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Lewd and Lascivious Charges

The Florida legislature has provided for very broad definitions of lewd and lascivious acts. Florida's criminal laws define the words “lewd,” “lascivious,” and “indecent” to mean the same thing which is a lustful, licentious, unchaste, wicked, or sensual intent on the part of the person doing an act. The entire statutory scheme prohibits certain acts with a child or in the presence of a child.

Defending yourself against such charges is extremely difficult and requires experienced representation at every stage of the case beginning with the moment you learn such an allegation is being made. 

Attorney for Lewd and Lascivious Crimes in Tampa, FL

If you have been accused of the very serious offense of lewd and lascivious, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at the Sammis Law Firm. 

We represent clients charged with the serious offense of lewd and lascivious by indecent assault, battery, exhibition, or molestation throughout the greater Tampa Bay area including Tampa in Hillsborough County, St. Petersburg or Clearwater in Pinellas County, New Port Richey or Dade City in Pasco County, or Bartow or Lakeland in Polk County, Florida.

Our criminal defense attorneys represent clients charged with serious sex crimes including lewd and lascivious crimes in Tampa for Hillsborough County, St. Petersburg and Clearwater for Pinellas County, Bartow and Lakeland for Polk County, New Port Richey and Dade City for Pasco County, Brooksville for Hernando County, and Bradenton for Manatee County, Florida.

Call 813-250-0500 to discuss your case today.


Types of Lewd and Lascivious Charges under Florida Law

Under Florida law, criminal offenses that alleged lewd and lascivious behavior require more than negligent disregard of decent proprieties and consideration due to others. Lewd and Lascivious offenses are indicative of sexual conduct or the unlawful indulgence in lust, eager for sexual indulgence.

The terms are synonyms that connote unchaste, wicked, licentious, lustful, or sensual design on the part of the alleged perpetrator.

Florida law provides for different types of lewd and lascivious crimes depending on the age of the person accused and the age of the alleged victim as well as the type of contact alleged. These sexually motivated criminal charges come with harsh penalties that vary depending on the way in which the offense is charged.

Types of charged for "Lewd and Lascivious" behavior include the following: 

  • Level 4 - 800.04(7)(d) - 3rd - Lewd or lascivious exhibition; offender less than 18 years.
  • Level 5 - 800.04(6)(c) - 3rd - Lewd or lascivious conduct; offender less than 18 years.
  • Level 5 - 800.04(7)(c) - 2nd - Lewd or lascivious exhibition; offender 18 years or older.
  • Level 5 - 825.1025(4) - 3rd - Lewd or lascivious exhibition in the presence of an elderly person or disabled adult.
  • Level 6 - 800.04(5)(d) - 3rd - Lewd or lascivious molestation; victim 12 years of age or older but less than 16 years; offender less than 18 years.
  • Level 6 - 800.04(6)(b) - 2nd - Lewd or lascivious conduct; offender 18 years of age or older.
  • Level 7 - 800.04(5)(c)1. - 2nd - Lewd or lascivious molestation; victim less than 12 years of age; offender less than 18 years.
  • Level 7 - 800.04(5)(c)2. - 2nd - Lewd or lascivious molestation; victim 12 years of age or older but less than 16 years; offender 18 years or older.
  • Level 8 - 800.04(4) - 2nd - Lewd or lascivious battery.
  • Level 8 - 825.1025(2) - 2nd - Lewd or lascivious battery upon an elderly person or disabled adult.
  • Level 9 - 800.04(5)(b) - 1st - Lewd or lascivious molestation; victim less than 12 years; offender 18 years or older.
  • Level 9 - 787.02(3)(a) - 1st - False imprisonment; child under age 13; perpetrator also commits aggravated child abuse, sexual battery, or lewd or lascivious battery, molestation, conduct, or exhibition.
  • Level 10 - 787.01(3)(a) - Life -  Kidnapping; child under age 13, perpetrator also commits aggravated child abuse, sexual battery, or lewd or lascivious battery, molestation, conduct, or exhibition.

By looking at the offense level under the Florida Criminal Punishment Code's Offense Severity Ranking Chart, you can determine the severity of different forms of lewd and lascivious crimes.

In addition to conduct, exhibition, and molestation, Florida law also prohibits lewd or lascivious exhibition over a computer service under Florida Statute § 847.0135(5), Fla.Stat. or Lewd or Lascivious Offenses Committed Upon or in the Presence of an Elderly or Disabled Person under Florida Statute § 798.02.

Charges for lewd and lascivious conduct often accompany other types of charges for sexually motivated crimes such as Sexual Battery under § 800.04, Fla.Stat., aggravated sexual battery or the possession of child pornography.


Recent Legislative Changes Related to Victims of Sex Crimes

The Florida legislature recently passed a bill under Chapter 2016-199. This new legislative change amends Sections 92.53 and 92.55, to raise the age for videotaping victims or witnesses or having them testify in the presence of the defendant, from 16 to under 18. Investigators in sex crime cases should be cognizant of this change when interviewing victims. 

The new bill amends Section 787.06, to provide that a victim’s lack of chastity or consent is not a defense to human trafficking if the victim was a minor. The bill also amends Section 794.022 to not require corroboration of a victim in a prosecution for human trafficking or lewd and lascivious acts under Section 800.04, it also extends the rape shield law to victims of human trafficking or lewd and lascivious acts under Section 800.04. 

The bill also amends Section 794.022 to not require corroboration of a victim in a prosecution for human trafficking or lewd and lascivious acts under Section 800.04. The recently legislative change also extend the rape shield law to victims of human trafficking or lewd and lascivious acts under Section 800.04. 


Additional Resources

F.S. 800.04 Florida's Lewd or Lascivious Statute - Visit the website of the Florida Senate to find the statutory language for 800.04?Lewd or lascivious offenses committed upon or in the presence of persons less than 16 years of age. The website contains the definitions of terms used under the statute including "consent" and "coercion." Learn about prohibited defenses based on not knowing the victim's age. Find information on molestation charges under Florida law and potential penalties.


Finding an Attorney for Lewdness and Lasciviousness

If you were accused of lewd and lascivious conduct then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at the Sammis Law Firm. We represent clients charged with these serious criminal charges throughout the Tampa Bay area including Tampa and Hillsborough County, FL, including Lewd and Lascivious Battery on a Child Between the Age of 12-16.

These crimes come with serious criminal penalties including possible incarceration, sex offender registration requirements, and lengthy terms of sex offender probation.

Call us about aggressively defending you if you have been falsely accused of this serious criminal offense. Call 813-250-0500.


This article was last updated by Jason Sammis on Tuesday, March 21, 2017.

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