What is the Legal Age of Consent in Florida?
In the United States, the age of consent is the legal age in which a person is legally considered mature enough to engage in sexual relations. Every state has its own laws outlining this specific age. The state of Florida says that the age of consent is 18-years-old.
If you are above the age of 18 and engage in sexual activity with a minor (someone under the age of 18), you can face serious legal trouble. Engaging in sexual relations with a minor can result in a statutory rape charge among other things. In this situation, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with Florida’s age of consent laws and seek legal counsel.
Unlawful Activity with Certain Minors
Section 794.05(1) of the Florida Statutes states that “A person 24 years of age or older who engages in sexual activity with a person 16 or 17 years of age commits a felony of the second degree.” It’s important to note that “sexual activity” does not exclusively refer to sexual intercourse. Someone 24 or older can violate this law with any vaginal or anal penetration or oral sex.
Florida does have certain exemptions to this statute. The “Romeo and Juliet law” is a close in age exemption that prevents the prosecution of young couples who engage in sexual relations. This exemption applies when both persons are considerably close in age to each other, even if one or both of them are underage.
Charges for Violating Age of Consent Laws
There are four statutory sexual abuse charges in Florida whose purpose is to prosecute age of consent and child abuse violations. Violators can be prosecuted for one or more of these charges. Awareness of the differences between the four charges is essential to understanding the punishments one can face.
Each violation has a specific severity and punishment alongside it. The four charges are:
- Computer pornography or traveling to meet minors
- Lewd or lascivious offenses committed on or in the presence of a minor
- Sexual battery
- Unlawful sexual activity with certain minors
Criminal charges of this kind require harsh punishments. If you are found guilty of any of the above, you can face consequences such as first or second-degree felonies and a lifetime of legal trouble. Enlisting the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney is vital to making sure you have the best representation in front of the judge.
The Umansky Law Firm has a team of reputable criminal defense lawyers that specialize in various aspects of criminal law. They have over 100 years of combined experience and tirelessly fight to get their clients a favorable outcome, no matter the charge. Contact our office for a free case evaluation today.