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When is Sexual Harassment Considered a Crime in Tampa?

Tampa criminal defense & stalking attorneys in Florida

Sexual harassment has garnered a lot of media attention in recent years. The scandals that have made headlines have given rise to many movements that have made it easier for victims to come forward. Sexual harassment is largely a civil matter, especially when it happens in the workplace. However, there are times when people in Tampa find themselves facing criminal charges due to this type of behavior. So, when is sexual harassment a crime? Below, our Tampa sex crimes attorney explains further.

What is Sexual Harassment in Tampa? 

Although many other states define sexual harassment as a crime, the Florida Statutes do not.  Legislators continue to debate the issue but proposed bills are often withdrawn or they die in committees and subcommittees. While the law may change one day, currently sexual harassment itself is not considered a crime.  Sexual harassment in the workplace is a form of discrimination and misconduct that involves unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature that creates a hostile, intimidating, or offensive work environment for the victim. Victims of sexual harassment should report the behavior to their employer, human resources department, or a designated authority within the organization. Retaliation against individuals who report sexual harassment is also illegal in many jurisdictions. Legal remedies and support mechanisms are available to victims to help them address and resolve the situation.

Battery and Assault Charges Based on Sexual Harassment 

While it is true that sexual harassment is typically a matter for civil courts, particularly when it happens in the workplace, there are instances when the unwanted behavior could result in criminal charges. For example, if a person was being sexually harassed and their harasser touched the victim in a sexual manner and without the victim’s consent, that could constitute a charge of sexual battery. Depending on the facts of a specific case, sexual battery can be classified as either a misdemeanor or a felony in Florida.

Stalking Charges Based on Sexual Harassment

Stalking is listed as a crime in Florida and it occurs when one person maliciously and repeatedly harasses, follows, or cyberstalks another person. This means that even when a person regularly makes sexual innuendos in person or online, or follows a person from one place to another, they could be charged with stalking. Stalking is usually classified as a misdemeanor offense, but if certain elements are involved, it could be upgraded to a felony. For example, if a stalker threatens a victim’s physical safety, they may face felony charges.

Our Tampa Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help You Retain Your Freedom 

Sexual harassment is not always considered a crime, but there are certain facts that could result in criminal charges. If you have been arrested or charged, it is important to know the serious consequences you are facing if you are convicted. At All Family Law Group, P.A., our Tampa criminal defense attorney knows the strategies to beat these charges and will use them to give you the best chance of protecting your freedom. Call us now at 813-672-1900 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation and to obtain the solid defense you need.




All Family Law Group, P.A.
The law firm of All Family Law Group, P.A. provides legal services to the Florida cities including Tampa, Clearwater, Brandon, Riverview, Hyde Park, South Tampa, Ybor City, Northdale, Valrico, Gibsonton, Lithia, Mango, Palm River, Plant City, Seffner, Sun City Center, Wimauma, Apollo Beach, Ruskin, Temple Terrace, Carrollwood, Northdale, Westchase, Citrus Park, Town N Country, Thonotosassa, Lutz, Fish Hawk, New Tampa, St. Petersburg, Palm Harbor, MacDill Air Force Base and all of Hillsborough, Pinellas and Pasco Counties. We will also represent DIVORCE clients in Polk, Hernando or Manatee Counties.

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