Date Rape DEFENDERS of Your Rights. Your Life. Your Future.

St. Petersburg Date Rape Attorneys

Decades of Combined Criminal Law Experience

Have you been accused of date rape in St. Petersburg, Hillsborough County, Pinellas County, or in any of the surrounding counties? Date rape is a serious offense that calls for the services of a trusted defender who is experienced in handling these cases in the local courts. At Morris Law Firm, P.A., you can work with a former state prosecutor who thoroughly understands what you are up against and who can build an effective defense to put you in the strongest possible position.

Get a thorough and aggressive defense. Call Morris Law Firm, P.A. at (727) 592-5885 or contact us online to arrange a consultation.

Date Rape Charges in Florida

In Florida, no specific law exists about “date rape.” Because of this, individuals accused of this crime generally faces charges of sexual battery. Under Florida Statute § 794.011(h), sexual battery is defined as “oral, anal, or vaginal penetration by, or union with, the sexual organ of another or the anal or vaginal penetration of another by any other object.” Sexual battery is essentially synonymous with “rape.”

These cases often revolve around the matter of consent. Under Florida Statute § 794.011(1)(a) consent consists of “intelligent, knowing, and voluntary consent and does not include coerced submission.” Just because the alleged victim did not resist in a physical manner does not mean that he or she automatically consented.

Various Types of Sexual Battery in Florida

The offense of sexual battery is outlined in Florida under various scenarios. And important facet of these scenarios is the age of the victim. Where a victim is under the age of 18, charges and penalties can be enhanced. For example, the law differentiates between sexual battery committed by an offender who is 18 and older against a victim who is younger than 12, an offender who is younger than 18 against a victim who is younger than 12, and an offender who is 18 or older and a victim who is 12 or older.

Sexual battery is charged as a felony. The follow are numerous circumstances under which it may can be charged:

  • The victim was physically helpless to resist.
  • The victim was coerced through threats of violence.
  • The victim was coerced through threats of future retaliation (either against the victim or another person).
  • The victim was rendered incapacitated by the offender through drugs or alcohol.
  • The victim was mentally defective or physically incapacitated.
  • The offender was a correctional officer, probation officer, law enforcement officer or any other individual in a position of authority.

Those with prior convictions such as for prior sexual battery, false imprisonment, kidnapping, or lewd or lascivious offenses will generally face enhanced charges and penalties.

Sexual Battery as a Life Felony or Capital Felony

Sexual battery becomes even more serious as a life felony or capital felony in cases where it is committed or attempted against a victim under the age of 12 and involves the injury of the victim’s sexual organs, the use of a deadly weapon, or the use of physical force likely to cause a serious injury.

Penalties

How you are punished in any sexual battery conviction will depend on how the crime was charged. A third-degree felony is punishable by up to five years in prison and fines of up to $5,000. In second-degree felonies, the prison may be up to 15 years while in first-degree felonies, they may increase up to 30 years. Life felonies are punishable by a minimum of 30 years up to life in prison with fines raised to $15,000 while capital felonies are punishable by the death penalty.

Another major consequence of being convicted of sexual battery is that you will be required to register as a sex offender for the rest of your life without the possibility of having your identity removed from the registry. You will also not be allowed to have the offense expunged from your criminal record. Sex offender registration can restrict where you live and work and make future life opportunities difficult.

Get Aggressive & Thorough Legal Representation

If you have been accused of date rape or believe you are under investigation, you need to act quickly. You will want to ensure that your legal rights are protected, that you are treated fairly, and that you do not make any inadvertent mistakes that could derail your case. At Morris Law Firm, P.A., you can work with an experienced defender. Our firm was founded by a seasoned trial lawyer who has handled cases on both sides of the aisle as a former Assistant State Attorney in Pinellas County. We know how to investigate, uncover favorable evidence, build strong defenses, negotiate with prosecutors, and make a compelling case in court.

Talk to a St. Petersburg date rape lawyer about your case today. Call us at (727) 592-5885 to get started. We are available 24/7.

Why Choose Our Law Firm?

See the Difference Our Service Provides
  • FORMER STATE PROSECUTOR

    Melinda Morris is a former prosecutor and has handled thousands of criminal cases from investigation through sentencing enabling us to identify weaknesses in the State’s case against you.

  • STRATEGICALLY AGGRESSIVE

    We never settle for the easiest outcome or the typical result. We know how to negotiate with the State Attorney and we will work to get you the best possible outcome.

  • TRUSTED & EXPERIENCED

    Melinda Morris has practiced criminal law for over 20 years. Our clients trust advice that comes from experience in nearly every type of criminal case.

  • PERSONAL ATTENTION

    We will know every client’s story because we will take the time to listen and understand. You will work with your attorney one-on-one at every stage of the process.

  • PROMPT COMMUNICATION

    You will have the cell phone number of your attorney. Your attorney will directly return your call, email, or text to answer your pressing questions.

  • SAME DAY REPRESENTATION

    The government is wasting no time in trying to prove your guilt, a proactive defense is imperative. Prompt and decisive action from your defense attorney is of critical importance.

Meet the Attorneys

Melinda Morris & Seth Shapiro

Client Testimonials

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