West Palm Beach Lewd or Lascivious Conduct Attorney David W. Olson
Florida Statute 800.04 is entitled “Lewd or lascivious offenses committed upon or in the presence of persons less than 16 years of age.” Under this statute there are various categories of and penalties for lewd and lascivious behavior. A conviction under this statute can potentially result in 25 years in prison or in some cases, a life sentence.
If you were arrested for or accused of a lewd and lascivious sex offense, or for having sex with an underage individual, or for any other sex offense, it is crucial to retain an experienced and qualified sex offense lawyer immediately so he can intervene on your behalf. Discuss your case only with your lawyer – anything you say or infer may potentially be used against you by the prosecution. Attorney David Olson has more than 30 years of experience representing clients charged with serious felonies and misdemeanors, including lewd and lascivious offenses.
Understanding Lewd and Lascivious Sex Offenses
It is helpful and important to understand the terminology under Sec. 800.04, as each term has a specific legal meaning:
- (1)(a) “Sexual activity” means the oral, anal, or vaginal penetration by, or union with, the sexual organ of another or the anal or vaginal penetration of another by any other object; however, sexual activity does not include an act done for a bona fide medical purpose.
- (b) “Consent” means intelligent, knowing, and voluntary consent, and dos not include submission by coercion.
- (c) “Coercion” means the use of exploitation, bribes, threats of force, or intimidation to gain cooperation or compliance.
- (d) “Victim” means a person upon whom an offense described in this section was committed or attempted or a person who has reported a violation of this section to a law enforcement officer.
Two extremely important points:
- (2) PROHIBITED DEFENSES – Neither the victim’s lack of chastity nor the victim’s consent is a defense to the crimes proscribed by this section.
- (3) IGNORANCE OR BELIEF OF VICTIM’S AGE – The perpetrator’s ignorance of the victim’s age, the victim’s misrepresentation of his or her age, or the perpetrator’s bona fide belief of the victim’s age cannot be raised as a defense in a prosecution under this section.
Nevertheless, these issues are often of great relevance and should be discussed with your attorney.
Also, see the “Example of Unlawful Sex with a Person 16 or 17,” below, to get a better grasp of these particular matters.
Lewd and Lascivious Battery
- (4)(a) A person commits lewd or lascivious battery by:
- 1. Engaging in sexual activity with a person 12 years of age or older but less than 16 years of age; or
- 2. Encouraging, forcing, or enticing any person less than 16 years to engage in sadomasochistic abuse, sexual bestiality, prostitution, or any other act involving sexual activity.
Therefore, a person can potentially be convicted of Lewd and Lascivious Battery if s/he engaged in sex or encouraged sexual activity with a person between the ages of 12 and less than 16. A conviction can potentially result in a first or second-degree felony.
Lewd and Lascivious Molestation
- (5)(a) A person who intentionally touches in a lewd or lascivious manner the breasts, genitals, genital area, or buttocks, or the clothing covering them, of a person less than 16 years of age, or forces or entices a person under 16 years of age to so touch the perpetrator, commits lewd or lascivious molestation.
- (b) An offender 18 years of age or older who commits lewd or lascivious molestation against a victim less than 12 years of age commits a life felony…
- (c)1. An offender less than 18 years of age who commits lewd and lascivious molestation against a victim less than 12 years of age; or
- 2. An offender 18 years of age or older who commits lewd or lascivious molestation against a victim 12 years of age or older but less than 16 years of age commits a felony of the second degree…
- (d) An offender less than 18 years of age who commits lewd or lascivious molestation against a victim 12 years of ago or older but less than 16 years of age commits a felony of the third degree…
- (e) A person commits a felony of the first degree… if the person is 18 years of age or older and commits lewd or lascivious molestation against a victim 12 years of age or older but less than 16 years of age and person was previously convicted (of various crimes).
Lewd and Lascivious Conduct
- (6)(a) A person who:
- (1) Intentionally touches a person under 16 years of age in a lewd and lascivious manner; or
- (2) Solicits a person under 16 years of age to commit a lewd or lascivious act commits lewd or lascivious conduct.
- (b) An offender 18 years of age or older who commits lewd or lascivious conduct commits a felony of the second degree…
- (c) An offender less than 18 who commits lewd or lascivious conduct commits a felony of the third degree…
Lewd and Lascivious Exhibition
- (7)(a) A person who:
- 1. Intentionally masturbates;
- 2. Intentionally exposes the genitals in a lewd or lascivious manner; or
- 3. Intentionally commits any other sexual act that does not involve actual physical or sexual contact with the victim, including, but not limited to, sadomasochistic abuse, bestiality, or the simulation of any act involving sexual activity in the presence of a victim less than 16 years of age, commits lewd or lascivious exhibition.
- If the offender is 18 or older – felony of the second degree
- If the offender is less than 18 – felony of the third degree
Lewd and lascivious exhibition cases often involve privacy issues and are frequently challenged. Many cases that were based on illegal arrests have been successfully challenged, resulting in dismissals. Every case is unique and depends on its unique circumstances.
What are the Primary Differences Between Lewd and Lascivious Conduct, Battery and Molestation?
Lewd and lascivious conduct refers to the intentional touching of someone less than 16 in a lewd and lascivious manner. This conduct may pertain to soliciting or encouraging a person under 16 to engage in or commit a lewd or lascivious act. 800.04 (6)(a) 1, 2.
Lewd and lascivious battery is the offense of engaging in sexual activity (e.g., intercourse, oral or anal sex) with a person 12 or older and younger than 16, or, “Encouraging another less than 16 to engage in sadomasochistic abuse, sexual bestiality, prostitution, or any other act involving sexual activity.” 800.04 (4)(a) 1, 2.
Lewd and lascivious molestation is the offense of touching the breasts, genitals, genital area or buttocks, or the clothing covering them, of a person less than 16 years of age, or forces or entices a person under 16 years of age to so touch the perpetrator, commits lewd or lascivious molestation. 800.04 (5)(a)
Unlawful Sex with a Person 16 or 17
Florida Statute 794.05, which falls under Chapter 794, Sexual Battery, is entitled “Unlawful sexual activity with certain minors,” and prohibits an individual 24 or older from engaging in sexual activity with someone 16 or 17.
- “A person 24 years of age or older who engages in sexual activity with a person 16 or 17 years of age commits a felony of the second degree…”
“As used in this section, “sexual activity” means oral, anal, or vaginal penetration by, or union with, the sexual organ of another or the anal or vaginal penetration of another by any other object; however, sexual activity does not include an act done for a bona fide medical purpose.”
Note, also, as per 794.05, person under the age of 16 do not have the lawful right to give their consent to engage in sexual conduct. However, an individual who is 16 or 17 can give their consent to engage in sexual activity with an individual less than 24 years old.
Example of Unlawful Sex with a Person 16 or 17
Sally and John met at a nightclub. They sat at the bar, where they drank and talked for a couple of hours. Sally liked John and invited him to go home with her. John gladly agreed. At her door, before they went inside, John, a very careful man (and also an accountant), asked Sally how old she was. Sally told John she was 21. John, who is 25, genuinely believed her, for she looked quite mature, and additionally, he earlier saw the bartender look at and approve Sally’s ID before serving her drinks.
John politely insisted on seeing her driver’s license. She agreed, and according to her driver’s license, she was indeed 21. John and Sally spent the night together engaging in romance and sexual intercourse. The next day, John was arrested and charged with unlawful sexual activity with a minor. It turned out that Sally’s driver’s license was fraudulent and that she was only 17.
Florida’s “Romeo and Juliet” Law – Removal of Sexual Offender or Sexual Predator Registration Requirement
Under Sec. 943.04354, an individual convicted of a sex offense may petition the court to be removed from the sexual offender/sexual predator registration requirement. There are certain requirements, including:
- Must not be more than four years older than the victim
- Victim must not have been younger than 14
- Must not have any other sex offenses on their record
In Florida, an individual convicted of a sex offense is required to register as a sexual offender or sexual predator for the rest of their lives. In many instances the family of the sex offender suffers just as much. The sex offender often runs into difficulty satisfying the zoning and reporting requirements. The offender – and by extension, the family – are stigmatized as sex offenders.
As well, they may be scrutinized or harassed by police, landlords, employers, schools and others. The Romeo and Juliet law tends to benefit those who were involved in normal, healthy relationships during their younger years but were unfortunately charged with a sex offense due to an age difference. Contact Attorney Olson to discuss whether you are eligible for relief under the Romeo and Juliet law.
Attorney David W. Olson, Criminal Defense for Sex Offenses, Including Lewd and Lascivious Charges
For more than 30 years, Attorney David Olson has provided aggressive and effective criminal defense for thousands of clients charged with sex offenses, violent crimes, DUI, domestic assault and battery disputes, drug offenses, juvenile matters, white collar crimes, identity theft and other serious felonies and misdemeanors.
Attorney Olson is the recipient of numerous honors, including:
- AV Preeminent Peer Rating – perfect 5.0 out of 5.0 – for “the highest ethical standards and legal ability.” Fewer than 5% of all attorneys receive this honor.
- Top 1% – National Association of Distinguished Counsel – only the top 1% of attorneys in the nation are awarded membership.
- Top 100 Trial Lawyers – National Trial Lawyers
- “10 Best” award for Client Satisfaction, American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys
I highly recommend David Olson. I would have never imagined needing a criminal defense lawyer, but when I did I sought the guidance of a retired judge, who sent me to him. My life was at a crossroads, and if not for his efforts I’m sure I’d have gone the wrong way. His compassion and guidance caused me to maintain my successful status within both my profession and my family. I don’t expect to need a defense lawyer again, but, knowing I may, it’s comforting to know that David Olson would be there for me again.” (client review on file)
Attorney Olson Responds to His Clients’ Needs
Attorney Olson is responsive to his clients’ phone calls, questions and emails. He believes that, “No matter how significant or trivial such question or concern may in fact be, if it is important to the client the lawyer should immediately address it.” Paralegal Jessica Valdes is fluent in Spanish and is there to serve you as well.
Attorney Olson represents clients in the South Florida area, including those in West Palm Beach, Palm Beach County, Broward County and Miami-Dade County as well as those who live elsewhere throughout the state. For a complimentary case review, call The Law Offices of David W. Olson at 561-833-8866.
Secs. 794.05, 794.011, 800.04, 943.04354, Florida Statutes (2014)