A person must be old enough to provide consent before he/she can lawfully
engage in sexual activity. This is commonly known as the “age of
In Florida, the age of consent is 18 years of age, meaning individuals
17 years old or younger are not able to legally consent to sexual activity.
Such sexual activity between an adult and a minor child will result in
statutory rape charges.
The following are the types of
sex crimes which fall under the category of statutory rape in Florida and their corresponding
Unlawful sexual activity with certain minors – Sexual penetration involving an adult who is at least 24 years
of age and a minor who is 16 or 17 years old. A conviction is punishable
by a maximum prison sentence of 15 years and a fine of up to $10,000.
Lewd and lascivious battery – Sexual penetration involving an adult and a minor between 13 or
15 years of age. A conviction carries a prison term of up to 15 years.
Lewd and lascivious conduct – Sexual touching involving a minor 15 years of age or younger and
an adult. A conviction results in a prison sentence no longer than 15 years.
Lewd and lascivious molestation – Sexual touching involving an adult and a minor child. If the minor
child was at least 15 years old and the adult was at least 18 years of
age, a conviction carries a maximum 15-year prison sentence. If the minor
child was younger than 12 years old and the adult was at least 18 years
of age, a conviction is punishable by a prison sentence of up to 25 years.
Computer pornography or meeting up with minors – Online solicitation of a minor child for sexual activity is punishable
by a maximum 15-year prison sentence.
However, Florida does have a close-in-age exemption law, which is also
referred to as a “Romeo and Juliet law.” This exemption prevents
the prosecution of underage couples who are close in age to one another
and both consensually engage in sexual activity.
Florida’s Romeo and Juliet law applies to individuals ages 13 through
17 years old who engage in consensual sexual activity with an adult who
is no more than four years older.
If you have been charged with statutory rape in Florida,
contact our Daytona Beach criminal defense lawyer at the
Law Offices of Robert Stepniak today.