In the state of Florida, there is no statute entitled “child molestation.” The charge actually comes from Florida Statute 800.04 titled “Lewd or lascivious offenses committed upon or in the presence of persons less than 16 years of age.” But for short, the general public refers to this as “child molestation” or “molesting a child.” In legal terms, this crime is generally referred to as an “L&L.” If you have been accused of this crime in the Orlando area, call the attorneys of Finebloom & Haenel immediately! This charge is very serious and requires the time and attention only an experienced firm can provide.
There are several parts to the child molestation or “L & L” law in Florida.
The first part of 800.04(5) defines what is meant by molestation. It says that:
“A person who intentionally touches in a lewd or lascivious manner the breasts, 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 touch the perpetrator, commits lewd or lascivious molestation.”
“Lewd and lascivious” has many definitions. But it is usually defined as an act meant for sexual gratification or for a sexual or obscene reasons. This means the touching is done for some type of personal gratification or sexual desire. Otherwise, bathing a child or assisting in potty training would be a violation of the statute.
The second part of 800.04(5) defines the penalties. The penalties are as follows:
- If you are over 18 years of age and you are found guilty of lewd or lascivious molestation against a victim less than 12 years of age, it is a life felony, punishable by a MINIMUM of 30 years in prison, up to your entire life.
- If you are less than 18 years of age and you are found guilty of lewd or lascivious molestation against a victim less than 12 years of age it is a second degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison (this only applies if your juvenile is charged as a n adult for this offense. If it is handled through the juvenile justice system the penalty is different).
- If you are over 18 years of age and you are found guilty of lewd or lascivious molestation against a victim who is between the ages of 12 and 16, the crime is a felony of the second degree, punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
- If you are less than 18 years of age and you are found guilty of lewd or lascivious molestation against a victim who is between 12 and 16 years of age, it is a felony of the third degree, punishable by up to 5 years in prison (unless you are charged in the juvenile system.)
Whether you are an adult or juvenile facing this devastating charge, you need understanding and knowledgeable defense attorneys looking out for you! In addition to all of the regular stigmas that are associated with a felony charge, a conviction of this charge can result in your being labeled a sex offender or even a sexual predator!! If you hold a professional license you can lose the right to practice in your profession. This is especially true if you are a counselor, health practitioner or teacher. A conviction means you would have to register for the rest of your life no matter where you lived or risk another felony charge. You could be prohibited from living within certain areas. If you have children you may be banned from attending their school functions or extra curricular activities as a result of this charge. As a matter of fact, you could be prohibited from being around children under the age of 18 without supervision for an extended period of time. This would include relatives and your own children! It could also subject you to Jimmy Ryce proceedings. This means you could face continued “housing” in a jail-like facility after the completion of your sentence.
Child molestation charges are serious!! You need a serious defense team to defend your rights! The attorneys and staff at Finebloom & Haenel can provide the best defense for you. Call us now at 407-218-6277. Our attorneys are available 24/7 for consultation.