Facing accusations of engaging in sexual activity with a minor is nothing to take lightly. Such a charge can completely change your life in many ways.
If you are facing any sexual charge involving a minor, it is essential to develop a strong defense. There are some defenses that you cannot use under the law, which include saying you were ignorant to the person’s age.
Ignorance is no defense
The Florida Statutes specifically forbid you from using the defense that you did not know the person was underage. You cannot claim that the person lied to you about his or her age either. This includes if the other person showed you proof of age that was fake or did anything to trick you about his or her age.
Why it will not work
The law takes the assumption that each person is responsible for ensuring they know enough about anyone they will be with to know how old the person is or if there is any doubt, a reasonable person would not go through with the acts.
Many people think by saying they were unaware of the other person’s age or the other person tricked them about his or her age will help stop any criminal charges, but the law does not work that way. When one person is an adult and the other is a child, the adult always has the responsibility in the situation.
Because you cannot use ignorance as a defense, you will need to figure out another strategy. Defending against sexual charges is not easy because it often comes down to your word against the other person’s word. Typically, you will want to provide as much strong evidence as you can to dispute the claims.