All states criminalize sexual behavior that is coerced, forced, and assaultive. Often, however, they also have laws regulating consensual sex between adults. These laws are rooted in the social norms of the state at the time they were written. For example, several states have laws prohibiting sodomy as "unorthodox" sexual activity. Prostitution is another consensual sexual activity that is commonly outlawed.
Anyone who has partied in Miami's clubs, where anything goes, would be surprised to learn that Florida is among the states that prohibits a range of consensual sexual activities. The main provisions of Florida's prohibited consensual sexual activity laws are summarized in the following article.
|Prohibited Sexual Contact
- Unnatural and lascivious act (section 800.02): This code section does not define the illegal behavior, but it may be applicable to sodomy by a man or a woman. The Supreme Court has ruled, however, that sodomy laws designed to criminalize same-sex sexual conduct is unconstitutional.
- Breach of peace (section 877.03): Prohibited behavior includes actions that “corrupt public morals, or outrage the sense of public decency, or affect the peace and quiet” of witnesses.
- Exposure of sex organs (section 800.03): This restriction applies if the offender is in public or on the private property of another person. The nature of the nudity must be vulgar or indecent.
- Lewd and lascivious behavior (section 798.02): Among other actions, the law bans unmarried couples from living together and engaging in sexual activity.
- Prostitution, lewd, indecent act (section 796.07): The law applies to prostitution and other “indecent and obscene acts.”
- HIV exposure (section 384.24): It is unlawful for a person with a sexually transmitted disease to have sex with another person unless that person is told of the disease and agrees to the sexual activity.
|Penalties and Sentences
Punishment for prohibited consensual activities varies based on the circumstances of a particular case and may include fines or a jail or prison sentence. Some factors that impact a defendant’s sentence include the exact crime charged, the defendant’s previous criminal history, and whether a minor was involved in the sexual activity.
Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
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Questions About Florida Prohibited Consensual Sexual Activity Laws? Ask an Attorney
Some of Florida’s prohibited consensual sexual activity laws reflect outdated ideas about sexual norms. If you have questions about whether a particular behavior is illegal or if you have been accused of a sex crime, it's a good idea to contact a sex crimes lawyer who can help clarify the law and assist in preparing your legal defense, if necessary.