Lewd and Lascivious Conduct

Sex Crime Lawyer Assisting Residents of Tampa

Being accused of a sex crime – any sex crime – is embarrassing, not to mention very frightening. For example, when a defendant is accused of lewd and lascivious conduct, many thoughts may run through the defendant’s head. How did this happen? Will I go to jail? Is there anything that I can do to defend myself? Tampa sex crime attorney Will Hanlon at Hanlon Law has many years of experience handling criminal cases in the Florida court system, and he can help you understand not only the charges pending against you but also the possible punishments if you are convicted and the potential legal defenses that may be available to you under the circumstances of your particular case.

The fact is that each criminal case presents its own unique set of challenges. Although the burden is always on the State to prove the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, and the Constitution affords defendants certain basic rights in every case, the facts of your case may vary significantly from those in another case involving an alleged violation of the same law. For this reason, you need an attorney who will take the time to investigate even the smallest details of your arrest and go over the State’s evidence against you with meticulous precision to discover any possible weaknesses. Even the best-intentioned public defenders do not always have time to devote this degree of effort to each of the defendants in their huge caseload.

Defending the Offense of Lewd and Lascivious Conduct Under Florida Law

Florida Statutes § 800.04 sets out the definitions to be used in determining whether a defendant is guilty of the crime of lewd and lascivious conduct. The statute contains four categories of offenses: lewd or lascivious battery, lewd or lascivious molestation, lewd and lascivious conduct, and lewd or lascivious exhibition. Lewd and lascivious “conduct” is described as an intentional touching or solicitation of a person under the age of 16. To be punishable under the statute, the conduct must have been both lewd and lascivious. If the offender is 18 or older, the crime is a second-degree felony. For people under 18, the crime is a felony of the third degree. The types of sexual activity prohibited by the statute include oral, anal, and vaginal penetration of the victim, either by the defendant’s sexual organ or by another object.

Although there are some possible defenses to the crime of lewd and lascivious conduct, the alleged victim’s “lack of chastity” or consent are not among them. Likewise, ignorance of the alleged victim’s actual age is not a defense to a charge of lewd and lascivious conduct, even if the alleged victim lied about their age, or the alleged perpetrator had a bona fide belief that the person in question was over 18 years old. However, there may be a constitutional defense in some cases, or the defendant may be able to attack a particular weakness in the State’s case.

Discuss Your Case With an Experienced Tampa Attorney

A conviction of a sex crime like lewd and lascivious conduct may result in jail time, fines, and other serious penalties. A felony conviction may also destroy the defendant’s reputation, adversely affect their personal relationships, take away certain civil rights (like the right to own a firearm or vote), and prevent them from obtaining certain types of employment, educational opportunities, and housing. At Hanlon Law, we have over two decades of experience helping people accused of serious crimes stand up for their legal rights. To talk to seasoned Tampa attorney Will Hanlon about possible ways to defend your lewd and lascivious conduct charge, call us at 813-228-7095 or contact us online. We offer an appointment to people throughout the Tampa Bay area who need guidance with regard to any sex crime charge. Hanlon Law also can assist people who are seeking a domestic violence attorney or representation against charges of drug offenses, theft crimes, or weapons offenses.