LEWD AND LASCIVIOUS ACTS
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According to Florida Statute 800.04(6), the crime of Lewd and Lascivious Acts is committed when a person intentionally touches a child under 16 years of age in a lewd or lascivious manner or solicits a child under 16 years of age to commit a lewd or lascivious act.
“Lewd” and “Lascivious” are defined by Florida Courts to mean any act that is wicked, lustful, unchaste, licentious, or sensual in intent by way of the person doing the act.
If a Lewd or Lascivious Act is committed by a person 18 years or older, it is a second degree felony. It may result in:
- Up to 15 years in jail;
- Up to 15 years probation; and
- Up to a $10,000.00 fine.
If a Lewd or Lascivious Act is committed by a person younger than 18 years of age, it is a third degree felony. It may result in:
- Up to 5 years in jail;
- Up to 5 years probation; and
- Up to a $5,000.00 fine.
On top of being placed in the National Sex Registry as a sex offender, there is no “gain time” for those convicted of Lewd and Lascivious Acts. This means the jail sentence must be served in full, day-for-day, without chance of early release.
Lewd and Lascivious Act charges can be combated on several different levels, depending upon the circumstances of the case at hand. Two common defenses are:
- False Allegation(s)
- Lack of Lewd Intent.
Lewd and Lascivious Acts are crimes that are considered strict liability crimes. This means they the act itself is enough evidence to be considered a crime, absent certain intent or knowledge (mens rea). This means that whether the defendant knows the child’s age or not, or whether there was consent by the child or not, the act is still illegal.
It is also not a viable defense if the defendant and victim are proximate in age.
If you find yourself standing accused of Lewd and Lascivious Acts you need to be sure you have a good lawyer on your side. Lewd and Lascivious Acts charges can be tricky and carry strict sentences. Make sure you have the proper representation. For a free consultation with an experienced criminal defense attorney in Orlando, contact Sercombe Law. We routinely handle matters in Orange County and nearby jurisdictions.