Statutory Rape Law in Florida

Even though movies like Manhattan and Lolita have managed to glamorize an older adult having sex with teenagers, this is still statutory rape and it is criminal. Statutory rape consists of sexual intercourse, which is why it is against the law because of the age of the victim. The law has made the determination that consensual sex cannot be given from an individual that is too young to understand. Statutory rape is considered a “strict liability” crime. This means the rapist cannot use ignorance of the person’s age as a defense, even a bona fide belief of the victim being “old enough” is not a defense. In addition, if the victim lies about their age, this is still not a defense.

16 & 17 Year Olds
According to Florida law, 18 is the age of consent. Florida Statute § 794.05, explains that young people who have sexual relationships with people who are younger than 24, the statutory rape law will not apply. The statutory rape law is more concerned with adults over the age of 24 who have sex with young people who are 16 and 17 years of age. Florida law does however recognize the fact that 16 and 17 year old teens do have consensual sex with people who are close to their own age.

Under 16
Florida Statute § 800.04 explains that anyone having sexual relations with young teens under the age of 16 is unlawful, no matter what the age of their partner. Even in today’s world, there are still some people who are older than 24 who do not know that if they have sex with someone who is 16 or 17, it is against Florida law. Furthermore, they may have no idea of their partner’s age and believe they are at least 18 and capable of giving consent. A lot of times, the victim will lie about their age and claim to be 18 or even older, but the statutory rape law is still considered a strict liability crime, and people over 24 will be prosecuted under that law.

History, Gender, & Reporting
The statutory rape law says that the victim’s sexual history is not relevant, and even though the victim may have more sexual experience than the older partner, the older partner will still be prosecuted. Because the law is written in a gender neutral language, the law also applies to women over 24 who have sexual relations with a young boy or girl of 16 or 17 years old.

In addition, the statutory rape law also applies to oral or anal intercourse between people of the same sex. If a person over 24 has sex with a person who is 16 or 17 years old, he or she will be prosecuted. Additionally, Florida Statute § 39.201(1)(b), mandates that professionals such as nurses, teachers, doctors, social workers and school officials must report child abuse by a juvenile sex offender and by an adult.

Criminal Defense
Because statutory rape is such a serious crime, that comes with serious penalties as well as serious consequences, if you or someone you know is under investigation, or has been charged, they will need an experienced criminal defense lawyer.

Teens and Smoking – My Kid Has Cigarettes

Where do these teens who smoke come from? Young people are constantly exposed to advertising for everything from sugar laden cereals to plastic trinkets and toys that cost way too much and break a little too soon, and of course colorful candy cigarettes! A recent memo from the tobacco companies indicated that they wanted to bombard kids with cigarette ads on ice cream trucks. I swear as a mother, I would chase that truck down the road like a terminator and rip off the offending signs and then throttle the driver with my own two hands. No mercy and no exceptions about it. It is hard enough to deal with the issue of my teens and smoking, other children don’t need the additional advertising pressure from the ice-cream man to become teen smokers.

Each day over one thousand teens become addicted smokers. These are the kids from ages 13 to17, and they will make a decision that could take them the rest of their lives to escape. Teens and smoking can become a tragic life journey. You can lecture them, threaten them, beg and plead with them not to do it, but sometimes nothing will ever make a difference to your teens and smoking will become a rebellious issue. You just have to know that you did your very best not to let these teenagers make the wrong choice for themselves. For every three children that take up the smoking habit, one will eventually die of a tobacco related illness. Pretty sad odds for the beginnings of the teenage smoker.

Statistics for teens and smoking are not good. The majority of them will start before the age of 18 and almost all smokers will start before the age of twenty. The saying goes that if you don’t start by the time you are 20, you never will, but that is not always true. There are enough teen smokers in the world to shake a stick at, and to wonder what else can be done to stop them from ever starting in the first place, who knows? It’s a crime now to sell cigarettes to youths under the age of 18. It is against the law for teens to possess them. But they still manage to get them anyways. I know that some parents would prefer to think that it is easier to just allow their teenagers to smoke, but that’s not dealing with the issue of teens and smoking, that is poor parental judgment.

Almost ten percent of middle school youths do smoke, that number more than doubles once they get into high school. Apparently over 60% of teen smokers want to quit. But how do they exactly reach out for help quitting smoking when they are not supposed to be doing that anyways? Asking for help means admitting that there’s a problem and its difficult enough for adults to do, but with teenagers who smoke it may be a more complicated scenario to cope with because teen smokers are often rebellious smokers.

Parents especially need to figure out how to keep their kids from ever smoking in the first place and it should be nearly impossible for kids to get hold of cigarettes in any way. We need more education for teens and smoking and more realistic graphic details of what kind of damage cigarettes can do to the human body. And we need to discover ways to allow those teenage smokers already with the habit of smoking to quit without fear of repercussions. This is for non smoking youth. We want healthy and non smoking teenagers. Address the issue of teens and smoking now!

Discover Internet Abuse Laws

In the beginning, internet abuse laws were drafted to protect internet users from fraud and other types of cyber crime. Laws and policies designed to protect internet users are drafted and enforced by the FCC, or Federal Communications Commission.

As the internet gained popularity, the number of reported cyber bullying cases increased dramatically. When the first cases began to appear, there was little law enforcement officers could do to punish the offender or protect the victim.

In the case of Megan Meier, no charges were ever filed against the bullies who harassed her. The mother and daughter who initiated the ruse created a fictitious MySpace profile for a young man. They convinced Megan that “Josh” liked her and wanted to be her boyfriend. After a few weeks,Megan was told that Josh no longer wanted to talk to her.

The constant barrage of negative comments and veiled threats, pushed Megan over the edge. Two weeks short of her 14th birthday, committed suicide. The two perpetrator’s new that Megan struggled with depression and took medication to control her condition.

Internet Abuse Laws

According to law enforcement officers who investigated the incident, for whatever crime they committed, could not be charged because there was no documented charge on the books that for what they had done. No charge existed that fit the description of what they had done. That eventually changed when the Cyberbullying Protection Law was drafted into legislation.

The Cyberbullying Protection Law made it a crime to harass, stalk and bully another person, over the internet. Other pieces of legislation soon followed. Cyberstalking laws were drafted and enacted in every state of the union. Federal legislation was also enacted to protect internet users from being stalked and harassed. Special laws were also passed that were designed to specifically protect minors. Each state was responsible for drafting, approving and enforcing their own versions of the federal Internet laws.

Various Types of Internet Abuse

Internet abuse takes many forms. With the introduction of new forms of technology, the number of fraud and identity theft cases skyrocketed in a few short years. In addition to major financial crimes, the internet created the perfect medium for the production and sale of child pornography. The inclusion of the internet into public schools taught children how to navigate the world wide web.

As students became more proficient in the use of computers, bullies began to use the internet to stalk and harass their victims. For a bully, the internet was the perfect medium in which to operate. They could come and go as they pleased without leaving any physical evidence. The best part to them was that they could remain completely anonymous.

Internet Abuse Laws: Cyber Bullying

Internet abuse laws designed to deal with cyberbullying, must be drafted in great detail to be effective. In Megan Meier’s case, the legislation came too late. However, the Foundation that bears Megan’s name continues to push for new and improved legislation that will hold cyberbullies accountable for their actions. Members of the foundation have been advocates of change to make sure with each law that gets passed, no more victims will fall through the cracks. It is their goal that for every victim has the guarantee that their bully will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

Cyberbullying laws cover a variety of activities that are now considered to be illegal. The following activities are included in many pieces of legislation:

  • Stalking using any type of communications device
  • Sending threatening texts or emails over cell phones, texts, instant messaging, etc.
  • Harassing an individual with repeated attempts at contact either through phone calls or texts, emails, instant messaging, etc.
  • Soliciting sexual favors
  • Sending or receiving pornographic images of minors
  • Interacting with a minor in a sexual manner using any type of device governed by the FCC

Cyberbullying has become one of the fastest growing crimes in history. Before the internet, a bully could only harass those that were close to their location. Now with the internet as a starting point, they can threaten, harass and stalk individuals who are half a world away. There are few boundaries they can’t cross and they can do it all from the security of their own home.

Individuals who are technologically savvy can hide their tracks fairly well leaving behind few traces for investigators to follow. Those who are exceptionally skilled at hacking and programming can create shields and firewalls that are difficult to crack, even with the advanced systems law enforcement agencies have access to.

Internet Abuse Statistics

Statistics that detail how extensive cyberbullying really is create an incredible picture of just how wide spread the problem is. Internet stalking and harassment reports increase daily and from the looks of the numbers, there is no end in sight.

  • Over 80 percent of students think that cyberbullies choose to use the internet because they can remain anonymous and it is much easier for them to get away with the crime
  • Over two thirds of the teens surveyed believe that cyberbullying is becoming a serious problems that needed to be investigated further
  • Over 40 percent of students admit to having been bullied at least once and out of those numbers at least 1 in 4 claim that it has happened more than once
  • Statistics have proven that girls are targeted by cyberbullies twice as often as boys
  • The majority of girls who are stalked on line are white
  • Statistics state that a person who is bullied online is 9 times more likely to contemplate suicide than individuals who aren’t bullied
  • Statistics show that only 1 out of every 10 children who are bullied online will report the incident to a parent, teacher or other person in a position of authority.
  • Cell phones are increasingly common among middle and high school students. It is estimated that almost 80 percent of students use a cell phone or other electronic device on a daily basis
  • Statistics shown that almost 90 percent of teens have seen or experienced bullying on a social media site such as Facebook and Twitter

Internet abuse laws target individuals who attempt to use the internet as their own personal playground. Cyberbullying and internet stalking have reached epidemic proportions, causing schools, libraries and other public places to implement anti-bullying programs to raise awareness about the dangers of surfing the internet without taking adequate precautions.

Anti-bullying programs attempt to teach both parents and children safe ways to navigate the internet without becoming vulnerable to predators and cyberbullies who are capable of hacking into personal computers and other electronic devices. Programs designed to help students remain safe while surfing the web offer tips to the public to help them learn what types of online behavior is acceptable and what should be avoided.

Anti-virus programs are designed to prevent hackers from installing spyware and malware on computers. Hackers attach files to emails and websites so that when a person opens the attachment or clicks on the website the malicious software is downloaded directly to their computer. These programs can take over manual operations of a laptops camera or install keyloggers that track the users every move. This allows the hacker to retrieve passwords, codes, confidential banking information as well as a variety of other types of private and personal information.

Teen Sex Statistics – Do “Trendy Sexual Behaviors” Give Reason to Brag

How great is the number for those who indulge in teen sex, regardless of numeral configuration, even if that number be one, then it is a problem and more so if both parties are unaware of what can rise from having unprotected sex. The outcome can be that of falling pregnant or catching a sexually transmitted disease (STD.) Okay, getting together with the opposite sex will eventually happen at some time or other (if gay same agenda) so why not make that some time “the right time.” When is the right time, this will depend on what your beliefs are as to whether 15 16 17 years is ideal for a sexual relationship. Remember it is a crime to have underage sex. If you are adamant to go ahead with coupling then at least do your homework first. You need to consider all possibilities which contribute to an unwanted pregnancy occurring or worse still catching a disease that can do more damage that you can imagine.

Sex statistics should never really be taken seriously because of imperfect measurements. Getting people to talk about their sex lives honestly is a difficult mission, especially if it includes a group that is in any way marginalized, as teens are. However study goes on, to help describe and understand sexual behaviors among teens. Here are some facts on statistics and sexual behaviors of interest?

In America nearly half of all 15-19-year-old`s have had sexual intercourse at least once. By the age 15, only 13% of teens have ever had sex, you are breaking the law at this age. By the time 19, seven in 10 teens have had sex. The norm we find for having sex for the first time is that of 17. Teens are wising up to the dangers than that of in the past where teen sex was greater in number. Thankfully teens are taking heed of the alerts telling of the dangers from having unprotected sex. Thirteen percent of females and 15% of males aged 15-19 in 2002 had had sex before age 15, compared with 19% and 21%, respectively, in 1995.

In England and Wales, the law on Sexual Offenses were changed. However the legal age for young people to consent to have sex still remains at 16, whether you are straight, gay or bisexual. Although the age of consent remains at 16, the law will make no intervention unless it involves abuse or exploitation. Under the Sexual Offenses Act you still have the right to confidential advice on contraception, condoms, pregnancy and abortion, even if you are under the legal age. In the US different states may have different age laws for legal sex.

Unfortunately we still have the minute few who believe they know it all until the inevitable happens. Many teens are prepared to take sexual risks despite more than ten years of public warnings. Teen sex should never be an event of chance in hope God will make things right should they go wrong. Nip it in the bud so no prayers have to be said in regards to falling pregnant or catching an STD. The outcome of intensive research showed new infections of the Aids virus in 1999 were the highest in over 10 years.

In reply from some teens who were asked why so early for sex, was, “it is trendy and everyone one else is doing it” so why not me. Another point of interest was, it was a way of showing off where teens would boast “Hey everyone I have done it.” Well this may be the in thing to do but did you ever give any thought to showing off a bump on the belly or a prison ID number when having your mug shot photo taken.

Many teens openly admit to that of feeling pressurized to lose their virginity. The most prominent fear from having unprotected sex was highlighted as to an unwanted pregnancy (88%) and 87% said an STD. To keep safe you have to think condom. Using a condom is one of the safest forms of birth control used and a powerful deterrent against catching a sexually transmitted disease.

We have the male and female condom. The male condom is made of thin latex (rubber) or polyurethane and fits over an erect penis. Condoms are lubricated to make them easier to use.
A condom acts as a barrier between the penis and the vagina, the penis and the mouth, or the penis and the anus. This does not mean sexual intercourse can not take place. A condom will cover the entire penis to prevent sperm entering the vagina.

For women the female condom is made from soft polyurethane and is located inside the vagina. It is held in place by a ring at either end; it lines the vagina and stops sperm getting into it. Using condoms bring no side affects unlike some other forms of contraception.
The female condom if properly inserted is 95% effective. Condoms have been known to split. Problems which occur from using the female condom is – if it slips or moves out of place from not being properly inserted. You can find out more at any family planning clinic where contraception and advice is given freely.

Below some useful resource centers should you need help and advice?

1 Get Connected – One-stop helpline for young people. This organization evolves round youngsters who feel they want to run away from home or have already done so. Services include compassionate support, help and guidance.

Helpline: 0808 808 4994 open 1pm-11pm seven days a week

2 Childlike – an organization which provides a free, confidential telephone counseling service for children or young people regardless of what the nature of the problem is.

National helpline: 0800 1111. Open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

3 Avert services are more connected to health

International aids & medical research charity.

Telephone: 01403 210202

Never be frightened or to embarrassed to seek help. Prevention is better than any cure. Pick up the phone for a brighter future.

4 bpas (British Pregnancy Advisory Service)

Telephone: 0845 730 4030

Organization of many options i.e. dealing with unplanned pregnancy, emergency contraception, free pregnancy testing and vasectomy services.

Using Florida’s Romeo and Juliet Law to Remove Names From Florida’s Sex Offender List

The “Romeo and Juliet law” was enacted in Florida in 2007 by Florida Statute 943.04354 after the Shakespeare play about teenage lovers. The law was enacted because of concerns about young people in high school that were subjected to having to register as sexual offenders because they participated in a consensual sexual relationship with others of a similar age. The Florida legislature designed this law in order to separate sexual offenders who really pose a threat to children from high school teens who, with peers, had consensual sex.

This Florida law also gives people who had consensual sex when they were, at the time, teens or young adults to petition the court to relieve them of the requirement of having to register as a sex offender and or a sexual predator. The Tampa Bay Times recently reported that some 250 people have been given relief under this statute. For a person to obtain relief, they have to file a petition where they will show that by removing the requirement to register, will not go against the federal law and that the person has met the following requirements:

1 – The offence happened either on or after July 1, 2007.

2 – Prove that the only reason the person has to register as a sexual predator or offender is because of the offence at issue.

3 – The person is less than four years older than the victim. The courts are very strict about this requirement and have denied relief to persons who were over four years older than the victim, even if it was only a matter of weeks.

4 – The victim was between 14 and 17 years of age when the crime was committed.

5 – Because of a consensual sex act, the person was adjudicated delinquent or was convicted.

Once the person files a petition, a hearing is then held where the state attorney will be required to place a public notice regarding the petition at least 21 days prior to the hearing. It is the right of the state attorney to argue the petition and try to get it denied by presenting evidence in opposition. The statute says the court has to rule on the petition, and as long as the court determines the person in question has met the statutory criteria and that removing the requirement to register will not conflict with federal law, “it may grant the petition.” It is at the courts discretion as to whether they will grant or deny the petition. Additionally, should the court deny the petition, the person is no longer allowed to petition further for removal of the requirement to register.

If the petition is granted, the person is required to provide the Department of Law Enforcement with a certified copy of the court order to remove the registration requirement. At that point, the requirement to register will not apply, and all information in regards to the person in the public registry of sexual predators and sex offenders must be removed by the department. Nevertheless, access will still be available about the person’s criminal record or history as a matter of public record. Even though it is not required for these petitions that are filed under this statute be filed by lawyers, it may be in the best interest of the person to have the representation of an experienced criminal defense attorney.