Statutory Rape

Statutory rape is a serious allegation that involves two people engaging in sexual activities where one of the two is under legal age of consent. The age of consent is usually between 14 and 18 years of age, with the latter being the most common.

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Statutory rape is usually reserved for two people that have a significant age difference of more than two years. A person over the age of 21 that engages in sexual activities with a minor under the age of 18 will be charged with statutory rape. But in some states it is possible for an 18 year old to be charged with statutory rape for having sex with his 16 year old girlfriend.

Since children or young adults under a certain age or not able to legally consent to sexual activities, relations between two people can still be considered statutory rape even if force and threat were not involved. While statutory rape can be a very demanding charge to overcome, it is also possible with the help of a licensed attorney.

By speaking with an experienced defense attorney, you can find out more about the specific laws regarding statutory rape in your state and understand the legal process before you are required to attend trial.

 Statutory Rape Laws

Statutory rape will be separated into first-degree or second-degree depending on the severity of the situation. First-degree rape is a crime against someone under the age of 12 in which someone 16 years and older initiates sexual activities. This is considered a felony.

Second-degree statutory rape is slightly different, in that the sexual activities will be between someone that is over 16 years of age and someone who is between the ages of 12 and 16. The penalties will be somewhat less harsh for this type of offense than for first-degree statutory rape.

States may not refer to sexual activities with a minor as statutory rape. In some cases, this crime will be referred to by many different legal terms including the following:

  • Sexual Assault
  • Rape of a Child
  • Carnal Knowledge of a Minor
  • Corruption of a Minor

Statutory Rape Penalties

For first-degree statutory rape, where the minor is under 12 years of age (this number may vary from state to state), the penalties may be up to life in prison or 10-99 years. In other states, the penalty may be up to 30 years imprisonment.

Second-degree statutory rape will usually have a much lower sentence and could be charged as a misdemeanor given the nature of the crime. Imprisonment sentences range from one year in jail up to twenty years in jail.

Statutory rape is considered a sex offense, and those convicted of this crime will be required to register with a sex offender registry in most states.

Legal Defense Options for Statutory Rape Charges

Penalties for statutory rape can vary widely based on your location and the situation that you were involved in, so you need to seek help from an attorney to determine a course of action to defend yourself against the charges. You will also be able to find detailed advice on statutory rape laws in your area and the possible punishments that you will face if convicted.

There are not simple answers to your legal defense options, but it is something you want to address quickly and aggressively to avail yourself of all possible defense alternatives.