Texas Age of Consent Lawyers
By dictating a legal age of consent, legislators provide a way for prosecutors to punish adults who take advantage of minors. If you have been accused of having sex with someone younger than the age of consent, contact a Houston sex crimes lawyer from The Law Offices of Ned Barnett right away. Statutory rape is a serious charge and if you are convicted, you will be required to register a sex offender.
We are here to help you avoid this outcome. Call today at to schedule a free consultation and learn more about your options.
The age of consent in Texas is 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. 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:. 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.
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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: Romeo-Juliet No 16 19 Affirmative Defense: The federal age of consent is Under federal law, it is illegal to cross state lines for the purpose of having sexual encounters with an individual under the age of Therefore, a Texas resident may not travel to another state where the age of consent is lower for the purposes of having sex with someone under the age of Doing so will subject that person to prosecution under federal law.
Texas Age of Consent & Statutory Rape Laws
Under 18 USC , it is a federal offense to induce, coerce, persuade, or entice a child under the age of 18 to engage in any sexual activity while affecting interstate commerce or crossing state lines. The age of consent in the individual states is irrelevant. Under federal law, the age of consent is Specifically, 18 USC defines a minor as a person under the age of The federal government has jurisdiction over an alleged crime when some act took place over state lines.
This can be actual travel, or as often alleged in cases of child pornography, by the use of computers or the internet. The 50 states in the United States have a variety of ages at which a person may consent to sexual activity.
What is the Age of Consent for Sex in Texas?
While the age of consent in a particular state may be a relevant inquiry to a state prosecutor or state law enforcement agent, remember that an alleged offense may be prosecuted federally. Therefore, a person may not travel from one state to another to have sexual contact with a person under the age of Similarly, under 18 USC , , and A, it is illegal to produce, distribute, receive or possess sexually explicit images of a child under the age of For example, an accusation will almost always lead to a loss of employment, parental rights, and housing.
This happens for a number of reasons.
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