The age the consent in Califoniais18 years old. The legal age of consent describes the period at i beg your pardon a person have the right to legally consent to interact in sexual intercourse. This period is the same for males and also females.

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A human being who has actually sex with a boy under the period of 18 breaks the age of consent law and also can be prosecuted because that a crime – commonly for statutory rape, every Penal code 261.5.

The adhering to are a few scenarios that might lead to pc 261.5 charges:

a 19-year-old mrs high school an elderly has sex v a 16-year-old male that is in numerous of her classes; a 35-year-old university professor creates a sexual partnership with a 17-year-old girl who is in one of the classes the teaches; and a pair the high institution sweethearts who have been date for 3 years have actually sex because that the first time when he is an 18-year-old however she is still just 16.

Thecrime the statutory rape is a California “wobbler” offense. This means that the crime deserve to be charged aseitheramisdemeanoror afelonydepending on the facts of the case. The offense have the right to be punished by up to 4 years injail or prison.

Note thatCalifornia go not have actually a Romeo and Juliet law. “Romeo and also Juliet” regulations prevent the prosecution of persons who interact in consensual sexual task when:

both parties are really close in age to one another, and also both are listed below the age of consent.

There isone exceptionwhere a minorcan legit havesexual intercourse v an adult. This is when the two parties arelawfully married.

A charge concerned statutory rape is the fee oflewd acts with a young child, under Penal code 288.PC 288 specifies a “lewd act with a minor child” as either:

touching a son for sex-related purposes, or leading to a boy to touch him/herself or someone else because that a sex-related purpose.

Depending on the facts of a case, a conviction oflewd acts with a minorcan lead to:

as much as life in the California state prison.

Our California criminal defense attorneys will highlight the following in this article:


The period of consent in California is 18.

1. What is the “age the consent” in California?

18 year of age. Under California law, a human must it is in at the very least 18 years of age in stimulate legally to have actually sex with an additional person to who he or she is no married. Having actually sex with a human under the legal age of consent will topic a human to criminal liability.

Also note that if a human is 18 year of period or older, and he/she has actually sexual intercoursewith a minor, that human breaks the period of consent law and can be prosecuted for a crime – generally forstatutory rape, every Penal password 261.5.

Sexual intercourse” method any sex-related penetration, no matter exactly how slight, of the vagina (“vaginal intercourse”) or genitalia by the penis. Ejaculation is not required.1

Age the consent regulations are supposed todeter adultsfrom seeking out underage sex partners. This is since children are generallynot tires enoughto do intelligent and informed decisions regarding the physical and emotional risks of having actually sex.

The age of consent different state-by-state native 16 to 18 year of age across the U.S.

2. What is statutory rape, per Penal code 261.5?

Under CaliforniaPenal password 261.5 PC, a “statutory rape”takes ar when any person engages in sex-related intercourse v a personunder the age of 18.2

The crime the statutory rape is also commonly referred to as “unlawful sex v a minor” or together “unlawful sex-related intercourse.”

Statutory rape is a crime nevertheless of even if it is the sex was consensual or even initiated by the boy (the an alleged “victim” the the crime).3

A statutory rape situation is a California “wobbler” offense. This method that the crime deserve to be charged aseithera misdemeanor or a felony relying on the facts of the case.4

Theage differencebetween the defendant and also the minor is among the major factors determining exactly how the crime is tried. If the defendant is 21 or older and the young is under the age of 16, the penalties are most likely to be most severe.

In such a instance they can encompass up to 4 years in theCalifornia state prison.

3. Does statutory rape in California call for registration as a sex offender?

A statutory rape charge, or a conviction the the same, walk not need sex offender registration under California Penal password 290 PC.5

Certain connected offenses, though, do need the defendant to be on the sex offender registry, including:

lewd acts through a child, every Penal code 288.

Now with the happen of California Senate invoice 145 (2020), judges might waive the sex registration necessity for specific defendants convicted under the complying with penal code subsections if the kid was a 14-year-old (or older) and within 10 year of period of the defendant:

SB 145 is aligned to close-in age LGBT youth who have consensual dental sex or anal sex. Adversaries of the new law claim it promotes pedophilia and also sexual abuse.

4. Walk California have actually a “Romeo and also Juliet” law?

Californiadoes not have actually a Romeo and Juliet law. “Romeo and Juliet” legislations are additionally referred to together “close in age exemptions.” The regulations prevent the prosecution of young civilization who interact in consensual sex acts when:

both parties are an extremely close in age to one another, and both are below the age of consent.

An example here is once two world engage in consensual sex and both are 17 years old, or one is 16 years old and also the other is 17.

Since there isno Rome and Juliet regulation in California, the is possible for two people, both under the period of 18, to be prosecuted for statutory rape if they engage in sexual intercourse.


If a young is legitimate married come an adult, climate they may interact in consensual sex.

5. Is there any kind of exception where a minor have the right to have sexual relationships with one adult?

There is one exception where a minorcanhave sex-related intercourse v an adult. This is when the two parties room married.

Penal code 261.5astates:

“Unlawful sex-related intercourse is an action of sexual intercourse accomplished with a person who isnot the spouseof the perpetrator, if the human being is a minor.”

(emphasis added). The language, “not the spouse that the perpetrator,” means that no statutory rape charges will be filed if:

there is consensual sex between two parties, one or more of the people is below the age of 18, and the 2 parties arelawfully married.

Note that California is among just a couple of states thatdoes nothave a minimum age for marriage. If a minor despite decides to marry, that human must acquire parental consent and a court order before the marriage.

6. Is the legal for an adult to day a minor in California?

While in general, that is legal because that an adult to date a minor, that is generally unwise for this come happen.

And, the is illegal for an adult to day a boy if the adult:

has a criminal record, is a sex offender, or is a teacher or in a comparable position of trust or authority.

Please also note that, based on California law, that is illegal because that an adult come do any type of of the following with a minor that is dating:

have sex, acquisition for or re-publishing alcohol or cigarettes, bring the minor to an R-rated movie, and show any type of pornography.

7. Are there any kind of legal defenses come statutory rape charges?

There are three usual legal defenses to any type of accusations that statutory rape. These are:

falsely accused– which means the alleged victim misidentified the defendant or lied, age of consent– which method both parties that engaged in sex-related intercourse were 18 year of period or older, and no sex-related intercourse– which method that while two persons under 18 may have had actually an intimate encounter, they walk not interact in “sexual intercourse.”

Note the consent is no a defense come statutory rape allegations.6 it is also not a defense the the defendant thought the boy was that age.7

In any type of case, the ar attorney has actually the load to prove guilt past a reasonable doubt. As long as prosecutors fail to meet this burden, the charge have to be dismissed.

8. What is California Penal code 288 – lewd acts through a young child?

Penal code 288 is the California statute that provides it a sex crime because that a human being to communicate in a lewd act with a young child.

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The statute defines a “lewd act with a young child” together either:

emotional a boy for sexual purposes, or resulting in a child to touch him/herself or who else because that a sexual purpose.8

Technically, this section applies when the victim is everyone under age 16.9 But because most prosecutions under this ar involve children under 14, this crime is often referred come as:

lewd acts v a child under 14, lewd acts on a minor under 14, or acts of lewd and also lascivious conduct.

The penalties for a violation ofPC 288depend top top a mix of factors, including:

the age of the child, whether the lewd action was accomplished by force, violence, duress, or threats, whether there was a sample of lewd acts, and also if the son was 14 or 15, the period of the defendant.

Depending top top the facts of the case, a conviction the lewd acts through a minor can lead to:

imprisonment in the county jail for up to one year, or approximately life in the California state prison.

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