Committing adultery can get you in trouble in many ways. First and foremost, a discovered adulterer will have to face an infuriated, disgusted, and wounded spouse and family. Adultery threatens to completely dissolve the home and supportive life that a family builds together. In many states, adultery is grounds for a fault-based divorce and may be grounds to initiate a civil lawsuit against the adulterous spouse.
In addition to all of this emotional trauma and fallout, some states take the consequences further by listing adultery as a crime. In addition to the emotional and financial penalties that you face, you may be forced to serve a punishment for criminal charges as well.
Adultery Laws in the U.S.
Only a handful of states still have a criminal adultery statute. Most have ceased to prosecute individuals who commit adultery or have abolished the statute altogether. A few states, however, still believe that the criminal adultery law has its place in modern society. Florida is one of the states that still considers adultery to be illegal, and a violation is a criminal offense.
Adultery and Florida Law
In the state of Florida, the law specifies that a person may be criminally charged if he or she is “living in open adultery”. Anyone found to be engaging in extramarital relations may be found guilty of adultery. Furthermore, both individuals in the extramarital relationship may be charged with adultery, even if only one of the couple is married. This means that an unmarried individual engaging in an affair with a married person may be charged with “living in open adultery” as well.
Charges and Penalties
Under Florida law, “living in open adultery” is a second-degree misdemeanor. A person found guilty may be penalized as follows:
Imprisonment: Up to 60 days in jail
Fines: Up to $500 in fines
In addition to these court-ordered penalties, a person found guilty of adultery will have a criminal record. This can add insult to injury by further tarnishing an individual’s personal and professional reputation. A criminal record can also make it more difficult to find or keep a job, secure a loan, or successfully apply to an educational institution. Clearly even one instance of adultery can have costly criminal and civil penalties that can cause irreparable harm to you and your family.