Lewd and Lascivious Crimes in Pinellas
The Florida Supreme Court has concluded that the terms “lewd and lascivious” mean a wicked, lustful, unchaste, licentious, or sensual intent on the part of the person doing an act. Florida Statute Section 800.04 prohibits the following lewd or lascivious crimes committed on or in the presence of a person less than 16 years of age:
- Lewd or lascivious exhibition;
- Lewd or lascivious battery;
- Lewd or lascivious conduct; or
- Lewd or lascivious molestation.
Under Florida law, neither the victim’s lack of chastity nor the victim’s consent is a defense to lewd or lascivious offenses. In addition, the defendant might be prohibited from raising the following issues as a defense:
- ignorance of the victim’s age;
- the victim’s misrepresentation of his or her age; or
- the perpetrator’s bona fide belief of the victim’s age.
Examples of lewd and lascivious acts might include:
- indecent exposure of genitalia;
- sexually touching or groping another person;
- having someone else sexually touch the defendant; or
- convincing or forcing others to touch each other in a sexual manner.
The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office has detectives in the Crimes Against Children Unit in the Investigative Operations Bureau focused on sexually motivated crimes. These detectives receive special training in conducting investigations. Officers in other local law enforcement agencies have similar training including at the police department in St. Petersburg, Clearwater, and Pinellas Park.
In addition, prosecutors with the State Attorney’s Office also focus on these serious crimes. With all these resources working against you, contact an experienced attorney that can help you fight false accusations.
Attorney for Lewd and Lascivious Crimes in Pinellas County, FL
If you were charged with lewd or lascivious exhibition, battery, conduct, or molestation, contact an experienced attorney at Sammis Law Firm. We represent clients charged with serious sexually motivated criminal offenses in Pinellas County, FL.
Related charges might include unlawful use of a two-way communications device, sexual battery, sexual performance by a child, luring or enticing a child, or any other forcible felony wherein a sexual act is committed or attempted.
In addition to criminal charges, the alleged victim might file a petition for an injunction for protection against sexual violence in Pinellas County, FL.
Our office is conveniently located at 14010 Roosevelt Blvd #701, Clearwater, FL 33762, near the Criminal Justice Center (CJC) courthouse on 49th Street.
Florida Law for Lewd or Lascivious Battery
Under Florida law, a person commits lewd and lascivious battery by:
- engaging in sexual activity with a person 12 years of age or older but younger than 16; or
- encouraging, forcing, or enticing any person under 16 to engage in:
- sadomasochistic abuse;
- sexual bestiality;
- prostitution; or
- any other act involving sexual activity.
The crime of lewd or lascivious battery is typically charged as a second-degree felony punishable by up to (15) fifteen years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Under Florida’s Criminal Punishment Code, the crime is classified as a Level 8 offense severity ranking. Even with no prior record, without grounds for a downward departure, the court is required to sentence a person convicted of lewd and lascivious Battery to a minimum sentence of 7.75 years in prison followed by at least two years of sex offender probation.
If the court sentences a person to prison for lewd or lascivious Battery, the defendant is not eligible for gain time. Instead, the defendant must serve the entire prison sentence day for day.
If the defendant is 18 years of age or older and was previously convicted of lewd or lascivious battery or another specified offense, the new charge can be reclassified as a first-degree felony which is punishable by up to thirty (30) years in prison.
Lewd or Lascivious Molestation
Under Florida law, a person commits lewd or lascivious molestation by:
- intentionally touching in a lewd or lascivious manner the breasts, genitals, genital area, or buttocks, or the clothing covering them, of a person under 16; or
- forcing or enticing a person under 16 to so touch the perpetrator.
The penalty for lewd or lascivious molestation varies depending on the offender’s age, the victim’s age, and the circumstances surrounding the commission of the offense:
- if the defendant is 18 years of age or older and the victim is less than 12 years of age it is a life felony;
- if the defendant is less than 18 years of age and the victim is less than 12 years of age it is a second degree felony;
- if the defendant is 18 years of age or older and the victim is 12 years of age or older but less than 16 years of age it is a second-degree felony;
- if the defendant is less than 18 years of age and the victim is 12 years of age or older but less than 16 years of age it is a third-degree felony.
The crime can be charged as a first degree felony, if the defendant is 18 years of age or older and the victim is 12 years of or older but less than 16 years of age and the offender has previously been convicted of lewd or lascivious molestation or another specified offense.
Lewd or Lascivious Conduct
Under Florida law, a person commits lewd or lascivious conduct by:
- intentionally touching a person under 16 in a lewd or lascivious manner; or
- soliciting a person under 16 to commit a lewd or lascivious act.
Lewd or lascivious conduct is a second-degree felony if the offender is 18 years of age or older19 and a third-degree felony if the offender is younger than 18 years of age.
Lewd or Lascivious Exhibition
Under Florida law, a person commits lewd or lascivious exhibition by performing any of the following acts in the presence of a person under 16:
- intentionally masturbating;
- intentionally exposing the genitals in a lewd or lascivious manner;
- intentionally committing any other sexual act that does not involve actual physical or sexual contact with the victim, including, but not limited to, sadomasochistic abuse, sexual bestiality, or the simulation of any act involving sexual activity.
Lewd or lascivious exhibition can be charged as a second-degree felony if the offender is 18 years of age or older or a third-degree felony if the offender is less than 18 years of age.
This article was last updated on Wednesday, July 12, 2023.