What is the Age of Consent in Texas?
This led to more than a few charges pressed by vindictive parents of an underage girl against the boyfriend they don't like; she says she's still 16 and that the two. It is enough that an adult had sex or sexual contact with a minor. It doesn't matter if the act was consensual. Texas law states the age of consent is 17 years old. It is illegal for an adult (someone 18 or older) to have sex with a minor (someone younger than 17), even if the sex is consensual. Those who break the law have.
Sexual assault involves sexual penetration between a minor who is younger than 17 and a defendant who is three or more years older than the victim.
Indecency with a child. Indecency with a child involves sexual contact sexual touching other than penetration, even over clothing, that is meant to arouse or gratify sexual desire between a minor who is younger than 17 and a defendant who is three or more years older than the victim.
Texas Statutory Rape Laws
Sex Offender Registration State law requires, in addition to the applicable fines and prison time, that people convicted of certain sexual crimes including some instances of statutory rape register as sex offenders. The marital defense is a remnant of the marital rape exemption. Minors are legally incapable of giving consent to having sex; so for example, if Jen, a 15 year old willingly has sex with Tony, her 21 year old boyfriend, Tony can be charged with rape, since Jen is not legally capable of giving consent in the first place.
But if Jen and Tony are married and living in Texas, Tony need not fear criminal charges for having consensual sex with Jen.
In Texas, it's Legal to Have Sex With a Year-Old, Just Don't Take a Picture | Law & Crime
However, if Tony were to rape Jen force her to have sex against her willhe would have no protection under the law even if the two are married. When both parties are minors: In Texas, there is a Romeo and Juliet exemption for consensual sex between a minor who 14, 15, 16, or 17, and an opposite-sex partner who is three or fewer years older than the minor.
Texas's Romeo and Juliet exception does not apply to same-sex situations. For example, an year-old male who has consensual sex with a year-old female could be acquitted under the state's Romeo and Juliet defense.
But a male year-old who engages in consensual sex with a year-old male could be convicted of a felony, because Texas's Romeo and Juliet exception does not apply to same-sex sexual encounters. Constitutional Challenges to Exclusions of Same-Sex Sexual Encounters from the Romeo and Juliet Defense In most states, statutory rape laws are applicable to both heterosexual and same-sex sexual encounters.
Texas's Romeo and Juliet law, though, offers protections for consensual sex between underage opposite-sex partners that do not apply to underage same-sex partners. However, inthe Kansas Supreme Court held that the part of that state's statute excluding same-sex sexual encounters from its Romeo and Juliet law was discriminatory and unconstitutional State v.
The fate of the Kansas Romeo and Juliet law suggests that Texas's similar law could also be subject to constitutional challenge. Mistake of age Defendants accused of statutory rape often claim that they had no reason to know that their partner was underage. A permanent criminal record Limitations on where you can live Complications obtaining employment Loss of professional license or inability to obtain a profession license in the future Removal of a visa, permanent resident status, or deportation Denial of citizenship application Inability to possess a firearm Loss of custody or visitation with your children The statutory and social consequences of being charged with sex with a minor are too great to face alone.
Sex with a Minor
If you have been charged with a sex crime with a minor, you need an experienced Houston sex crimes attorney like Ned Barnett by your side to defend you in court. Defenses to Sex with a Minor There are two major defenses to sex with a minor: The parties involved were legally married The adult was within a 3 year age difference from the minor The purpose of the law is not to charge teenagers who engage in consensual sex with a crime.
For instance, if a 19 year old were to have consensual sex with a 16 year old, this may fall into the exception. However, neither the marriage nor 3 year age difference exceptions are defenses to forced or coerced sexual intercourse or contact.
Many charges of sex with a minor involve consensual experiences or accusations. For example, many teens find it exciting to sneak into bars or college parties where they lie about being 21 years old.
They may meet someone at these events and have sexual intercourse or contact. Although the adult may not have known the age of the minor, he or she may still be charged with a sex crime and labelled a sex offender the rest of his or her life.
Sex with a Minor in Texas - Penalties | Houston Criminal Defense Attorney Ned Barnett
There is no exceptional defense for lack of knowledge, no matter how reasonable the belief may have been. A sexual assault lawyer may be able to help. As a knowledgeable Houston child sex crimes attorney, Ned Barnett has more than 30 years of experience in criminal law.
Contact the Law Offices of Ned Barnett at