“Lewd and Lascivious” is a classification of a multitude of Florida crimes with a sexual background to the allegations. Florida law and law enforcement are extremely serious about penalizing individuals accused of any sexual crimes. Accusations under any of these crimes can carry lifelong penalties and ramifications. It is very important if accused of any sex crime that you contact a qualified criminal defense attorney at Lockett Law to stand up for you and defend your rights.
Lewd and Lascivious Acts Under Florida Law
The term “Lewd and Lascivious” isn’t officially defined under Florida Law, but there are quite a few crimes which are associated with it. Quite a few of these charges relate to the term “sexual organs,” which is defined by Florida Statutes § 800.03 to “include the buttocks, genitals or breasts,” with exception for a mother breastfeeding.
- Lewd or Lascivious Battery under Florida Statutes § 800.04(4) is “engaging in sexual activity with a person 12 years of age or older but less than 16 years of age; or Encouraging, forcing, or enticing any person less than 16 years of age to engage in sadomasochistic abuse, sexual bestiality, prostitution, or any other act involving sexual activity.”
- An alleged offender who has already been convicted of a lewd act against a minor: First-Degree Felony
- All other allegations: Second-Degree Felony
- Exposure of sexual organs, is defined by Florida Statutes § 800.03 as “[e]xposing or exhibiting . . . own sexual organs in public or private premises of another; or being naked in public.” Under either theory, the individual must do so in a “vulgar or indecent manner.”
- First-Degree Misdemeanor
- Lewd or Lascivious Molestation is charged under Florida Statutes § 800.04(5), as “intentionally touch[ing] in a lewd or lascivious manner the breasts, genitals, genital area, or buttocks, or the clothing covering them; or forcing or enticing a person to touch the perpetrator in that manner,” The victim must be under the age of 16.
- Victim less than 12 years old: Life-Felony
- An alleged offender under the age of 18 against a victim less than 12: Second-Degree Felony
- An alleged offender over 18 and a victim between 12 and 16: Second-Degree Felony
- An alleged offender under 18 and a victim between 12 and 16: Third-Degree Felony
- Lewd or Lascivious Exhibition. This charge can be found in Florida Statutes § 800.04(7). A person can be charged with exhibition when “in the presence of a victim who is less than 16 years old,” “intentionally masturbates; intentionally exposes the genitals in a lewd or lascivious manner; or intentionally commits any other sexual act that does not involve contact with the victim.”
- An alleged offender over 18: Second-Degree Felony
- An alleged offender under 18: Third-Degree Felony
- Lewd or Lascivious Conduct, with allegations defined in Florida Statutes § 800.04(6) as “ intentionally touching a person under 16 years of age in a lewd or lascivious manner; or [s]olicit[ing] a person under 16 years of age to commit a lewd or lascivious act.”
- An alleged offender over the age of 18: Second-Degree Felony
- An alleged offender under the age of 18: Third-Degree Felony
- Lewd or Lascivious Exhibition Over Computer Service under Florida Statutes § 847.0135(5) has a pretty complicated definition. This charge can be alleged against a person who “Intentionally masturbates; [i]ntentionally exposes the genitals in a lewd or lascivious manner; or [i]ntentionally commits any other sexual act that does not involve actual physical or sexual contact with the victim, including, but not limited to, sadomasochistic abuse, sexual bestiality, or the simulation of any act involving sexual activity live over a computer online service, Internet service, or local bulletin board service” and “knows or should know or has reason to believe that the transmission is viewed on a computer or television monitor by a victim who is less than 16 years of age.”
- An alleged offender over 18: Second-Degree Felony
- An alleged offender under 18: First-Degree Felony
Potential Penalties for Lewd and Lascivious Acts
- First Degree Misdemeanor
- Maximum 1 year of jail, 1 year of probation, and $1,000 fine
- Third Degree Felony
- Maximum 5 years of prison, 5 years of probation, and $5,000 fine
- Second Degree Felony
- Maximum 15 years of prison, 15 years of probation, and $10,000 fine
- First Degree Felony
- Maximum 30 years of prison, 30 years of probation, and $10,000 fine
- Life Felony
- Maximum life in prison, probation for life, and $10,000 fine
Defenses to Lewd and Lascivious Charges
- Factual Challenge – This is a very broad defense, especially in crimes such as these. It generally means showing that another factual possibility exists in order to erode probable cause. This could mean that the crime did not take place exactly as alleged and does not breach the threshold for a conviction. Other possibilities are that there is another perpetrator or a false accusation. This is the type of defense that really needs to be discussed with a qualified criminal defense attorney who can defend your rights.
- Intent – Crimes require a certain state of mind, or mens rea. If a crime requires an action to have been performed voluntarily, then fighting that element can result in a not guilty verdict. This can sometimes include mental illness and includes accidental violations.
- Constitutional Challenges – Any evidence collected by the police requires either a warrant or satisfaction of a warrantless search under the Constitution. This includes DNA evidence. An illegal search when challenged by a qualified attorney can mean suppression of that evidence or even dismissal.
Sex Crime Defense Attorney in Jacksonville, FL
Lee Lockett and the members of the legal team at Lockett law serve Duval county and the surrounding areas, defending individuals charged with any crime, including sex crimes. Lee Lockett has decades of experience prosecuting and defending individuals accused in and around the Jacksonville and North Florida areas. That experience has fostered an 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 sex crime 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.