Criminal Charges for Failure to Disclose a STD

Sexually transmitted diseases (STD) are those that are transmitted between individuals through sexual contact. Some of these are easily treated or cured, while others are incurable and can eventually lead to death. Florida law requires that anyone having sexual contact with another person disclose whether or not they have a STD or else they can face criminal charges.

What should I know if I have a STD?

Anyone infected with a STD is responsible to disclose their condition to a sexual partner, no matter what kind of disease it is. It does not matter whether their partner became infected as a result of their contact as engaging in any prohibited activity with a STD is a crime.

Actions that can invite charges when someone has a STD include:

  • Sexual intercourse
  • Prostitution
  • Prostitution with HIV
  • Criminal transmission of HIV

Any activity that involves someone knowingly engaging in an activity where they can transmit their STD without informing the other party is punishable. Usually this refers to sexual activity, but criminal transmission of HIV can occur in other scenarios where there is a possibility for the exchange of blood and other bodily fluids. Getting into a fight while testing positive for HIV can result in failure to disclose charges.

Two main components of a criminal charge related to failure to disclose a STD include whether or not that person had knowledge of their infection with an STD prior to engaging in sexual activity, and if the chose to engage in sexual activity with that knowledge in mind.

If convicted, charges can range from probation to a third degree felony with up to five years in prison and $5,000 in fines, along with restitution for any damages that may occur from the other person becoming infected. They may even have to list themselves on their state's sex offender registration list.

When engaging in sexual activity with a STD, it is important to be honest with a partner about any kind of disease you may have. If not, you may find yourself up against criminal charges for failure to disclose.