Like some other states, Texas has enacted this law to protect teenagers who are close in age from facing sex crime charges and convictions when they have consensual sex, even when one or both teens are below the legal age of consent which, in Texas, is Romeo and Juliet law also protects these teens from having to register as sex offenders. Therefore, what might be considered statutory rape from one standpoint is instead considered legal given the nature of Texas' Romeo and Juliet law. The law is so named after the fictional young lovers in the classic William Shakespeare play "Romeo and Juliet. The moral behind the law is that teens who are close in age and have consensual sexual relations should be protected from prosecution and being ostracized from society as if they were child sex offenders. Such punishments are considered unnecessarily harsh given their circumstances.
In Texas, the legal age of consent for sex is 17 years old. This law applies equally to males and females, and to heterosexuals as well as homosexuals. It means a person age 17 or older has the legal right to consent to sexual activity. Under Texas sexual offenses law, this act is considered aggravated sexual assault.
When teens are involved, one Texas sex crime law allows for small differences in the age of the persons having sexual activity. This is known as Romeo and Juliet laws. Named after the young lovers in the classic Shakespeare romantic drama Romeo and Julietthis law is deed to protect teens who are close in age from facing sex crime charges and convictions after having consensual sex, even if one or both teens are under the age of The same law also can protect such teens from having to register as a sex crime offender.
If someone younger than 17 years old has sex with a person who is no more than three years older, and no threat or force was applied, then a sex crime charge against the older person may be reduced or even dropped. However, neither person can be younger than 14 years old, as noted above, or a charge will arise regardless of Romeo and Juliet law.
Age of consent in texas
Otherwise, 17 years old remains the age of consent for determining if a sex crime has occurred. For more information about age of consent laws in Texas, notify an experienced sex crime lawyer at the Neal Davis Law Firm.
We can help you fight a sex crime charge involving a person under the age of consent. In either case, having consensual sex with someone younger than 17 can be considered statutory rape under Texas law.
However, there are exceptions. In short, an older teen who has non-forced sex with another teen who is at least 14, 15 or 16 years old will not be prosecuted under Texas law, provided the older teen is no more than three years older.
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