What is the age of consent for dating in texas

The Texas Age of Consent is 17 years old. In the United States, the age of consent is the minimum age at which an individual is considered legally old enough to.
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This means any individual 17 years or older can legally agree to have sex or participate in other sexual activity. Any minor 16 years or younger cannot agree to participate in sex with adults.

Texas Age of Consent Lawyers

In Texas, statutory rape occurs when an adult engaged in sexual activity with someone 16 years or younger, even if that activity was consensual. However, statutory rape is not itself a charge. If you are accused of sexual conduct with a minor , you could be charged with:.


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If you are found guilty of one of these offenses, then you will have a felony on your criminal record. You can be sentenced to years, decades, or life in prison. Once you complete your imprisonment, you will be required to register as a sex offender. The length of time you are required to register will depend on the offense for which you were convicted.

Ages of consent in the United States - Wikipedia

At first glance, it looks as if the Texas age of consent could be used to prosecute teenagers who engage in sexual activity together. To correct this potential issue, there is an important exception colloquially known as the Romeo and Juliet defense. Under Texas law, it is not statutory rape if the two individuals are married at the time of the sexual contact or if the participants are within three years of each other, so long as they are both over This protects a year-old who has intercourse with a year-old, yet it does not protect a year-old who has intercourse with a year-old.

Pursuant to Penal Code Sections The age of consent refers to the age at which an individual may legally consent to engage in sexual activity with another person.

What Is Statutory Rape?

Instead, you must look at the laws that prohibit sexual activity with a minor. For example, Penal Code Section Similarly, Penal Code Therefore, under Texas law, with some exceptions, it is illegal to have sex with a person under the age of This is sometimes called the statutory rape statute because an individual who is under the age of 17 is legally incapable of giving consent.

In Texas, once a person has turned 17, the law presumes they are able to give consent. Both Penal Code This is sometimes referred to the Romeo-Juliet law in Texas. This only applies if the younger child is at least 14 years old.

What Is the Age of Consent?

A common question, especially among young adults, is when they can legally have sex. The easy answer is generally if both parties are over the age of 17 in Texas, sexual conduct is legal. If both parties are over the age of 18, sexual activity is generally legal under both state and federal law. Federal law is generally only implicated if one person crossed state lines for the purpose of having sex.

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Remember this is an affirmative defense, not a defense. This means that it is something you can raise an argument to defend yourself after you have been arrested, but it is not going to prevent a lawful arrest from happening in the first place. So as you are contemplating the choices you make, remember asserting the Romeo-Juliet statute in Texas is likely only to occur after you have been arrested, someone bonds you out, and you already have a criminal case pending. Similarly, there will be a court document that says you were charged with Indecency with a Minor or Sexual Assault of a Minor until and unless you can get those records expunged.

Remember also that, regardless of how the individuals involved in the act may feel about it, anyone can report the sexual relationship to the police. The chart below outlines the ages where it is lawful to have sex and ages where the Romeo-Juliet Law may apply under Texas law. Romeo-Juliet does not apply to a sexual conduct with a child under Romeo-Juliet No 14 16 Affirmative Defense: Romeo-Juliet No 14 17 Affirmative Defense: Romeo-Juliet No 15 17 Affirmative Defense: Romeo-Juliet No 15 18 Affirmative Defense: Romeo-Juliet No 16 18 Affirmative Defense: Like many other states, Texas does not enforce harsh penalties for individuals who has sex with someone under 17 as long as that person is not more than 3 years older than the minor.

However, unlike other states, there is a provision that specifically states that the close-in-age exception does not apply to people who are required to register for life as sex offenders. If you have sex with someone under 17 years old and are not married to him or her, you might be charged with indecency with a child, which is a second degree felony.

If you have sex with someone younger than 14 years old then that can be considered aggravated sexual assault and is a felony in the first degree. Punishment for a second degree felony can range from 2 to 20 years, while punishment for a first degree felony can range from 5 years to life. If you have been accused of statutory rape you should speak with a lawyer immediately.