What are the age laws for dating




Depending on the situation, the Colorado close-in-age exemption may completely exempt qualifying close-in-age couples from the age of consent law, or merely provide a legal defence that can be used in the event of prosecution. The Age of Consent ranges state-by-state from 16 to 18 years old across the United States.

Click the map to view any state's age of consent laws. The age of consent in Colorado is based on the following statutes from the Colorado criminal code:. Colorado has six statutory sexual abuse charges on the books which are used to prosecute age of consent and child abuse related crimes within the state.

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My Son Is Dating a Minor: Should I Be Worried About the Legal Implications?

One or more of these charges may be used to prosecute violations of the Colorado Age of Consent, as statutory rape or the Colorado equivalent of that charge. The severity of the criminal charge felony, misdemeanor, etc depends on the specifics of the acts committed and the relative ages of the perpetrator and victim. Click any charge for more detailed information.


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The Dixon case is just one in a long line of similar legal battles teens have faced in the last decade. A Hot Topic Among Teens The recent discovery that year-old actress Jamie Lynn Spears, the sister of pop star Britney Spears, became pregnant by her year-old boyfriend has again turned consensual sex among teens into a hotly contested issue.

What Is Statutory Rape?

Parents, particularly those with teenage daughters, certainly have cause for concern. Research shows that teenage girls tend to have their first sexual experience with male partners who are three or more years older. But do these dangers warrant laws that put young people in prison? Romeo and Juliet Make a Comeback Statutory rape is defined by the FBI as non-forcible sexual intercourse with a person who is younger than the statutory age of consent.


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The statutory rape laws vary greatly from state to state, with more than half of the states setting the legal age of consent at 16 other states range from 14 to For the most part, there is no single age at which a person can consent to sexual activity. Only 12 states set a specific age ranging from 16 to 18 , while in the majority of states, the age of consent depends on multiple factors, including the ages of each partner and the number of years between them.

The purpose behind most statutory rape laws is to punish grown adults who take sexual advantage of a minor.

Statutory Rape: The Age of Consent

The following are just a few examples of Romeo and Juliet laws currently in place in the United States:. Exceptions and Other Considerations In addition to Romeo and Juliet laws, some states have specific exemptions when both parties to the sexual act are minors, or the person to be charged is legally married to the minor. However, there are still restrictions in some states about the type of sexual activity that is permissible, such as oral sex and sodomy, as well as restrictions on relationships involving a minor and a person of authority, including teachers, coaches, or tutors.

All states have special provisions if any physical force was used or serious physical injury resulted. Until recently, statutory rape laws applied only to females, ignoring situations involving sex between an adult female and underage male. Today, most laws are gender neutral, and a number of women in authority positions such as Mary Kay Letourneau, Debra Lafave, Pamela Rogers Turner, and Pamela Smart have been prosecuted for engaging in sexual relationships with younger males.

A close in age exemption , also known as "Romeo and Juliet law", is designed to prevent the prosecution of underage couples who engage in consensual sex when both participants are significantly close in age to each other, and one or both are below the age of consent. Depending on the situation, the Florida close-in-age exemption may completely exempt qualifying close-in-age couples from the age of consent law, or merely provide a legal defence that can be used in the event of prosecution.

Statutory Rape: The Age of Consent | LegalMatch Law Library

The Age of Consent ranges state-by-state from 16 to 18 years old across the United States. Click the map to view any state's age of consent laws.

Florida has four statutory sexual abuse charges on the books which are used to prosecute age of consent and child abuse related crimes within the state. One or more of these charges may be used to prosecute violations of the Florida Age of Consent, as statutory rape or the Florida equivalent of that charge.

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