Date Rape

The act of date rape is a criminal offense under Florida Law, but no one is ever charged directly with a crime called date rape because it does not exist. Date Rape is a type of Sexual Battery. Sexual Battery is the legal crime often referred to colloquially as rape. Sexual Battery does not have to, and usually doesn’t, stem from a shady figure in an alley jumping out at the victim, as portrayed in TV and movies. As many as 80% of female rape victims know the assailant, sometimes even through a romantic or potential relationship. These assaults are referred to as date rape.

Date rape runs the risk of being taken less seriously due to the lack of force and frequency of mind-altering drugs. Unfortunately, these types of Sexual Batteries also have the most frequent chance of mistaken or false reporting due to these same factors. Date Rape is most common among younger partying generations in high school or college, but victims and the accused can be any age. If you have been accused of date rape, contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Jacksonville, FL today.

Date Rape Across the Country

Date rape usually refers to an individual who is incapacitated. This incapacitation can stem from:

  • Purposeful Drinking
  • Coerced Drinking
  • Overuse of Drugs
  • Use of Wrong Drug or Dose
  • Purposeful Drugging of the Victim (Rohypnol/”roofies” – 10 times more powerful than valium, and very illegal to possess)

According to one study, eighteen percent of women report being the victim of date rape prior to college and fifteen percent report the being the victim of date rape during freshmen year. Of the eighteen percent, forty-one percent report being a part of that latter category, compared to ten percent of women without a prior victimization. A prior date rape or incapacitated rape is the single most important factor in future victimization.

Unfortunately, prosecutors know how prevalent this victimization is. True victims should be given the utmost protection and care to prevent future attacks. Some individuals who report these crimes are simply mistaken due to alcohol and drugs. A small group are even guilty of falsely accusing a sexual partner, standing on the backs of true victims.

The penalties under Florida Law, if convicted, are extremely serious regardless of the truth.

Penalties for Date Rape

The vast majority of individuals accused of date rape are over the age of eighteen, accused of battering a victim over the age of twelve, without physical force or violence. This is charged as a second degree felony with a maximum 15 years of prison, 15 years of probation, a $10,000 fine, or some combination of the three.

The age of the victim, use of force, a deadly weapon or a variety of other factors can increase the penalties of Sexual Battery.

Defenses to a Date Rape Accusation

  • Consent – Consent is by far the most common defense when a person is accused of date rape. Consent under Florida Law is: “intelligent, knowing, and voluntary consent and does not include coerced submission. “Consent” shall not be deemed or construed to mean the failure by the alleged victim to offer physical resistance to the offender.” This definition is found in Florida Statutes 794.011. Many allegations of date rape stem from the alleged victim forgetting that consent occurred, and/or being remorseful of the act after the fact. Unfortunately, this is often very difficult to prove. A skilled criminal defense attorney can scour the discovery and elicit small amounts of information to build this defense. (In cases involving a minor, consent is not a defense.)
  • Mutual Lack of Consent – In some circumstances a mutual sexual act occurs when neither party is in a sober enough position to offer consent. While technically both parties can be guilty of sexual battery, these cases are usually dropped once the evidence is shown to the prosecution.
  • Factual Challenge – Utilized when there was another perpetrator, or the actual incident did not occur the way the government and the police are alleging it did. This usually results in a dismissal, or a jury trial, arguing to a jury that the state cannot prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt. This usually arises when there is a defense that the actual sex never took place, or the acts never arose to a battery.
  • Mistaken Identity – DNA and testimonial evidence can be used to prove that another individual committed the crime.
  • Constitutional Challenges –If your rights were violated the team at Lockett Law can fight to have any evidence thrown out of court.

 

Lee Lockett and the members of the legal team at Lockett Law serve the accused across the state of Florida from our offices in Jacksonville. Lee Lockett has decades of experience prosecuting and defending individuals accused of Sexual Battery, including date rape. Lee Lockett and the team possess expert knowledge of the laws and procedures involved. The defense team at Lockett law have the reputation and the dedication to fight for your rights and the best possible outcome in your case.  Call a Jacksonville defense attorney today at (904) 858-9818 or connect with our team in the chat window on the bottom right of your screen to have an open and free consultation today.