The minimum age at which a person is considered legally old enough to consent to sexual activity in California is 18 years of age. This means minors who are 17 years old or younger in California are prohibited from engaging in sexual contact.
Additionally, there are no close-in-age exemptions—also known as “Romeo and Juliet laws”—in California. These laws are in place to prevent sexual participants who are significantly close in age to one another from facing criminal prosecution. Since there are no close-in-age exemptions in California, it is possible for two sexual partners who are both under 18 years old to be charged with statutory rape.
If an individual has sexual intercourse with a minor and he/she is less than three years younger than the minor, it is considered a misdemeanor offense. If an individual has sexual intercourse with a minor and he/she is three years older than the minor, it is a felony offense.
Common types of crimes for violating the age of consent laws in California include:
- Unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor
- Oral copulation
- Penetration by a foreign object
- Forcible acts of sexual penetration
- Indicent Exposure
- Contacting a Minor
- Aggravated sexual assault of a child
Along with a term of jail or prison, a conviction for a statutory rape crime may lead to costly fines and restitution and even registration as a sex offender.
If you have been arrested for a sex crime in Ventura County, contact Wilfert Law P.C. today at (805) 994-0560 and request a free case evaluation.