Spousal/Marital Rape

raped by spouse in orlando attorney

Spousal rape is a form of rape that Florida law considers sexual battery and a sex crime under State Statute 749.011. People accused of this crime may lose family relationships, experience negative impacts on their professional lives, and so much more. If you face accusations of marital rape, it’s vital to seek counsel immediately to minimize any damage done to your reputation and family relationships as quickly as possible.

Florida’s Definition of Spousal Rape

When a couple marries, matrimonial vows do not create a situation where there are sexual requirements to be followed. Demanding any sexual act from one another not freely consented to is illegal. Marital rape, also called spousal rape, is defined by Florida law as a nonconsensual act between two married persons.  An act is non-consensual when one party intimidates, coerces or threatens their partner to force sexual activity. Whether a couple is married or not has no bearing on consent because each spouse has the right to say no.

Grounds for conviction of spousal rape include:

  • The defendant and victim are married
  • The victim was threatened by harm if consent wasn’t given for sexual acts
  • The defendant forced the victim to engage in sexual acts unwillingly
  • Due to mental handicap and/or incapacitation, the victim could not consent to sexual activity

In the state of Florida, it only takes testimony regarding the elements of marital rape to prove an accusation. Proving an offender guilty doesn’t require submission of additional independent evidence.

Consequences of Committing Marital Rape

Due to the severe nature of this crime, marital rape has harsh penalties. If convicted, several the court may impose several punishments.  

These penalties may include:

  • Up to 15 years in prison
  • Fines
  • Restitution
  • Court-ordered therapy
  • Mandatory registration as a sex offender

The consequences affecting one’s personal life if convicted of spousal rape are devastating, as well. Many sex offenders have their reputations ruined in their local communities, lose their jobs, and have limited future career and education options. Having a conviction on your record for a sex crime negatively impacts nearly every aspect of your life.

False Accusations of Marital Rape

For those falsely accused of this crime, the fall out is nearly the same as one who is found guilty. One might experience damage to their reputation, possible job loss, and damaged family relationships. If in a situation where the plaintiff lied about being raped during your marriage, there are several defenses we may use to prove your case.

She or he wants custody of your children. This is a sad but true reality for many individuals facing rape allegations during a divorce or separation. When both parties are in the middle of a bitter custody dispute, some parents will stop at nothing to win, even if it means smearing the other parent’s good name with lies.

Regret after sex. Another reason some partners make claims of marital rape involves regret after having been intimate. Instead of communicating that he or she didn’t want to engage in a sexual act, they participated anyway and now regret it. The spouse may feel guilty for having done so for many reasons and feel it’s your fault even though you would have respected their saying no.

Jealousy over a new partner. Sometimes when a spouse is separated or in the middle of a divorce, he or she meets someone new and falls in love. The reaction to this new relationship by the estranged spouse may evoke an intensely jealous response. To interrupt this new found love, an angry ex-spouse might attempt a charge of marital rape to deprive their ex-partner of this relationship. Revenge is a powerful motivator in this type of rape allegation scenario.

While a defense strategy against false rape accusations will help stop any future jail time or punitive fines, the longterm damage to your good name may take longer. Do not take marital rape complaints lightly as disproving them requires good evidence of motivation for the lie.

Orlando Sex-Crime Defense Lawyers

An Orlando sex crimes attorney can protect your rights in the courtroom and help to minimize damage to your personal life. When deciding on a lawyer to represent your case, make sure their firm practices in Florida sex crimes law and has a history of vigorous defense methods with good outcomes. A good lawyer will do everything possible to minimize or dismiss your charges.

The attorneys at The Umansky Law Firm have over 100 years of combined practice experience in numerous areas of criminal defense. Our firm knows the damage just an accusation of marital rape can cause to one’s life. We aggressively defend our clients against sex crime charges and use our experience as former prosecutors to build the best defense possible. Contact our legal team today at (407) 228-3838 for a free consultation regarding your case.