations ruin your future going forward. Call us now at (561) 557-8686 to set up your first consultation free. We practice throughout the greater Palm Beach County area including West Palm Beach, Wellington, Boca Raton and Jupiter.

Overview of Sexual Offenses Against Students by Authority Figures in FL


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Elements for Sexual Offenses Against Students by Authority Figures in FL

Unfortunately, many cases of sexual abuse can be found not just domestically but also within the school system. Florida has implemented harsh penalties for people who are authority figures committing sexual crimes against students for the child’s protection. However, it’s important to know the legal definitions for both “authority figures” and “students” to thoroughly understand the crime.

The Florida Statutes Section 775.0862 defines a “authority figure” as any person who is 18 years old or older and is employed by, volunteering at, or under contract at the school. Some examples of authority figures as defined by the Florida Statutes include, but are not limited to:

  • Teachers;
  • Assistant teachers;
  • ESL teachers and assistants;
  • Principals;
  • Vice principals;
  • Office administration;
  • School nurses;
  • Custodians;
  • Field trip volunteers;
  • PTSA members;
  • Construction workers at the school;
  • Student resource officers;
  • Guidance counselors;
  • Coaches;
  • Volunteer coaches;
  • Cafeteria workers;
  • School librarians; and
  • School bus drivers

The term “school” can include private schools, voluntary pre-kindergarten education programs (pre-k), Florida School for the Deaf and Blind and the Florida Virtual School. It doesn’t apply to facilitates dedicated exclusively to the education of adults such as a community college, university of trade school. The term “student” refers to any person younger than the age of 18 years old enrolled in a school.


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Penalties for Sexual Offenses by Authority Figures Against Students in FL

The penalties for committing a sexual offense on a child are incredibly serious. Since an authority figure has more power over a minor to coerce them into sexual acts the penalties for sexual offenses by authority figures against students are enhanced dramatically. The purpose of this is to deter predators from preying on minors through the school system.

If you were convicted of a sexual offense against a student as an authority figure, then your crime will be reclassified by one felony degree. For example, if you were charged with internet solicitation of a child then you will face a third-degree felony. However, if you were an authority figure and the victim was a student, then your crime will be reclassified to a second-degree felony. So, if the crime was a second-degree felony, then your offense will be reclassified to a felony of the first degree.

The only exception to this rule is for sexual battery and video voyeurism cases because both have sections pertaining to penalties for committing these crimes as authority figures.


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Additional Resources

Childhelp – Visit the official website for Childhelp, a non-profit and non-partisan organization dedicated to helping vulnerable children who are survivors of sexual abuse. Access the site to learn more about their story, statistics for child abuse within the U.S> and how to get involved.

FL Laws for Sexual Offenses Against Students by Authority Figures – Visit the official website of the updated Florida Statutes to read the statuary language surrounding sexual crimes against students by authority figures. Access the law to learn the elements of the crime, penalties and other various important information.


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Defense Lawyer for Child Sex Crimes by Authority Figures in West Palm Beach, FL

If you or someone you know has been accused of committing a sex crime against a minor student as an authority figure, then it’s imperative you seek legal representation. The attorneys at Meltzer & Bell, P.A. have decades of experience representing people accused of child sex crimes.

We understand how simple allegations can devastate your career and personal relationships. Let us utilize our skills to clear your name and save your livelihood. Call us now at (561) 557-8686 to set up your first consultation free. Meltzer & Bell, P.A. accepts clients throughout the greater Palm Beach County area including West Palm Beach, Wellington, Boca Raton and Jupiter.


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