FLORIDA CRIMINAL DEFENSE - LEWD AND LASCIVIOUS MOLESTATION
FLORIDA SEX CRIMES ATTORNEY DISCUSSES LEWD AND LASCIVIOUS MOLESTATION DEFENSE
lewd and lascivious molestation is a sexual contact offense under Florida Statute 800.4
Section 800.4, Florida Statutes criminalizes several different sex crimes involving minors. Lewd and Lascivious Molestation of a minor is a sex crime involving sexual contact with a minor. It occurs when the defendant touches the breast, genitals, genital area, or buttocks, or the clothing covering them, of a person less than 16 years of age, or forces or entices a person under 16 years of age to so so touch the defendant. This crime is differentiated from lewd and lascivious battery of a minor in that battery involves a sexual activity instead of sexual contact. Sexual activity means sexual acts involving penetration (oral, vaginal, anal). Lewd and lascivious battery is differentiated from capital sexual battery in that the age of the victim is over 12 years of age but under 16 years of age for lewd and lascivious battery.
Mistake of fact as to age is not a legal defense to the crime of Lewd and Lascivious Molestation, even if the alleged victim actually misrepresents his or her age. Consent and mistake of fact as to consent are not legal defenses to the crime of Lewd and Lascivious Molestation. This makes the crime of Lewd and Lascivious Molestation a strict liability crime, which means that the intent or mindset of the defendant does not matter in the eyes of the law. This makes the primary defense to the crime of Lewd and Lascivious Molestation to be that the allegation is false and the sexual contact never occured. It is imperative that an alleged victim’s motive to fabricate and make false allegations be thoroughly investigated and developed prior to any trial for the crime of Lewd and Lascivious Molestation.
Lewd and Lascivious Molestation is a sex crime and will require sexual offender registration upon conviction.
The penalties for the crime of Lewd and Lascivious Molestation depend on the age of the defendant and the age of the victim:
By a defendant older than 18 on a child under the age of 12: Life in prison; minimum of 25 years prison followed by lifetime sexual offender probation; no gain time; lifetime sexual offender registration.
By a defendant older than 18 on a child over the age of 12 but under the age of 16: 15 years in prison; no gain time; sex offender registration at least 25 years (can petition for removal after 25 years).
why is it important to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney if charged with lewd and lascivious molestation?
Because it is a strict liability crime, many cases of lewd and lascivious molestation, especially those that involve mistake of fact as to age or misrepresentation of age by the alleged victim, the best defense is to mitigate the defendant’s actions. This may include obtaining evidence of the mistake of fact as to age or misrepresentation of age; a psychosexual evaluation; good character or employment evidence; evidence of consent or mistake of fact as to consent; and/or enrollment in a treatment program. The goal is to avoid a conviction for a sex offense so that the defendant can move past the mistake without the stain of a sex offense conviction and sexual offender registration.
Attorney Patrick Korody has been practicing criminal defense for more than 15 years. He is one of the few attorneys nationally who has significant experience in state, federal, and military criminal defense.