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Date Rape in Florida

Date rape is so named for the unfortunate trend of individuals committing sexual battery while on dates. The most commonly known scenario involves an alleged offender sneaking an incapacitating drug into a person’s drink.

Date rape charges occur most often among high school and college students, and is particularly prevalent on college campuses, where partying, drinking, and drug use create potentially dangerous situations.

In regard to date rape and other sexual assault charges, understanding the definition of consent is imperative.

Attorney for Date Rape in Tallahassee, FL

If you or someone you know in Tallahassee, Florida, specifically in Leon County, who has been charged or is under investigation for date rape, contact the experienced defense attorneys at Pumphrey Law.

Being investigated for sexual assault can seriously damage a person’s reputation in his or her community. Being charged with sexual battery can result in serious life altering consequences, including changing where you may be allowed to live or visit.

The lawyers at Pumphrey Law have experience litigating throughout Leon County courtrooms; from understanding the proper arguments to procedure, our attorneys are experienced.

Call (850) 681-7777 to schedule a one-on-one consultation with one of our attorneys.


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Learn More About Date Rape in Florida


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Date Rape on College Campuses

According to U.S. News World Report, approximately 15 percent of women who are freshmen in college are raped while incapacitated from alcohol or drugs. Among all undergraduates, approximately 23.1% of females and 5.4% of males experience rape or sexual assault.

Sexual violence is more prevalent than any other crime on college campuses. This fact becomes important as students enter college at Florida State University, and other schools across Florida, such as the University of Florida, USF, and FAMU.

Additionally, students and parents of minor students should be aware that 86% of all sworn campus law enforcement officers have legal authority to make off-campus arrests.


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What is Date Rape

Date rape is a type of sexual battery. Sexual battery means “anal, oral, or vaginal penetration by, or union with, the sexual organ or the anal or vaginal penetration of another by any other object.” The sexual battery definition does not include acts done for a bona fide medical purpose.

Thus, to prove sexual battery, the State of Florida must prove the following five elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • The defendant committed an act upon the victim in which either
    •  the sexual organs of the defendant penetrated or had union with the vagina, mouth, or anus of the victim; or
    • the anus, or vagina of the victim was penetrated by an object; and
  • The victim was physically helpless to resist, or
    • The defendant coerced the victim to submit by threatening to use force or violence likely to cause serious personal injury on the victim and the victim reasonably believed the defendant had the present ability to execute the threat; or
    • The defendant coerced the victim to submit by threat of retaliation against the victim or any other person and the victim reasonably believed that the defendant had the ability to execute the treat in the future; or
    • The defendant, without the prior knowledge or consent of the victim, administered or had knowledge of someone else administering to the victim, a narcotic, anesthetic, or other intoxicating substance that mentally or physically incapacitated the victim; or
    • The victim was mentally defective and the defendant had reason to believe this or had actual knowledge of that fact;
    • The defendant was at the time of the incident, an official or in a position, as a certified law enforcement official or person in control at a probation officer, community control, or similar office, and the defendant was acting in such a manner as to lead the victim to reasonably believe that the defendant was in a position of control or authority as an agent or employee of the government; or
    • The victim as physically incapacitated; and
  • The defendant’s act was committed without the victim’s consent; 
  • The age of the defendant; and
  • The age of the victim.

The Florida sexual battery statute requires that the State prove both the defendant and the victim’s age because the statute charges the sexual assault of a person differently based on the age of the victim and the offender.


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Penalties for Sexual Battery

The Florida Statute § 794.011(5)(b) states that a person 18 years or older who commits sexual battery upon a person 12 years of age or older, without that person’s consent, and without physical force and violence commits a second-degree felony.

Aggravated Penalties for Sexual Battery

The penalties for sexual assault increase in severity under certain specified circumstances:

  • A person 18 years of age or older who commits sexual battery upon a person 18 years of age or older, without the person’s consent under specified circumstances commits a first-degree felony.
  • If an individual commits sexual battery upon a person 12 years of age or older, without that person’s consent, under any specified circumstance and he or she has previously been convicted of a violation under Subsection (d)(1) commits a first-degree felony
  • A person who commits sexual battery upon a person 12 years of age or older, without that person’s consent, and in the process thereof uses or threatens to use a deadly weapon or uses actual physical force likely to cause serious personal injury commits a life felony.
  • A person younger than 18 who commits a sexual battery upon a person under 12 years of age commits a life felony.

A first-degree felony is punishable by up to 30 years and up to $10,000 fines.

A second-degree felony is punishable by up to 15 years and up to $10,000 fines.

A life felony is punishable by life or at least 30 years and up to $15,000 fines.


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What is Consent?

The questions of consent often arises in Florida sex crimes cases. Consent can be the determining factor between being charged with sexual battery having sexual assault charges dismissed.

Consent is defined by the Florida Statute as “intelligent, knowing, and voluntary consent and does not include coerced submission. Consent shall not be deemed or construed to mean the failure by the alleged victim to offer physical resistance to the offender.”


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Additional Resources

  • Fla. Stat. § 794.011
    Visit Online Sunshine, the official website of the Florida Legislature for more information about the types of aggravated circumstances that enhance sexual battery penalties. Also, fine more information on the specified circumstances and useful definitions under the Florida statute for sexual battery.
  • Date Rape Drugs
    Visit Project GHB is a website that provides vital information about the dangerousness of the drug gamma hydroxyl butyrate (GHB). GHB is the drug often associated with sexual assault, including other drugs like MDMA and Ketamine (Special K). Project GHB provides information on “Goodnight Cinderella” that discusses the dangerousness of the drug cocktail GHB-Ketamine-Flunitrazapam (also known as roofies) and it provides information about the victim visitation drug program and the “invisible victim.”
  • Florida State University Date Rape Drug Information
    Visit Florida State Universities official website for more information on GHB, and other street drugs that are often used as a catalyst for date rape. The website also provides resources about alcohol and sexual assault from other universities, information about the signs of a healthy relationship, and directions the FSU police department website.

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Find a Lawyer for Date Rape in Leon County, FL

Being investigated for date rape can not only ruin your reputation, but you could be expelled from school, prevented from applying for housing and other government assistance, and also be limited in the places you may go.

When facing false allegations or misunderstandings, these kinds of consequences can be dire. Speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney about your options.

The attorneys at Pumphrey Law are experienced litigators who practice criminal law throughout North Florida in places like Tallahassee, Bristol, Monticello, Midway, Quincy, and other areas near Leon County, FL.

Call Pumphrey Law at (850) 681-7777 now to schedule a free, confidential, consultation about the facts surrounding your case.


This article was last updated on Friday, September 1, 2017.