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What Is Sexual Assault?

A sexual assault conviction carries not only potential imprisonment but substantial, rippling reputational effects.

A sexual assault conviction carries not only potential imprisonment but substantial, rippling reputational effects. Because the consequences of a sexual assault conviction are so severe, it’s vital to engage an advocate and partner in your corner. Our West Palm Beach criminal defense attorneys are experienced in handling sex crimes cases throughout Florida, and our reputation is unmatched.

Sexual Assault By Definition

In Florida, what we tend to think of as sexual assault is defined as “sexual battery” in § 794.011 of the Florida Statutes. Engaging in non-consensual oral, anal, or vaginal contact with another person (using either a sexual organ or an object), is sexual assault.

Certain aggravating factors elevate garden-variety sexual assault cases to aggravated sexual battery. These factors include the following:

  • The victim is physically helpless to resist.
  • The offender coerces the victim to submit by threatening to use force or violence, and the victim reasonably believes the offender will be able to carry out such a threat.
  • The offender coerces the victim to submit by threatening retaliation, and the victim reasonably believes the offender will be able to carry out such a threat.
  • The offender administers, or knows that someone else has administered, a narcotic, anesthetic, or other intoxicating substance to the victim that incapacitates the victim.
  • The victim is mentally defective and the offender has reason to believe or knowledge of this.
  • The victim is physically incapacitated.
  • The offender is a law enforcement officer, correctional officer, or probation officer, or is in a position of control or authority, or is acting in such a way as to lead the victim to reasonably believe that he is.

Penalties for Sexual Assault in Florida

Sexual battery is a felony in the state of Florida. The specific circumstances of each case, such as the age of the victim, the age of the accused, and whether a weapon was used, will determine what degree felony will be charged.

Capital punishment, the highest form of punishment, is reserved for offenders who are over the age of eighteen and whose victims are under the age of twelve. Florida does not execute offenders for sexual assault crimes, so the punishment for this crime is life in prison or at least forty years in prison.

Other sexual assaults are classified as first degree, second degree, or third degree felonies, depending on the circumstances. Offenders face up to thirty years, up to fifteen years, and up to five years in prison, respectively, for these offenses.

In addition to prison time and fines, sexual battery offenses can never be expunged from your criminal record in the state of Florida. Furthermore, anyone convicted of sexual battery is required to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life, which can have lasting consequences on basics like a choice of home and employment.

Compensation for Florida Sexual Assault Survivors

Separate from a criminal case, a victim has the right to file a sexual abuse claim in civil court. While this is an entirely different process from the criminal one, you should be aware that you can be held civilly liable for the offense and a victim can seek monetary compensation in civil court.

Experienced West Palm Beach Criminal Defense Attorneys

Salnick Law, P.A. has been representing individuals charged with sexual assault throughout Florida for more than two decades. If you have questions about your criminal charges, contact us today to speak with one of our experienced West Palm Beach criminal defense attorneys.

Michael Salnick
Michael Salnick is a criminal defense attorney who has been practicing state and federal criminal law for over 40 years and has become one of the most experienced Criminal Defense Lawyers in America.
Call us today at 561-471-1000

What Our Clients Are Saying

"Best attorneys around! From the moment I met Michael I knew I was in good hands. Also the father and son dynamic duo leave no stones unturned. Extremely professional and knowledgeable. They are also highly respected by judges and prosecutors alike! You will not regret hiring this law firm for any of your needs!"

former client

"I am a client of Greg and Mike Salnick. While I dont have any pending matters they are handling for me, it is my belief that once you are a client of these gentleman, you are always their client. They put their heart and soul into representing their clients. These are highly competitive men that find true pleasure in zealously advocating for their clients..."

former client

"I reached out to Salnick Law when I was wrongly criminally charged by my employer. A conviction would have cost me my professional certification along with jail time. Michael and Greg stood by me when I refused to accept any plea deals. We went to trial and with the expertise of Salnick Law I was found NOT GUILTY! Throughout my year and a half ordeal Michael and Greg were available to me at any time of the day or night..."

former client

"Often imitated never duplicated,the Salnick law firm is in a league of their own! Michael and Gregg go above and beyond for there clients.There knowledge of the law and ability to produce exemplary results speaks for itself.Super lawyers is an understatement.If you’re looking for the best,then look no further!"

former client

"My family and I are so grateful for The Salnick Law Firm. Michael and Greg treated me as if I was family. They believed in me at a time when I felt like the world was against me. Because of Salnick Law Firm I have my life back. Their expertise in criminal law gave me my freedom. I thought to be home with my family and free to travel was only a dream but it is reality! Thank you!"

former client

"Greg Salnick is a fantastic attorney. I am grateful for the care and time he put into my brother’s case. Greg was professional, knowledgeable, and accessible. Greg explained every step in the legal process, and we were thrilled with the outcome."

former client

"Greg Salnick is not just a great lawyer but a solid human being. He made sure that our entire family was kept apprised every step of the way and generally cared for the well-being of us all. Criminal cases are hard enough but with Greg in your corner you are getting the best hands down."

former client

"Greg Salnick is Harvey Spector from the show suits lol all jokes aside he is the best lawyer I could ask for and Greg will do the best he can always for you and to make you feel like your not just another case"

former client

"Could not ask for a better lawyer then Greg, was looking at life in prison but he was able to prove my innocence. He has helped many of my friends as well. Trust me I wouldn’t put my life in anyone else’s hands other then Gregs."

former client

"This Law firm deserves an additional 100 stars ⭐. I'm so pleased with the level of care and time Attorney Michael Salnick put into my brother's case. He did it with passion, love, and honesty. If you need a criminal defense attorney, look no further. Highly recommended! Best attorney ever! His reputation and results are impeccable!"

former client

"Greg Salnick is a fantastic trial attorney, a dedicated professional, and has the utmost integrity. He is someone I trust implicitly to refer my clients to, and is an excellent choice when deciding on an attorney to handle your criminal matter."

former client

locations we serve

  • statewide
  • palm beach county
  • broward county
  • martin county
  • st. lucie county
  • miami-dade county
  • nationwide - we have practiced pro hac vice (in State and Federal Courts) in over 15 states.


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