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America dating laws

Is There a Uniform Age of Consent for all 50 States in the United States?

There isn’t a standard age of consent. The “Age of Consent” refers to the minimum age at which a person can consent to sexual activity. Sexual activity cannot be legally consented to by anyone under the age of consent. In the United States, the age of consent varies from 16 to 18 years old, depending on the state, which means that anyone under the age of 15 cannot legally consent to sexual contact. Each state establishes its own regulations governing the consent age. If someone participates in sexual behavior with a person under the age of consent in that state, they may be prosecuted with Statutory Rape or other crimes, depending on the nature of the activity.

The following is a map of the legal age of consent in each of the 50 states, as well as a chart outlining the same.

*Note: This graph was current in 2016, but it is prone to change over time. Please do not make any life-altering decisions based on the information in this chart. Check your state’s age of consent regulations to make sure you’re up to date, because ignorance of the law will not be used against you if you’re accused of a minor sexual offense.

United States Age of Consent Chart

STATE LEGAL AGE OF CONSENT
Alabama 16
Alaska 16
Arizona 18
Arkansas 16
California 18
Colorado 17
Connecticut 16
D.C. 16
Delaware 18
Florida 18
Georgia 16
Hawaii 16
Idaho 18
Illinois 17
Indiana 16
Iowa 16
Kansas 16
Kentucky 16
Louisiana 17
Maine 16
Maryland 16
Massachusetts 16
Michigan 16
Minnesota 16
Mississippi 16
Missouri 17
Montana 16
Nebraska 17
Nevada 16
New Hampshire 16
New Jersey 16
New Mexico 17
New York 17
North Carolina 16
North Dakota 18
Ohio 16
Oklahoma 16
Oregon 18
Pennsylvania 16
Rhode Island 16
South Carolina 16
South Dakota 16
Tennessee 18
Texas 17
Utah 18
Vermont 16
Virginia 18
Washington 16
West Virginia 16
Wisconsin 18
Wyoming 18

 

“Romeo and Juliet Law” in Texas | An Exception to the Age of Consent in Texas

The age of consent in Texas is 17, as seen in the chart above. Texas, like many other states, has enacted a “Romeo and Juliet” statute, which is an exception to the state’s statutory rape and consent laws. Teenagers and young adults who engage in sexual intercourse with someone under the age of consent (17 in Texas) but who are still close in age to the sexual partner are subject to Romeo and Juliet legislation. The Romeo and Juliet provision offers a close in age exemption, preventing these would-be perpetrators from being labeled as sex criminals.

The Texas Romeo and Juliet law prohibits a person over the age of 17 from being charged with statutory rape or being classified as a sex offender if they have consensual sexual intercourse with someone under the age of 17, but there is no more than a three-year age difference between the two partners.

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