317 NE 1st St
Gainesville, FL  32601
fax: (352) 375-0813

call us today

(352) 375-0812

¡Hablamos Español!

Free consultation

Child Molestation

Various forms of improper touching of a person under the age of 16 years old for sexual stimulation can result in criminal charges in Florida. Regardless of whether the actions were consensual, these crimes can result in very serious consequences if the alleged offender is convicted.

The charges alone can have a devastating impact on the lives of innocent individuals who have been wrongly accused. In addition to the significant jail time and fines alleged offenders face, these charges can forever taint a person's life and leave them branded as a sex offender and destroying personal and professional lives.

Gainesville Child Molestation Lawyer

It is enormously important to speak to an experienced attorney as soon as possible when you are facing charges of sexually abusing a child. Galigani Law Firm aggressively defends clients against alleged sex crimes in Gainesville as well as locations like Alachua, Lake City, and Ocala.

We provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case during a free, confidential consultation when you contact our firm at (352) 375-0812 or send us a message online. Our Florida criminal defense lawyers can begin investigating your case and developing a defense that will help you achieve the most favorable outcome possible.


Alachua County Child Molestation Information Center


Back to top

Child Molestation Charges in Florida

Florida Statute § 800.04(5) defines "lewd or lascivious molestation" as being "a person who intentionally touches in a lewd or lascivious manner the breasts, genitals, genital area, or buttocks, or the clothing covering them, of a person less than 16 years of age, or forces or entices a person under 16 years of age to so touch the perpetrator, commits lewd or lascivious molestation." Penalties increase if an alleged victim is under the age of 12 years old.


Back to top

Possible Penalties for Child Molestation

All crimes involving alleged sexual abuse of children are considered felony offenses. The age of the victim and the age of the alleged offender ultimately determine the severity of the punishments that may result from a conviction:

  • Victim 12 years of age or older but less than 16 years of age, offender less than 18 years of age — Third-degree felony, punishable by a minimum sentence of 3 years in prison, maximum sentence of 15 years in prison
  • Victim less than 12 years of age, offender less than 18 years of age — Second-degree felony, punishable by a minimum sentence of 4 ¼ years in prison, maximum sentence of 15 years in prison
  • Victim 12 years of age or older but less than 16 years of age, offender 18 years of age or older — Second-degree felony, punishable by a minimum sentence of 4 ¼ years in prison, maximum sentence of 15 years in prison
  • Victim less than 12 years of age, offender 18 years of age or older — Life felony, punishable by a minimum sentence of 25 years in prison followed by probation or community control for the remainder of the person’s natural life, maximum sentence of life in prison

Back to top

Child Molestation Defenses in Florida

While it is certainly overwhelming to be charged with sexually abusing a child, a knowledgeable Gainesville criminal defense attorney can determine whether evidence against you can be suppressed or dismissed if your arrest involved:

  • Forensic investigation flaws
  • Violation of your Miranda rights
  • You were denied right to counsel
  • Your contact was accidental or there was a lack of lewd intent and you did not intentionally touch the child for sexual gratification or arousal

A very common defense in child molestation cases involves exposing false allegations. Examples include, but not limited to:

  • You were falsely accused by an ex-spouse in the middle of a contentious divorce or custody proceeding
  • You were falsely accused by another party simply seeking to punish you
  • You were falsely accused by another party seeking to extort a financial settlement from you
  • You were falsely accused by another party who misinterpreted an innocent touch
  • The alleged victim was coached or pressured by law enforcement officials, prosecuting attorneys, or healthcare professionals to report molestation even though none occurred
  • Child care worker or social worker asked leading questions during investigation, resulting in false allegation

Back to top

Prohibited Defenses to Child Molestation Charges in Florida

Florida Statutes § 800.04(2) and § 800.04(3) state the following defenses are prohibited against lewd or lascivious molestation charges:

  • Alleged victim’s lack of chastity — A victim's past sexual experience cannot be raised, even if the alleged victim is a prostitute
  • Alleged victim’s consent — You are not allowed to claim that actions were justified because the minor granted you permission
  • Ignorance or belief of the alleged victim's age — Neither your ignorance or bona fide belief of the alleged victim’s age nor the alleged victim’s misrepresentation of his or her age can be raised as a defense

Back to top

Find a Child Molestation Lawyer in Gainesville

If you have been accused of lewd or lascivious molestation of a child, you should not wait to seek legal representation and begin developing your defense to the charges you face. Galigani Law Firm diligently works to defend clients accused of sex crimes in Alachua County as well as Levy County, Marion County, Gilchrist County, and Columbia County.

We understand the tremendous burden these allegations places on every aspect of your life, and our Florida criminal defense attorneys will fight to restore your good name. Contact our firm today at (352) 375-0812 or send us a message online to schedule free, no obligation consultation that will let us review your case and determine the best course of action.