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The criminal justice system functions best when people understand what is and what is not a crime. Unfortunately, laws are not always so clear. The perfect example of this is the crime of statutory rape. Statutory rape occurs when a minor engages in sexual intercourse.
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Minors cannot legally consent to sex, so it is considered statutory rape when they engage in this activity. So, should a minor be prosecuted for a crime when he or she has sex with another minor? What if a minor has sex with his or her ificant other who is 18? One of the confusing aspects of this crime is the fact that it is considered rape.
The problem of consent
The reason statutory rape is a crime is because California law does not give minors the legal authority to consent to sex. Lawmakers consider minors to be unable to understand the importance of the decision to have sex, so the law takes the decision out of their hands until they turn 18 years of age.
Under California Penal Code Section Notice the law says that it is illegal for any person to do this. This includes cases where the persons involved in the sexual intercourse are both under the age of 18 and cases involving one minor and one adult.
Is it statutory rape when two minors have sex? (pc )
However, when both parties are under the age of 18, it is uncommon for either of them to face statutory rape charges. The reason is that it is difficult to determine which of the two willing parties is to be considered the victim and which is the perpetrator. In reality, the law says that they are both criminals and victims, so prosecutors will likely decline to charge either person with the crime. Instead, the two minors may be asked to visit their local probation department to discuss the dangers of sex before adulthood.
However, if you are 18 and you have sex with your girlfriend or boyfriend who is younger than you, you are likely to be charged with statutory rape. This crime is a wobbler offense, meaning you could be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the facts of the case.
The penalties for statutory rape vary depending upon the age difference between you and the alleged victim.
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An year-old who has sex with his or her year-old boyfriend or girlfriend will likely face misdemeanor charges. If you are not over the age of 21 and the alleged victim is 16 or older, you could be charged with a felony. In addition to the above, statutory rape convictions carry civil penalties. Unlike other sexual offenses, a statutory rape conviction does not automatically require you to register as a sex offender. However, depending on the circumstances of your case, the judge has the power to impose this requirement on you under California Penal Code Section In order to impose this additional penalty on you, the court must find at the time of conviction or sentencing that you committed the offense as a result of sexual compulsion or for purposes of sexual gratification.
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If the judge decides your case meets this criteria, you could be required to register as a sex offender for life. Facing a charge of statutory rape is a serious matter and you will need the help of an experienced sex crimes defense attorney to help you obtain a favorable outcome in your case.
Let our knowledgeable attorneys help you now. We will be there when you call.
Stephen D. Klarich is one of the most highly respected sex crime attorneys in Southern California. His vast experience, zealous advocacy for his clients and extensive knowledge of many areas of the law make Mr. Klarich a premiere Southern California attorney.
Klarich has been successfully representing clients for more than 38 years.
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Clients come to him for help in matters involving sex offenses, murder, violent crimes, misdemeanors, felonies and other sex crimes. View all posts by Stephen D. If you or a loved one have been accused of a crime, this is the time to. PC The Problem of Consent One of the confusing aspects of this crime is the fact that it is considered rape.
Penalties for Statutory Rape PC Author: Stephen D. This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged. Now If you or a loved one have been accused of a crime, this is the time to .