Unlawful Sexual Activity with a Minor

Many people consider age to be nothing but a number. Some are wise beyond their years, and some are young at heart. But age is very important in the eyes of Florida law enforcement officials. Engaging in sexual activity with someone much younger than you can land you with a felony charge.

Being charged with unlawful sexual activity with a minor puts you in a dangerous position. If convicted, you could spend years behind bars. You will also have to register as a sex offender. Getting a job and finding a place to live will be extremely difficult obstacles to overcome. It’s in your best interest to contact a sex crimes attorney to defend you.

Defense Attorney for Unlawful Sexual Activity with a Minor in Palm Beach County

The accomplished attorneys at Meltzer & Bell, P.A. are well-versed in handling sex crimes cases like yours. We work diligently to provide the best possible outcome for our clients. Our goal is always to reduce or dismiss charges when the evidence allows it. Your best bet is to set up a free consultation to discuss your case. 

Call [phone] or complete our form online. You can speak to someone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Meltzer & Bell, P.A. represents clients in Palm Beach County, including Fort Lauderdale, Miramar, Pembroke Pines, Boca Raton, and Boynton Beach. 


Overview of Unlawful Sexual Activity with a Minor in West Palm Beach, Florida


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What is Unlawful Sexual Activity with a Minor in Palm Beach?

Florida Statutes 794.05 defines the crime of unlawful sexual activity with certain minors. Under this law, it is a crime for someone 24 or older to engage in any sexual activity with someone who is 16 or 17 years old. Sexual activity, as defined by Florida law, includes oral, anal, or vaginal penetration by an object or the sexual organs of another person. 

The oddly specific ages in this statute result from a “close-in-age exemption” recognized in Florida. This means someone who is between 18 and 23 can legally participate in sexual activity with a person who is 16 or 17 years old. If an adult engages sexually with a child between 12 and 16, that qualifies as lewd or lascivious battery.


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What is Lewd or Lascivious Battery in Florida?

Lewd or lascivious battery, also known as statutory rape, is another age-based sex crime. This law is defined by Florida Statute 800.04(4). An adult commits lewd or lascivious battery when he or she performs sexual activity with someone between 12 and 16 years old. Florida law does not acknowledge mutual consent between the parties as a valid defense. 

The lewd or lascivious battery statute also makes it illegal to cause someone aged 16 or younger to take part in a number of other sexual acts. These acts include bestiality, sadomasochism (S&M), prostitution, or any other sexual activity.

An adult who is found guilty of sexual activity with a child younger than 12 faces the most severe penalties allowed under state law. Florida Statute 794.011(2)(a) defines this act as sexual battery, a capital felony. If convicted of a capital felony, you could be sentenced to life in prison or execution by the state of Florida.


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Penalties for Unlawful Sexual Activity with a Minor in Broward County

Unlawful sexual activity with a minor is a second-degree felony. If you are convicted, you could be sentenced to up to 15 years in prison. You could also be fined a maximum of $10,000.

You must also register as a sex offender. Registering as a sex offender will only complicate an already difficult situation. Finding an employer who is willing to hire a sex offender with a felony criminal record will be incredibly difficult. You will also have a tough time finding a suitable place to live.


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Additional Resources

Unlawful Sexual Activity with Certain Minors | Florida Statutes Section 794.05 – Visit the Florida Legislature’s website to view the full statute defining the crime of unlawful sexual activity with a minor. This statute defines what constitutes illegal sexual behavior toward minors. Here you can also find the penalties for breaking this law. 

Legislating Teen Sex | Rewire.News – Nonprofit daily news publication Rewire.News hosts an in-depth article that evaluates the need for and effectiveness of statutory rape laws. Visit this page to read about the history of statutory rape and age of consent laws.


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Defense Lawyer for Unlawful Sexual Activity with a Minor in West Palm Beach

Many people are caught off guard when they’re charged with unlawful sexual activity with a Minor. The stakes are high. You could be fined, imprisoned, and forced to register as a sex offender. You need an accomplished sex crimes attorney to present the best possible defense. 

Meltzer & Bell, P.A. offers a free consultation. Contact us at [phone] or complete our online form. You can speak to a representative any day of the week, 24 hours a day. A felony conviction will follow you for the rest of your life. We will fight aggressively to reduce your charges or dismiss the case. Meltzer & Bell, P.A. represents clients in Palm Beach County, including Fort Lauderdale, Deerfield Beach, Coconut Creek, and Miramar.


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