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Rape Defense Lawyer in Tampa

Sex crimes attorneys ready to fight
for your rights in Hillsborough County

Investigating and prosecuting rape is a complex process. Investigators are typically very thorough in examining evidence and interviewing the parties involved. Nevertheless, there are cases in which an individual may be falsely accused. Because a wrongful accusation may impact an individual’s reputation, employment status, and personal relationships, making it imperative that you contact a Tampa rape defense attorney immediately after you’re arrested on related charges, or even suspect you are under investigation. Beyond the impact being wrongfully accused can have on the individual’s social and professional life, wrongful conviction may result in a felony charges, fines and imprisonment.

Silence is golden

Most law-abiding citizens want to fully cooperate in any interaction with law enforcement. Therefore, when wrongfully accused of a crime, immediate impulse may prompt an individual to speak freely with law enforcement investigators in an effort to give as much information as possible. While it is natural for an accused person to have an intense desire to tell his or her side of the story as quickly as possible, a rape defense attorney in Tampa would strongly advise against speaking in detail with law enforcement prior to speaking with counsel. It’s best to let your lawyer speak for you when sex crimes charges are involved.

Just Arrested?
Do not say anything that might incriminate you. Speak with an attorney first.

Protecting the Constitutional rights of the accused

In some cases, a law enforcement agency may not be certain who committed a crime; however, they may have suspicions. These suspicions sometimes could cloud an investigator’s judgment when interviewing a person of interest in a rape case. In these cases, the accused may be questioned in a manner that increases the likelihood of self-incrimination. The average person is not well-versed in the law and Constitutional rights in criminal justice matters. Therefore, there have been cases in which false confessions have been coerced. In other cases, individuals have spoken without having been made aware of their right to remain silent or to obtain an attorney. There are several ways in which the constitutional rights of an accused person may be violated in the interest of quickly obtaining a conviction. Having a trustworthy rape defense attorney present can prevent overstep by law enforcement and help ensure the accused is treated as if he or she is innocent until proven guilty.

Proving rape

Florida recognizes rape under the general category of “sexual battery,” which also includes groping and other unwanted touching. To prove it under Florida law, a prosecutor must establish that the accused engaged in oral, vaginal, or anal penetration with his or her sex organ or another object. As an alternative, the prosecutor may also prove this charge by establishing that a union occurred between the accused person’s sex organ and the victim’s mouth, anus, or genitals. There are certain circumstances under which a sexual battery charge may be elevated to aggravated sexual battery:

  • the victim is physically unable to resist.
  • threats of violence or force are used to coerce the victim into allowing the attack.
  • the victim is coerced by threats of retaliation.
  • the victim is physically or mentally incapacitated as a result of having been drugged unknowingly and without consent.
  • the victim is exploited due to a known mental defect.
  • the victim is physically incapacitated.
  • the offender is a law enforcement officer correctional officer, or correctional probation officer, or any other person in a position of control or authority, or a person the victim reasonably believed to be in a position of control or authority as a government worker.

Florida law makes a distinction between victims under the age of 12 and victims who are older when determining consent. Prosecutors are not required to prove consent in cases involving victims who are younger than 12 as lack of consent is implied by the victim’s age in these cases. To prove rape in cases involving victims over 12 years of age, the prosecutor must also establish the victim did not voluntarily consent to the sexual conduct. The statutory definition of consent does not require the victim to actively fight the attacker off, resist, or protest the unwanted sexual contact. It is important to note that in cases involving victims between ages 12 and 18, other charges, such as child molestation or lewd and lascivious battery may also apply if an adult attempts to coerce a minor who is over 12, but under 18 to engage in sexual contact.

Defenses to allegations in Tampa

Apart from standard pretrial defenses, an individual who is accused of rape in Florida may argue one or two defenses in a successful effort to avoid conviction. A defendant may argue that the alleged victim consented to the sexual contact if the consent was given knowingly, intelligently and voluntarily. However, a jury may find that a person who was unknowingly drugged or intoxicated did not voluntarily consent to sexual contact. The other defense a person who is accused may raise if false allegation. False allegations are becoming more common in Florida and are among the most common reasons a person may be wrongfully accused. Reasons for false allegations often arise situations that involve:

  • fear of being caught in an extramarital affair
  • jealousy
  • manipulation during a contentious child custody case
  • mentally ill parents influencing a child

Therefore, a rape defense attorney in Tampa will typically investigate the motives of the accuser to determine if there is any reason he or she might feel compelled to make a false allegation. If the allegation appears to have arisen from an ulterior motive, the defense attorney will bring forth the surrounding facts at trial.

Speak with someone who can help you right now

The social, professional, and legal stakes are very high for individuals who are wrongfully accused. Therefore, if facing a wrongful rape allegation, the first step is to contact a trustworthy sex crimes attorney in Tampa with a strong reputation in handling these criminal cases. Consultations are free, and your rape defense lawyer and staff will handle the call with complete confidentiality and discretion. Having reliable counsel on the case can mean the difference between spending years in prison and moving forward with a clear reputation and personal freedom.

AVAILABLE 24x7
Serious federal cases only.

AVAILABLE 24x7
Serious federal cases only.

AVAILABLE 24x7
Serious federal cases only.

AVAILABLE 24x7
Serious federal cases only.