In Florida, the term "child molestation" means any allegation of improper touching that relates to sexual battery, lascivious conduct, or lewd offenses when the alleged victim is 16 years of age or younger. The law enforcement officers that conduct the investigation may move forward with an arrest before even determining whether any physical evidence supports the allegations.
Because of the difficulties in proving such charges, Florida statutes often broaden the admissibility of "similar fact evidence" and weakens the prohibitions against hearsay. As a result, the mere allegation is often sufficient evidence even when other facts show that the allegations are false. Obtaining experienced representation early in the case is important so that person accused is protected.
The criminal defense attorneys with the Law Offices of Germain & McCarthy, LLC in Brevard County, Florida, are experienced in aggressively representing clients who are facing serious charges of child molestation, lascivious conduct, sexual battery, or lewd offenses. Our Melbourne molestation defense lawyers are knowledgeable in defending clients in Brevard County, Florida, including the cities and towns of Melbourne, Satellite Beach, Merritt Island, Titusville, Viera, Cape Canaveral, Cocoa, Cocoa Beach, Indialantic, Indian Harbour Beach, Melbourne Beach, West Melbourne, Palm Bay and Rockledge.
Molestation is a strict liability crime, which means the intent to commit the crime is not necessary to determine guilt of committing the crime.
The penalties for Molestation differ based on the age of the offender and whether the child was over the age of 12. Molestation of this form could be prosecuted as either a lifetime felony, 2nd-degree felony, or 3rd-degree felony.
Life Felony Penalties
2nd Degree Penalties – Level 7 Offense
3rd Degree Penalties – Level 6 Offense
Individual actually convicted of child molestation are;declared to be "sexual offender" who are;forced to meet the terms of the sexual offender registration laws throughout Florida and the U.S.
According to Florida State Statute §800.04 for Lewd or lascivious offenses committed upon or in the presence of persons less than 16 years of age--
(5)(a) 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.
(b) An offender 18 years of age or older who commits lewd or lascivious molestation against a victim less than 12 years of age commits a life felony, punishable as provided in s. 775.082(3)(a)4.
(c)1. An offender less than 18 years of age who commits lewd or lascivious molestation against a victim less than 12 years of age; or
2. An offender 18 years of age or older who commits lewd or lascivious molestation against a victim 12 years of age or older but less than 16 years of age commits a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(d) An offender less than 18 years of age who commits lewd or lascivious molestation against a victim 12 years of age or older but less than 16 years of age commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
The Law Offices of Germain & McCarthy, LLC are experienced at aggressively defending clients for Molestation sex crimes. Contact our offices immediately if you are facing a child sex crime charge relating to molestation. Our skillful criminal defense attorney will assist and represent you. Call (321) 253-3447 or submit brief details of your case in online form and one of our Melbourne molestation defense attorneys will contact you. The Law Offices of Germain & McCarthy, LLC handles Molestation cases in Brevard County, Volusia County, Seminole County, Orange County, Osceola County, and Indian River County, FL.