Rape and Sexual Assault Attorney in Miami

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Rape (sexual battery) and sexual assault in Miami occur when a person (male or female) experiences forceful or unwanted sexual contact or intercourse. It can occur any time, any place and anywhere, and is illegal. It is not the victim’s fault it occurred, no matter what he or she is wearing, if he or she has had a few drinks, or even if he or she has agreed to some sexual contact. At no point in the process is it OK for another person to refuse to accept “no” for an answer. A person who has been the victim of rape or sexual assault has the right to press charges in criminal courts in Miami and file a civil lawsuit for damages. For the past 25 years, the experienced attorneys at the Derek Smith Law Group have helped victims of rape and sexual assault in Miami get the compensation they deserve.

What Is a Civil Claim for Rape and Sexual Assault in Miami?

When a person in Miami is raped or sexually assaulted, it is often made clear that criminal charges must be filed to get justice. While this is true to an extent, the criminal courts work to find the attacker or rapist and put the person in prison. The victim is not given the compensation he or she needs to receive to get back to life. A civil claim for rape and sexual assault in Miami allows a victim of rape or sexual assault to collect damages for their pain and suffering, emotional distress, and continued medical and therapeutic needs. The claim is filed in civil court and is meant to collect monetary damages as opposed to criminal justice.

What Is the Difference Between a Criminal Case and Civil Case for Rape and Sexual Assault in Miami?

In Florida criminal courts, rape and sexual assault are grouped under sexual battery. In criminal court, the victim is a witness. He or she must tell the details of the attack, should he or she choose to testify. The attacker must be found guilty beyond a shadow of a doubt. This means that there can be no question to the jury that the sexual assault and battery occurred. The attacker may or may not be found guilty. If found guilty, he may be ordered to pay restitution, which will be very little compared to the costs of recovery. The victim also has the right to file an application to receive money from the Florida victim fund for relating, if needed, and medical bills, disability, wage loss, and emergency assistance. However, the money is only available after all other financial options have been exhausted and it will not over all of your needs.

In Florida civil court, a sexual battery (rape) or assault only needs to be proven by the idea that it could have occurred (also known as the preponderance of the evidence). This means that even if the attacker was not found guilty in criminal court, he or she can still be held liable in civil court. The victim is now the plaintiff and a party to the case. This victim is able to sue the attacker, as well as the property manager of the property where the attack occurred for negligent security, if warranted. Furthermore, the victim is entitled to financial compensation for more than just his or her out-of-pocket needs. 

What Are Some Examples of Rape or Sexual Assault Situations in Miami?

Rape in Miami falls under sexual battery. In order for sexual battery to occur, there must be anal, vaginal, or oral penetration. However, many other unwanted physical contact claims can be found under the sexual assault laws in Florida. Some examples of Sexual battery/rape and sexual assault in Miami include:

  • Unwanted physical touching, such as kissing, groping, or penetration
  • Being forced to touch a person’s private areas
  • Being talked into, coerced, or blackmailed to “consent” to sexual contact or intercourse
  • Forceful penetration
  • Date Rape
  • Voyeurism
  • Flashing
  • Being forced to watch pornography
  • Penetration of unwanted physical contact when you are incapacitated due to alcohol or drugs
  • Penetration of unwanted physical contact when you are unconscious or sleeping
  • Wanted or unwanted sexual contact between a teacher, coach, or camp counselor and a minor student, athlete, or camper

What Is the Statute of Limitations to File a Civil Case for Rape and Sexual Assault in Miami?

Florida sets separate time limits for victims under the age of 16 than for those over the age of 16 and again for those under 18 years of age versus for those over 18 years of age to file a claim for sexual battery or assault. If a victim is under the age of 16, there is no time limit to file a claim for sexual battery or assault.

If the victim is between 16 and 18 years of age, the time limit to file a claim for rape or sexual assault id 7 years after he or she turns 18. However, if the person is over the age of 18, the time limit is 4 years from the time of the attack.

What Remedies Are Available in Civil Court for a Rape or Sexual Assault Claim in Miami?

A victim of sexual battery/rape or sexual assault may experience many losses as a result. First, you may need time away from work, which can result in lost wages. You may need therapy, medical treatment, and feel a need to purchase items that you feel will add to your protection. Therefore, you must know the remedies available through the courts for your claim. Some of the remedies include:

  • Reimbursement of lost wages
  • Reimbursement of medical and other related expenses
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Punitive Damages

A Few Resources to Help Deal with the Aftermath of Rape or Sexual Assault

  • RAINN. RAINN is the Rape, Assault, Incest National Network. It is the largest hotline network in the country that also provides resources to help victims of sexual assault and rape.
  • Safe Horizon. Safe Horizon is also a national network that has an amazing hotline willing to help or just listen if that is what you need. Safe Horizon also provides contacts through their network to professionals in your area that can help you medically, physically, emotionally, and legally.
  • 1in6. 1in6 focuses on men who have been victims of sexual assault or battery. Resources are available to help men deal with being a victim and move on. In addition, the Bristlecone Project shows men that they are not alone by offering portraits, videos, and written accounts of men who have been victimized and moved on.

Contact Our Experienced Rape and Sexual Assault Attorneys in Miami for Your Free Consultation

Sexual Battery/rape and sexual assault are never your fault. No person should ever have to worry about being sexually assaulted because of the way he or she dressed, what he or she drank, or because he or she was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Rape is about control and anger an is never about the victim or sex. If you are a victim of sexual battery /rape or assault, the experienced attorneys at the Derek Smith Law Group in Miami can help. Contact us today at (215) 391-4790 for a free consultation. We do not collect any money until you win your case.

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