Criminal Defense » Can a 21 year old date a 17 year old in California? » Can a 21 year old date a 17 year old in California?


Yes, so long as the relationship is not sexual.

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If they have actually sex-related intercourse, the 21-year-old can confront criminal charges for statutory rape if they are not married. The penalties for statutory rape bring as much as 3 years in jail. They can alsoland also in deeper legal trouble if they drink or perform drugs together.

The prohibition on sex-related task renders California various from many kind of other says. The golden state does not have actually a “Romeo and Juliet” law. This legislation allows minors of equivalent ages to interact in consensual sexual activity.

What is the age of consent out in California?

In California, the age of consent is 18.

Anyone under the age of 18 cannot legally consent to sexual intercourse. This applies to both guys and woguys. The regulation does not recognize a minor’s intent as legal consent out, also if it is genuine. In the eyes of the law, anyone under the age of consent out is as well young for their consent to count.

Example: Paul and Mary have actually dated throughout high school. Paul is 18 and also Mary is 17 when she provides to have sex via him. Due to the fact that she is still underage, this is not consent.

Is it illegal to have actually sex with someone who is under the age of consent?

Yes. Having sex via someone that is under the age of consent out is a crime. In The golden state, it is statutory rape. It is taken into consideration rape bereason it cannot be consensual. The young age of one of the world associated avoids them from consenting.

In The golden state, statutory rape involving actors 4 years apart is a “wobbler.” It deserve to be charged as either a felony or as a misdemeanor. The prosecutor decides what charge to file. Their decision is based upon the facts of the instance. Only the older sex-related companion will be charged. The younger companion is seen as the “victim.”

What are the penalties for statutory rape?

The penalties of a conviction for statutory rape depend on whether it is being charged as a felony or a misdemeanor. The penalties also depend on the ages of the defendant and also the alleged victim.

If charged as a felony versus someone that is 21 for conduct with a 17-year-old, the penalties include:

16 months, 2 years, or 3 years in jail, and/or Up to $10,000 in fines.1

If the 21-year-old is charged via a misdemeanor, the penalties are:

Up to 1 year in jail, and/or Up to $1,000 in fines.2

In enhancement to fines and also jail time, a civil penalty deserve to also be issued. The amount of this penalty depends on the eras of the parties affiliated. When they are 21 and also 17, the civil penalty is $10,000.3 The penalty will certainly likewise only be assessed against the 21-year-old.

However, a conviction for statutory rape does not call for sex offender registration.4

What is the legal interpretation of sex-related intercourse?

In California, sex-related intercourse implies any act of penetration of the vagina or genitalia by the penis. Ejaculation is not required.5

The level of penetration does not matter. It can be exceptionally slight and still amount to sexual intercourse.6

Example: Wearing nopoint but underwear, Mary sits on Paul’s lap. Even though Paul cannot permeate her, completely, it is still sexual intercourse.

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Can tright here be other repercussions?

Certain adults deserve to face non-criminal penalties for dating a 17-year-old. For example:

teachers have the right to be suspended or fired for dating a student, registered sex offenders have the right to break the terms of their supervision for being near someone underage, and also probationers have the right to violate the terms of their supervision by dating a minor.

In addition, a 21-year-old can break various other regulations in the course of dating a 17-year-old. These include:

Would being married readjust anything?

Yes. Sexual intercourse in between spouses is not statutory rape. If the partners are lawtotally married, the 21-year-old would not confront statutory rape charges.

In The golden state, tbelow is no minimum age for marriage. Minors who desire to obtain married need:

parental consent, and also a court order. Legal References:
California Penal Code 261.5(c) and The golden state Penal Code 1170(h). The golden state Penal Code 261.5(c). The golden state Penal Code 261.5(e)(1)(C). The golden state Penal Code 290. The golden state Criminal Jury Instructions (“CALCRIM”) 1072.