In the United States, the age of consent is the minimum age at which an individual is considered legally old enough to consent to participation in sexual activity. Similarly, no protections are reserved for sexual relations in which one participant is a 16 year old and the second is a 17 or 18 year old. Romeo And Juliet Laws Some state legislatures, such as Texas, have responded to the parental demands for change by enacting so-called "Romeo and Juliet" Law. People charged with engaging in sexual activity with an individual under the age of 13 need strong and effective defense representation. That means that an older person can lawfully engage in consensual sex with someone who is 17 years or older. For instance, in Texas lawmakers passed a new law that states that a person convicted of a sex crime will not have to register as a sex offender if he or she meets certain requirements following a conviction for engaging in consensual sexual relations with someone under the age of An attorney can review the evidence against you, advise you of your rights and prepare an effective defense on your behalf. Though there are some exceptions, the age of consent is 17 in Texas. Because there is no such "Romeo and Juliet law" in Texas, it is possible for two individuals both under the age of 17 who willingly engage in intercourse to both be prosecuted for statutory rape , although this is rare. Texas statutory rape law is violated when a person has consensual sexual intercourse with an individual under age Even if the person charged is cleared of the charge, lasting damage to the older person's career and reputation may result. Therefore, the Romeo and Juliet Law was enacted to provide relief for a slightly older person who engages in sexual relations with someone who is very close in age, for example, a year-old who engages in sexual relations with a year-old. At the same time, many Texans believe that teens who are close in age to their sexual partners should not have to bear the lifelong stigma of being listed on the sex offender registry. So, this defense could be applicable in situations in which the accused is years-old and the alleged victim is years-old. For instance, even though it is illegal for a person to have sexual relations with someone under the age of 17 in Texas, the law expressly states that there is a close-in-age affirmative defense to prosecution under this law.
If you face possible criminal charges, get legal help as soon as possible. If you have been accused of statutory rape you should speak with a lawyer immediately. Texas statutory rape law is violated when a person has consensual sexual intercourse with an individual under age Although the new law protects the older party in the relationship from having to register as a sex offender, it does not make the older party immune from prosecution based on other sex-related crimes such as statutory rape. The Texas Age of Consent is 17 years old. Though there are some exceptions, the age of consent is 17 in Texas. Similarly, no protections are reserved for sexual relations in which one participant is a 16 year old and the second is a 17 or 18 year old. In a particularly poignant example, an year-old high school senior was arrested for having sex with his freshman girlfriend at the same high school. An attorney can review the evidence against you, advise you of your rights and prepare an effective defense on your behalf. The age of consent is gender neutral and applies the same to both heterosexual and homosexual conduct. For instance, in Texas lawmakers passed a new law that states that a person convicted of a sex crime will not have to register as a sex offender if he or she meets certain requirements following a conviction for engaging in consensual sexual relations with someone under the age of Click the map to view any state's age of consent laws. He now must wear a GPS device so his daily movements can be monitored. The new law also allows those convicted under the old law to clear their names. If the court finds that the sexual relationship was consensual and the offender is not a threat to the public, it can exempt the offender from future sex offender registration. In an ironic twist, parents across the nation are fighting against the very laws that are designed to protect their children. While there is no close in age exemption, defenses exist when the offender was no more than 3 years older then the victim and of the opposite sex. In particular, teachers, coaches and clergy who exercise authority over a juvenile and who engage in sexual relations with that juvenile may be charged with sex crimes. 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. Such a mistake is not a defense to a charge. Individuals aged 16 or younger in Texas are not legally able to consent to sexual activity, and such activity may result in prosecution for statutory rape. 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. Law Romeo And Juliet Laws In Texas Although many states currently have so-called "Romeo and Juliet" laws in place to protect teenagers that are close in age from the consequences of sex crime convictions, there is often much confusion as to how these law are applied when teens actually engage in consensual sexual relations - especially here in Texas. Essentially, the most common forms of Romeo and Juliet laws provide two types of protection for close in age teens, including protection from prosecution and protection from sex offender registration. The overwhelming consensus of the people of Texas believes that adults who engage in sexual activity with people under the age of 17 should be aggressively prosecuted. Interestingly, the phrase "age of consent" does not appear in the Texas statutes. The parents are arguing that the laws — which lump underage sex among teenagers into the same category as pedophiles and violent sexual offenders — impose punishments on their children that do not fit the crime.
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