Port St. Lucie Criminal Defense Attorneys: Romeo & Juliet Law
What Is The Romeo And Juliet Law?
The Romeo and Juliet Law was passed in the state of Florida back in 2007. This law is designed to keep sexual predators who prey on children on the Florida sex offender registry while offering a removal process from the registry to couples who engage in consensual sex, where one party was a minor, but close to the accused in age. If the accused qualifies, he/she can be removed from the sex offender registry list.
Can Two Minors Who Engage in Sex Be Charged With a Sex Crime?
Yes, if the child is 15 years or younger that child can be charged with a sex crime. Thus, if two 15 year-olds have sex, they are both committing a sex crime.
What Is the Criteria That Must Be Met?
The law only applies to an accused whose alleged victim at the time of the offense was between the age of 14 and 17. The alleged victim must also be a willing participant in the sexual activity that have taken place. The alleged victim cannot be more than four years younger than the offending party. However, it is important to note that if the accused have been previously convicted of a sex offense, he/she will likely not qualify for removal from the sex offender registry.
This law is not designed to make it easier for minors to engage in sexual relations. It is designed to keep minors and/or young adults who have engaged in consensual sexual activity off the sex offender registry.
How Are These Charges Initiated?
There are a wide range of stories about parents who contacted law enforcement upon discovering their child engaged in sexual relations with a young adult or other minor. This has led to many convictions. Many of the minors/young adults who end up being convicted find themselves stuck on the sex offender list unless the accused files an appropriate motion to be removed from the registry.
Is Not Knowing the Alleged Victim’s Age a Defense?
No. Ignorance regarding the alleged victim’s age is not a viable legal defense. This will not constitute an acquittal or a repeal. Be sure to contact experienced Port St. Lucie attorneys experienced in handling sex crimes to protect your future. Call Dadan Law Firm now.
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Port St. Lucie criminal defense attorneys are on hand and ready to defend clients who believe that this law applies to their specific situation. The law does not legalize sexual contact between minors and/or young adults, it simply offers legal recourse from unfair legal rulings.