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Lewd and Lascivious Charges

The Florida legislature has broadly defined lewd and lascivious acts. The words “lewd,” “lascivious,” and “indecent” mean the same thing which is a lustful, licentious, unchaste, wicked, or sensual intent on the part of the person doing an act.

If you are accused of this serious offense in the Tampa Bay area, you need a criminal defense attorney who will aggressively fight your case at every stage. Many of these cases involve accusations against children under the age of 18 who allegedly touched an even younger child. For an adult accused of inappropriate touching a child, disabled person, or elderly person, the charges are even more serious.

Lewd and lascivious charge can involve inappropriate touchings, although physical conduct is not even required. Many of these offenses can involve an improper exhibition that takes place over a cell phone video or computer.

Attorneys 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 sex crimes including lewd and lascivious by indecent assault, battery, exhibition, or molestation throughout the greater Tampa Bay.

We fight sexually motivated crimes in the courtrooms in Tampa in Hillsborough County, Brooksville in Hernando County, New Port Richey or Dade City in Pasco County, Clearwater in Pinellas County or Bartow in Polk 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 sexual contact alleged. These sexually motivated criminal charges come with harsh penalties that vary depending on the way in which the offense is charged.


Levels of Lewd and Lascivious Crimes in Florida

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.

Florida law provides for several different types of charges for "Lewd and Lascivious" crimes including:

  • 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; or
  • 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.

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, aggravated sexual battery or the possession of child pornography.

 


Statute of Limitations for Lewd and Lascivious Acts

The statute of limitations for lewd and lascivious acts depends on the type of offenses alleged including:

  • One year for any second degree misdemeanor charge of "Unnatural and Lascivious Act" under Florida Statute Section 800.02 for committing an unnatural and lascivious act with another person; or
  • Two years for any first degree misdemeanor charge of "Exposure of Sexual Organs" under Florida Statute Section 800.03 for exposing or exhibiting one’s sexual organs in public or on the private premises of another, or so near thereto as to be seen from such private premises, in a vulgar or indecent manner, or to be naked.

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 recent legislative change also extends 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 Section 800.04 in 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.

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 Monday, March 19, 2018.

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