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What determines the level of a statutory rape charge?

On Behalf of | Nov 3, 2014 | Criminal Defense |

Intimate relationships can have their complications. Sometimes, it is possible for two people to become involved in a manner that is prohibited by state laws. If, for example, a legal adult consummates a relationship with a person who has not reached what is called the “age of consent,” then the adult has committed a sex crime known as statutory rape.

Statutory rape charges can range in classification from misdemeanor to felony. But what factors determine the level of charges? One important factor is victim’s age. Another is the difference in age between the perpetrator and the victim.

In some states, sexual activity with anyone under the ages of 12 or 14 is considered a first degree felony. On the other hand, if the perpetrator is also younger than the age of consent, then they may only receive misdemeanor charges.

It is very important to remember that statutory rape can occur even if the sexual activity was consensual. This is because a person must reach a certain age before they are qualified legally to consent. This age is contingent upon specific state laws.

The severity of statutory rape charges depends on the specifics of the circumstances and state laws regarding those circumstances. A conviction could lead to punishment such as a prison sentence, probation and mandatory treatment. In some states, you may even be required to register as a sex offender.

Accusations of statutory rape can irreparably damage your reputation. The repercussions of a conviction would be life-altering. If you’re facing such a possible fate, a Louisiana sex crimes attorney may be able to help you prepare a defense in working toward the best possible outcome.