Florida Statute f.s. 800.02 makes unnatural and lascivious act(s) a crime. The statute reads as follows:
A person who commits any unnatural and lascivious act with another person commits a misdemeanor of the second degree. A mother’s breastfeeding of her baby does not under any circumstance violate this section.
As a second degree misdemeanor, if you are charged with unnatural and lascivious acts, you could face jail time, in addition to having a permanent criminal record. Plus, your mugshot would become publicly available.
What is an unnatural act and lascivious act?
From the snippet shared above, it’s clear that “unnatural” is subject to wide interpretation. Different people have a variety of opinions about what that is. For nudists, for example, it is the most natural state to be completely nude all the time, including in public. For others, that might be absolutely unacceptable. (The exception for a mother breastfeeding her baby was added because police officers would actually arrest moms for violating this law.)
In my experience, this law has been used to harass homosexuals. For example, at Mike G Law, I have represented many gay men who have been entrapped into committing sexual acts in “public” by undercover law enforcement. In this setup, an undercover officer is chosen as the bait. He then goes to a location like a park, beach, or even an adult movie theater and attempts to engage other men flirtatiously. When he gets a response, he then encourages the individual to get physical either by touching him in a sexual manner or by encouraging him to expose himself. When he does, the entrapped gay man is arrested and dragged out like a common criminal. This occurs even when there is no chance that anyone would even see what these, supposedly, consenting adults are choosing to do.
We know that, often, unnatural and lascivious act charges are ridiculous, and at Mike G Law, we have a reputation throughout the Tampa Bay Area of fighting against this type of police abuse.
Can someone be prosecuted for having sex in their car parked on the side of the road under this statute?
If the court follows the law, the answer is no because there is nothing unnatural about the act. However, if a police officer sees a couple engaging in sex, he may very well charge them with this crime. The appropriate charge should be disorderly conduct, which is legally defined as follows:
Florida Statute f.s.877.03: Breach of the peace; disorderly conduct.—Whoever commits such acts as are of a nature to corrupt the public morals, or outrage the sense of public decency, or affect the peace and quiet of persons who may witness them, or engages in brawling or fighting, or engages in such conduct as to constitute a breach of the peace or disorderly conduct, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree.
If you are arrested for this or for a similar crime, we generally recommend that you do not say anything to the police. You are almost never going to talk your way out of an arrest for a sex crime.
Sex crimes are serious. If you are charged with a sex crime—regardless of how minor it may seem—it is vital that you seek skilled representation immediately! A sex crime charge can haunt you for the rest of your days—keeping you from attaining bank loans, finding a job, or even renting a home. Call Mike G Law now to fight for your future!