The age of consent in Califoniais18 years old. The legal age that consent describes the age at i m sorry a person deserve to legally consent to communicate in sexual intercourse. This period is the same for males and females.

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A human who has sex v a young under the period of 18 division the age that consent law and can it is in prosecuted for a crime – generally for statutory rape, every Penal code 261.5.

The adhering to are a few scenarios that could lead to pc 261.5 charges:

a 19-year-old woman high school senior has sex with a 16-year-old male who is in numerous of she classes; a 35-year-old college professor develops a sexual partnership with a 17-year-old girl that is in among the classes he teaches; and also a pair that high institution sweethearts who have been dating for 3 years have actually sex because that the an initial time when he is one 18-year-old yet she is still only 16.

Thecrime of statutory rape is a California “wobbler” offense. This method that the crime can be fee aseitheramisdemeanoror afelonydepending on the truth of the case. The offense deserve to be punished by increase to 4 years injail or prison.

Note thatCalifornia go not have actually a Romeo and Juliet law. “Romeo and also Juliet” regulations prevent the beginning of persons who communicate in consensual sexual activity when:

both parties are very close in age to one another, and both are listed below the age of consent.

There isone exceptionwhere a minorcan legitimate havesexual intercourse v an adult. This is once the two parties arelawfully married.

A charge related to statutory rape is the charge oflewd acts with a minor child, under Penal code 288.PC 288 specifies a “lewd act v a young child” together either:

touching a boy for sexual purposes, or causing a child to touch him/herself or who else because that a sex-related purpose.

Depending on the truth of a case, a conviction oflewd acts through a minorcan command to:

as much as life in the California state prison.

Our California criminal defense attorneys will certainly highlight the following in this article:


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The age of consent in California is 18.


1. What is the “age that consent” in California?

18 year of age. Under California law, a human being must be at least 18 years of period in bespeak legally to have sex with one more person to whom he or she is no married. Having sex v a human under the legal period of consent will subject a human being to criminal liability.

Also note that if a person is 18 year of age or older, and he/she has sexual intercoursewith a minor, that person breaks the age of consent law and also can it is in prosecuted for a crime – commonly forstatutory rape, every Penal code 261.5.

Sexual intercourse” way any sexual penetration, no matter exactly how slight, that the vagina (“vaginal intercourse”) or genitalia through the penis. Ejaculation is no required.1

Age that consent regulations are supposed todeter adultsfrom seeking the end underage sex partners. This is since children space generallynot maturation enoughto make intelligent and informed decisions regarding the physical and emotional risks of having actually sex.

The period of consent varies state-by-state indigenous 16 to 18 year of age throughout the U.S.

2. What is statutory rape, per Penal password 261.5?

Under CaliforniaPenal password 261.5 PC, a “statutory rape”takes location when any person engages in sex-related intercourse through a personunder the period of 18.2

The crime of statutory rape is additionally commonly described as “unlawful sex v a minor” or together “unlawful sex-related intercourse.”

Statutory rape is a crime regardless of whether the sex was consensual or even initiated through the young (the supposed “victim” the the crime).3

A statutory rape instance is a California “wobbler” offense. This means that the crime have the right to be charged aseithera misdemeanor or a felony depending upon the facts of the case.4

Theage differencebetween the defendant and the minor is among the major factors determining how the crime is tried. If the defendant is 21 or older and also the minor is under the period of 16, the penalties are likely to be many severe.

In such a situation they can include up to four years in theCalifornia state prison.

3. Walk statutory rape in California require registration together a sex offender?

A statutory rape charge, or a conviction that the same, does not require sex offender registration under California Penal code 290 PC.5

Certain connected offenses, though, do require the defendant to it is in on the sex offender registry, including:

lewd acts through a child, every Penal password 288.

Now through the pass of California Senate invoice 145 (2020), judges might waive the sex registration need for particular defendants convicted under the adhering to penal password subsections if the kid was a 14-year-old (or older) and within 10 year of period of the defendant:

SB 145 is geared to close-in period LGBT youth who have actually consensual oral sex or anal sex. Opponents of the brand-new law case it promotes pedophilia and also sexual abuse.

4. Walk California have actually a “Romeo and Juliet” law?

Californiadoes not have a Romeo and also Juliet law. “Romeo and Juliet” regulations are additionally referred to together “close in age exemptions.” The legislations prevent the prosecution of young world who communicate in consensual sex acts when:

both parties are really close in period to one another, and both are below the period of consent.

An example here is once two world engage in consensual sex and also both are 17 year old, or one is 16 year old and also the other is 17.

Since over there isno Rome and Juliet legislation in California, that is feasible for 2 people, both under the period of 18, to it is in prosecuted for statutory rape if they communicate in sex-related intercourse.


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If a young is legit married come an adult, climate they may connect in consensual sex.


5. Is there any exception wherein a minor deserve to have sexual connections with one adult?

There is one exemption where a minorcanhave sexual intercourse v an adult. This is as soon as the two parties space married.

Penal password 261.5astates:

“Unlawful sexual intercourse is an act of sex-related intercourse achieved with a person who isnot the spouseof the perpetrator, if the human is a minor.”

(emphasis added). The language, “not the spouse the the perpetrator,” means that no statutory rape charges will be filed if:

there is consensual sex in between two parties, one or more of the persons is below the period of 18, and also the 2 parties arelawfully married.

Note that California is just one of just a few states thatdoes nothave a minimum age for marriage. If a minor despite decides to marry, that person must acquire parental consent and also a court order before the marriage.

6. Is the legal because that an adult to day a boy in California?

While in general, the is legal because that an adult to day a minor, that is commonly unwise because that this come happen.

And, it is illegal for an adult to day a young if the adult:

has actually a criminal record, is a sex offender, or is a teacher or in a comparable position of to trust or authority.

Please likewise note that, based on California law, the is illegal for an adult come do any kind of of the adhering to with a minor he is dating:

have sex, acquisition for or re-publishing alcohol or cigarettes, lug the minor come an R-rated movie, and show any type of pornography.

7. Space there any kind of legal defenses to statutory rape charges?

There room three usual legal defenses to any kind of accusations that statutory rape. This are:

falsely accused– which means the alleged victim misidentified the defendant or lied, age the consent– which way both next that engaged in sex-related intercourse were 18 years of age or older, and no sexual intercourse– which way that while two persons under 18 may have had an intimate encounter, they go not interact in “sexual intercourse.”

Note that consent is not a defense to statutory rape allegations.6 the is also not a defense that the defendant believed the kid was that age.7

In any case, the ar attorney has actually the burden to prove guilt past a reasonable doubt. As long as prosecutors failure to fulfill this burden, the charge should be dismissed.

8. What is California Penal password 288 – lewd acts with a young child?

Penal password 288 is the California statute that provides it a sex crime because that a human being to interact in a lewd act with a boy child.

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The statute specifies a “lewd act v a minor child” together either:

emotional a boy for sex-related purposes, or bring about a child to touch him/herself or someone else for a sex-related purpose.8

Technically, this section applies when the victim is everyone under period 16.9 But because most prosecutions under this section involve children under 14, this crime is frequently referred come as:

lewd acts through a son under 14, lewd acts upon a young under 14, or action of lewd and also lascivious conduct.

The penalties because that a violation ofPC 288depend top top a mix of factors, including:

the period of the child, even if it is the lewd act was achieved by force, violence, duress, or threats, even if it is there was a sample of lewd acts, and if the kid was 14 or 15, the age of the defendant.

Depending ~ above the facts of the case, a conviction the lewd acts with a minor can lead to:

imprisonment in the county jail for up to one year, or up to life in the California state prison.

For added help…


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