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Date Rape

The phrase date rape is used to describe sexual battery offenses in which the victim and alleged offender were in the midst of or previously had some kind of romantic relationship. Date rape is not the same as acquaintance rape, which involves an alleged offender who was known to an alleged victim but had no history of dating.

In many cases, a person accused of committing date rape is often shocked to learn that he or she is under criminal investigation. Most people’s first instinct is to immediately explain their point of view and attempt to clear up misunderstandings, but it is important for any person suspected of a date rape crime to exercise his or her right to remain silent until he or she has legal representation.

Lawyer for Date Rape Defense in West Palm Beach, FL

Do you think that you might be under investigation or were you already arrested for date rape in the greater Palm Beach County area? Do not say anything to authorities until you can contact Meltzer & Bell, P.A..

West Palm Beach criminal defense attorneys Lawrence Meltzer and Steven Bell defend clients accused of sex crimes in communities all over Miami-Dade County, Palm Beach County, and Broward County, including Greenacres, Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, Jupiter, and many others. Call (561) 557-8686 right now to have our lawyers review your case and help you understand all of your legal options during a free initial consultation.


Overview of Date Rape in Palm Beach County


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Date Rape Charges in Florida

Make no mistake, date rape is not a lesser included offense of sexual battery. It is sexual battery. Florida Statute § 794.011(h) defines sexual battery 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; however, sexual battery does not include an act done for a bona fide medical purpose.”

Some of the other definitions in this statute that are often relevant in date rape cases include:

  • Consent, Florida Statute § 794.011(a) — Intelligent, knowing, and voluntary consent and does not include coerced submission. Consent cannot be deemed or construed to mean the failure by the alleged victim to offer physical resistance to the offender.
  • Mentally defective, Florida Statute § 794.011(b) — A mental disease or defect which renders a person temporarily or permanently incapable of appraising the nature of his or her conduct.
  • Mentally incapacitated, Florida Statute § 794.011(c) — Temporarily incapable of appraising or controlling a person’s own conduct due to the influence of a narcotic, anesthetic, or intoxicating substance administered without his or her consent or due to any other act committed upon that person without his or her consent.
  • Physically helpless, Florida Statute § 794.011(e) — Unconscious, asleep, or for any other reason physically unable to communicate unwillingness to an act.
  • Physically incapacitated, Florida Statute § 794.011(j) — Bodily impaired or handicapped and substantially limited in ability to resist or flee.

All sexual battery crimes in Florida are felony offenses. The degree of felony a person is charged with will depend on the age of the alleged victim, the age of the alleged offender, and other aggravating circumstances. For example, administering or having knowledge of someone else administering to the victim any narcotic, anesthetic, or other intoxicating substance that mentally or physically incapacitates the victim is an aggravating factor.


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Date Rape Penalties in Florida

The possible sentence a person can receive if convicted of a date rape crime in Florida will depend on how the offense has been graded. The statutory maximum sentences for felony cases in Florida are generally as follows:

  • Third-Degree Felony — Up to five years in prison and fine of up to $5,000;
  • Second-Degree Felony — Up to 15 years in prison and fine of up to $10,000;
  • First-Degree Felony — Up to 30 years in prison and fine of up to $10,000; and
  • Life Felony — Up to life in prison and fine of up to $15,000.

Florida Statute § 794.011(h)(2)(a) establishes that when a person 18 years of age or older commits sexual battery upon, or in an attempt to commit sexual battery injures the sexual organs of, a person less than 12 years of age, the crime is a capital felony punishable by death.


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Palm Beach County Date Rape Resources

Florida’s 2012–2017 Sexual Violence Prevention Strategic Plan — View the full text of the strategic plan from the Florida Department of Health’s Sexual Violence Prevention Program (SVPP). You can learn more about sexual violence statistics, health consequences, and state prevention team members. The report states that 51.1 percent of female victims of rape reported being raped by an intimate partner while 40.8 percent were raped by an acquaintance.

ReCAPP: Skills for Youth: Reducing Your Risk of Date Rape — ETR is a private nonprofit health education promotion organization and ReCAPP is an ETR website that provides practical tools and information to effectively reduce sexual risk-taking behaviors. Visit this website to learn more about what date rape is and identify specific behaviors for reducing one’s risk. You can find prevention behaviors for both young men and women.

Three Miami teens help combat date rape drugs with new invention — View a June 7, 2017 USA Today story about three young women who won the Miami Herald’s Business Plan Challenge High School Track by creating the company Smart Straws. The women created a straw that helps combat date rape by turning blue when a date rape drug is detected in a drink. The Business Plan Challenge draws more than 200 applicants, and the women were the first from their school, Gulliver Prep School, to win in the history of the competition.


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Find a Date Rape Defense Attorney in West Palm Beach, FL

If you were arrested or believe that you could be under investigation in South Florida for date rape, it is in your best interest to not say anything to authorities without legal counsel. Meltzer & Bell, P.A. represents individuals in Delray Beach, Lake Worth, Royal Palm Beach, Wellington, Riviera Beach, and many other nearby areas in Broward County, Palm Beach County, and Miami-Dade County.

Our criminal defense lawyers in West Palm Beach will fight to possibly get your criminal charges reduced or dismissed. You can have our attorneys provide a complete evaluation of your case as soon as you call (561) 557-8686 or submit an online contact form to schedule a free, confidential consultation.


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