Lewd and Lascivious Crimes

Defense Attorney Helping St. Petersburg Residents Fight Sex Charges

Lewd and Lascivious Crimes The state of Florida has an interest in protecting minors from the potential harms of sexual activity. There are four different lewd and lascivious crimes that may be charged against you if you become sexually involved with a minor. Importantly, you cannot defend against these crimes by arguing that you had a good-faith belief that the minor was an adult. You also cannot argue that they consented. At Hanlon Law, St. Petersburg sex crime lawyer Will Hanlon understands what is at stake for people charged with battery, molestation, exhibition, or other lewd and lascivious crimes.

Lewd and Lascivious Crimes

You can be charged with a lewd and lascivious offense when you commit certain acts against or around minors, and you have a sensual, licentious, lustful, or wicked intent for doing so. All of these crimes are serious, but the most serious is probably lewd and lascivious battery, which is often known as statutory rape.

To obtain a conviction for lewd and lascivious battery, the prosecutor needs to show that you either had sex with a minor between the ages of 12 and 16 or encouraged someone not yet 16 to get involved in a sexual activity like prostitution, S&M, or bestiality. Lewd or lascivious battery is charged as a second-degree felony. That means that you may face up to 15 years’ imprisonment, 15 years’ probation, and a $10,000 fine for just a first offense. Unless you meet the narrow Romeo and Juliet exemption for cases in which the offender and victim are quite close in age, you will also need to register as a sex offender.

One step less serious is lewd or lascivious molestation. For this crime, the prosecutor must show that you touched a minor's private parts in a lewd or lascivious way. The punishments for this crime depend on both your age and the victim's age. For example, if you are an adult, and the victim is less than 12 years old, the offense can be charged as a life felony, which means that you can face up to life in prison. With certain prior convictions, you may face first-degree felony charges for molesting a child who is between 12 and 16.

You can be charged with lewd or lascivious conduct for touching a minor in a lewd and lascivious way if you did not touch a private part. You can also be charged with lewd or lascivious conduct if you solicited a minor under age 16 to perpetrate a lewd or lascivious act. Lewd or lascivious conduct is a second-degree felony that carries a potential penalty of 15 years in prison, 15 years of sex offender probation, and a fine of $10,000.

Lewd and lascivious exhibition occurs if a defendant exposes their private parts to a minor in a lascivious or lewd manner. It can also be charged if they masturbate in front of a minor under age 16. This is usually charged as a second-degree felony.

In some cases, an attorney can challenge these types of sex charges by attacking the evidence. There may not be enough evidence, or perhaps the credibility of the witnesses is suspect. In other cases, there are constitutional violations that would allow some of the evidence to be suppressed so that the prosecution cannot meet its burden to prove the charges beyond a reasonable doubt. In other cases, it is possible to present a different version of what happened to the jury. For example, perhaps a minor misinterpreted what happened. There may also be a basis to secure a plea deal for an offense that does not require sexual offender registration, such as child abuse.

Seek Guidance from an Experienced Sex Crime Attorney in St. Petersburg

If you are accused of a lewd and lascivious crime in St. Petersburg, you must take this accusation very seriously and contact a St. Petersburg criminal lawyer right away. Our principal, Will Hanlon, has represented criminal defendants since 1994. Call Hanlon Law at 727-897-5413 or complete our online form.

Testimonials
★★★★★
As a practicing attorney, I was shocked to hear that a family member of mine was alleged to have committed a sex crime. Knowing full well the consequences this type of allegation can have on anyone and their future, I immediately reached out to William Hanlon for help. I had every confidence that Mr. Hanlon had the knowledge, expertise, and experience to handle this problem. Approximately 4 weeks from an initial conference with Mr. Hanlon, we received a call with the news that a letter of release was being issued and the case was being dropped. Now my family member can finally exhale, take a deep breath, and go on with his life. Thank you, William!
★★★★★
Was on the ball. Remembered names, events, places, situations. Never need to re explain the situation. Keeps in touch through out the entire experience and keeps you feeling safe, comforted and protected. Fights hard. Worth every single penny. Would never settle for anything less than Will. Carrie
★★★★★
I was facing a charge that if convicted would carry two years in prison minimally. Not only was he empathetic and listening to what I had to say but he arranged with the prosecutor for my charges not to be filed under terms of a pre trial investigation. Would highly recommend. Alec
★★★★★
I am very happy for what he did for me. Always there when I needed him. Explained everything well. He Fights for his clients. He got me what I needed. Hes an excellent lawyer. Mutaz
★★★★★
Mr. Hanlon did what no other lawyer could do. Not only did he turn my criminal history into a thing of the past so I could move on, he was a loyal associate. No matter how bad the situation is, he has miraculously cleared me on every charge since he became my lawyer 5 years ago. I have the best lawyer that the legal system has to offer. I have had other really good lawyers try to get my business, but I know that no one can do a better job than William Hanlon. Jesse