Texas dating laws minors

If the incident involved sexual contact, but not penetration or intercourse, with someone younger than 17, the charge may be indecency with a child. If there was force, coercion, or violence, the charge will likely be sexual assault. However, the prosecutor does not have to prove violence, force, or coercion in order to prove statutory rape, sexual assault, or indecency.

What Is the Age of Consent?

It is enough that an adult had sex or sexual contact with a minor. Texas law states the age of consent is 17 years old. The punishments for sexual intercourse or sexual contact with a minor in Texas are harsh. If you are convicted of statutory rape, your criminal record will be marked with a second-degree felony punishable by 2 to 20 years in prison. If the conviction is for sexual assault of a child younger than 14, you will face 5 to 99 years or life in prison.

The statutory and social consequences of being charged with sex with a minor are too great to face alone.

How Old Do I Have To Be In Texas To…?

If you have been charged with a sex crime with a minor, you need an experienced Houston sex crimes attorney like Ned Barnett by your side to defend you in court. The purpose of the law is not to charge teenagers who engage in consensual sex with a crime. For instance, if a 19 year old were to have consensual sex with a 16 year old, this may fall into the exception.

What is Statutory Rape?

However, neither the marriage nor 3 year age difference exceptions are defenses to forced or coerced sexual intercourse or contact. Many charges of sex with a minor involve consensual experiences or accusations. For example, many teens find it exciting to sneak into bars or college parties where they lie about being 21 years old. They may meet someone at these events and have sexual intercourse or contact. Prior to this age, a minor cannot lawfully consent to sexual intercourse or other actions.


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This can put adolescents and young adults at odds with the law and even statutory rape charges, despite their sexual activity being consensual. However, this gray area in the law is necessary. By dictating a legal age of consent, legislators provide a way for prosecutors to punish adults who take advantage of minors. If you have been accused of having sex with someone younger than the age of consent, contact a Houston sex crimes lawyer from The Law Offices of Ned Barnett right away. Statutory rape is a serious charge and if you are convicted, you will be required to register a sex offender.

We are here to help you avoid this outcome. Call today at to schedule a free consultation and learn more about your options.

How Old Do I Have To Be In Texas To? - Dock Line Magazine

The age of consent in Texas is This means any individual 17 years or older can legally agree to have sex or participate in other sexual activity. Any minor 16 years or younger cannot agree to participate in sex with adults.

How to Become an Emancipated Minor

In Texas, statutory rape occurs when an adult engaged in sexual activity with someone 16 years or younger, even if that activity was consensual. However, statutory rape is not itself a charge. If you are accused of sexual conduct with a minor , you could be charged with:. If you are found guilty of one of these offenses, then you will have a felony on your criminal record.

Sex with a Minor

You can be sentenced to years, decades, or life in prison. Once you complete your imprisonment, you will be required to register as a sex offender.


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  • The length of time you are required to register will depend on the offense for which you were convicted. At first glance, it looks as if the Texas age of consent could be used to prosecute teenagers who engage in sexual activity together.