Help! In Florida, Can You Sue Someone for Giving You an STD?
According to floridahealthgov.com, each year there are 20 million new cases of STDs, with half of those affecting people between the ages of 15 and 24. If you are one of the statistics but were unaware that you were sexually involved with someone who had an STD, you may wonder if there is any recourse. According to Florida statutes, there may very well be.
STD Crime in Florida: Sexual Intercourse
If you have sexual intercourse with a person who is aware of the fact that they have an STD and did not disclose this information to you prior to sexual intercourse, they committed a crime, a first-degree misdemeanor. Under Florida law, sexual intercourse includes not only vaginal sex but also includes oral sex and anal sex as well.
STD Crime in Florida: HIV Transmission
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2013, there were about 47,165 people diagnosed with HIV in the United States. The site also states that in that same year, there were about 5,364 people diagnosed with HIV in Florida, making it the state with the most diagnosed HIV cases that year. In the state of Florida, if you engage in sexual intercourse with someone who was aware they were infected with HIV and did not tell you this fact prior to intercourse, it is not only a crime but also a felony offense.
STD Crime in Florida: Penalties
In the state of Florida, courts use the Criminal Punishment Code to determine punishments for felony crimes. The punishments will depend on the circumstances themselves as well as the crime charged. However, generally speaking, a first-degree misdemeanor in Florida is punishable up to a year in jail and a fine of as much as $1,000. A third-degree felony is punishable up to five years in prison and a fine of as much as $5,000.
Proving Your Florida STD Claim
In order to prove your claim, you will need to show proof that your sexual partner knew that they had an STD. In addition, they must tell you they are infected with an STD before you engage in sexual intercourse, not during or after the fact. You will not have a case if you were informed of their STD status and consented to the intercourse anyway. Also, you may not have a case if the person was not aware that they had an STD, but you still contracted an STD from that person.
If a sexual partner has transferred an STD to you, whether or not you can sue depends on the circumstances. If you need help with your case, it is best to consult a personal-injury lawyer such as Roberts Miceli LLP.