Legal Age of Consent in All 50 States

Map Key: 16 – Blue, 17 – Dark Green, 18 – Light Green

 

Alabama

16: Age of consent is incredibly important in Alabama. An individual who is 19 years old or older has sexual contact with someone who is younger than 16 but older than 12 has committed sexual abuse.

 

Alaska

16: Under the Alaska age of consent laws, it is second degree sexual abuse for someone aged 16 or older to engage in sexual penetration with an individual who is a) at least 3 years younger and b) aged 13, 14 or 15 years old.

 

Arizona

18: In Arizona, statutory rape is consensual sexual or oral intercourse with an individual who is below Arizona’s age of consent. The law suggests that those who are below Arizona’s age of consent, which is 18 years old, are unable to consent to sexual activity with an individual who is older than them.

 

Arkansas

16: Any person under the age of consent is deemed to be mentally incapable of consenting to sex. Thus, if an adult has sex with a minor below the age of consent, the adult may be charged with statutory rape. In Arkansas, a person must be at least 16 years old in order to consent to sex.

 

California

18: The age of consent in California is 18. It is illegal for anyone to engage in sexual intercourse with a minor (someone under the age of 18), unless they are that person’s spouse.

 

Colorado

17: Close-in-age: In Colorado, a person who is under 15 can legally consent to have sex with someone who is no more than 4 years older. Additionally, a person under 17 can legally consent to sex with a person who is no more than 10 years older.

 

Connecticut

16: Thus, instead of including force as a criminal element, theses crimes make it illegal for anyone to engage in sexual intercourse with anyone below a certain age, other than his spouse. The age of consent varies by state, with most states, including Connecticut, setting it at age 16.

 

Delaware

18: Having sex with someone under 18, if the offender is over 30, is also considered rape. Compared to some other states, the penalties for violating Delaware’s age of consent laws are very harsh. A “typical” statutory rape offense could carry a prison sentence of 10 years.

 

District of Columbia

16: In the District of Columbia, the age of consent for sex is 16 years old. Unlike some other states, the District of Columbia does not have a separate law for homosexual conduct. Furthermore, the law is written in gender-neutral language, so it appears to apply equally to heterosexual as well as homosexual conduct.

Florida

18: Florida’s age of consent is 18, though the law contains a provision allowing 16- and 17-year-olds to consent to having sex with someone age 16 to 23. To qualify for removal under “Romeo and Juliet,” the victim must have been at least 14 years old and the offender no more than four years older.

 

Georgia

16: In Georgia, the age of consent to engage in sex is 16. However, there can be no conviction for statutory rape in Georgia based only on the unsupported testimony of the victim. There must be some additional evidence.

 

Hawaii

16: In Hawaii, the legal age of consent to have sex is 16 years old. However, there is a close in age exception that allows those who are 14 years or older to have sex with someone who is less than 5 years older. Thus, a 14 year old cannot have sex with a 19 year old unless they are married.

 

Idaho

18: Sexual intercourse with penetration with a female under the age of 16 amounts to rape under the Idaho law. Moreover, if the female is 16 or 17, and the male is 3 years older, that man has also committed rape. Under the Idaho system, if the victim is under 16, any sexual conduct will amount to lewd conduct.

 

Illinois

17: The 16 year old is below the legal age of consent. In Illinois, when a person commits a sexual act with someone under the age of 17, but over the age of 13, and the person is less than 5 years older than the minor, he or she is guilty of criminal sexual abuse – even if both participants believed the sex was consensual.

 

Indiana

16: For years in Indiana, the age at which a person could legally consent to have sex was 16. But lawyers for young defendants accused of having sex with 14- and 15-year-olds now can pose a defense against charges of sexual misconduct with a minor.

 

Iowa

16: In Iowa, the general age of consent to engage in sex is 16. However, both females and males may consent to sex at age 14 so long as their partner is no more than 4 years older. Homosexual and Heterosexual Conduct. Unlike some states, the Iowa age of consent law applies equally to both homosexual and heterosexual conduct.

 

Kansas

16: In Kansas, the age of consent for sexual activity is 16. The age of consent refers to the age in which an individual has the mental capacity to consent to sex with another. This age is typically imposed for minors to protect them.

 

Kentucky

16: Rape in the Third Degree. A person in Kentucky commits third degree rape by engaging in sexual intercourse when the other person is: under the age of 16 and the defendant is 21 years old or older. Under the age of 18 and the defendant is 21 years old or older and is the victim’s foster parent, or.

 

Louisiana

17: Misdemeanor carnal knowledge of a juvenile is sexual intercourse with consent between someone age 17 to 19 and someone age 15 to 17 when the difference in their ages is greater than two years.

 

Maine

16: The age of sexual consent in Maine is 16 years old. This applies to both heterosexual and homosexual conduct. 16, as the age of consent, is the age at which a person may legally consent to sex with another person aged 21 or older in Maine.

 

Maryland

16: In Maryland, persons aged between 14 and 16 may consent to sex as long as the other partner is not more than 4 years older. Maryland’s age of consent law applies differently if the older partner is in a position of trust or authority over the younger partner.

 

Massachusetts

16: The justices based their ruling on a Massachusetts law that established the legal age of sexual consent as 16. The law states that so long as the sexual relationship is not otherwise “unlawful” or with a “chaste” individual, an adult may “entice” a minor age sixteen and older to engage in sexual intercourse.

 

Michigan

16: In Michigan, the age of consent is 16, and people who engage in sexual activity with children who are underage may be convicted of statutory rape (also called criminal sexual conduct). Michigan’s laws also prohibit teachers from engaging in sex with students aged 16 or 17 years old.

 

Minnesota

16: Regardless of the age of the perpetrator, it is always statutory rape in Minnesota if the victim is under the age of 13. If the person under the age of consent is between 13 and 16 years old, they can legally consent to sex with someone that is less than 48 months (4 years) older than them.

 

Mississippi

16: In Mississippi, people who engage in sexual activity with children under the state’s age of consent (16 years old) may be convicted of statutory rape or sexual battery.

 

Missouri

17: It is legal for a person to have sex with someone who is under the age of consent so long as both parties are at least 14 years old and under 21 years old. However, if the defendant is 21 years old or older and the victim is under the age of 17, then it is second degree statutory rape or statutory sodomy.

 

Montana

16: Under Montana’s laws, rape is called “sexual intercourse without consent” and the crime includes statutory rape. A person who engages in sexual intercourse with a child under the age of 16 commits the crime of sexual intercourse without consent.

 

Nebraska

17: The law prohibits an individual 18 years old and younger from being convicted of statutory rape. For example, if a 17 year old had consensual sex with a 15 year old it would not be considered statutory rape. Assuming that the victim is over the age of legal consent in Nebraska, consent may be a viable defense.

 

Nevada

16: Pursuant to NRS 200.364(5) the age of consent is 16 years old in Nevada. Accordingly, sexual conduct between the parties presently is legal. However, when the male was 19 and the female was 15 sexual conduct between the two constituted statutory sexual seduction (commonly known as statutory rape in most states).

 

New Hampshire

16: The legal age of consent in New Hampshire is 16. It also applies when a person is in a position of authority over another and coerces that other person to engage in sexual contact with the actor or with him/herself in the actor’s presence. MYTH: Sexual assault is motivated by sexual desire.

 

New Jersey

16: In New Jersey, the age of consent for sexual conduct is 16 years old. This applies to both heterosexual and homosexual conduct. As a general matter, this means that a person who is 16 years old can generally consent to have sex with any adult, regardless of age.

 

New Mexico

17: In New Mexico, the age of consent is 17 years old. If an adult (an individual over the age of 18) has sex with a minor between the ages of 13 and 16, the adult may be prosecuted for 4th degree criminal sexual penetration.

 

New York

17: In New York, the age of consent for sex is 17 years old. This applies to men and women, and applies to both heterosexual and homosexual conduct. New York has allowances for minors who are below the age of consent but are close to the same age. This close-in-age exception exists because statutory rape laws are meant to prevent minors from being sexually exploited by adults. It is not meant to punish individuals who are close in age for engaging in consensual, non-exploitative sexual conduct.

 

North Carolina

16: In North Carolina, the age of consent for sexual intercourse is 16 years old. However, there are some notable exceptions. School Teacher: An employee of a school cannot have any sexual activity with any student at that school, unless they are married.

 

North Dakota

18: In North Dakota, the age of consent for sexual intercourse is 18 years old. This applies to both males and females, and to both heterosexual and homosexual conduct. Violating age of consent laws is considered statutory rape.

 

Ohio

16: Sex with someone under the age of 16 in Ohio is presumptively statutory rape. Ohio’s age of consent law currently only applies to heterosexual sexual encounters.

Oklahoma

16: In Oklahoma, the age of consent is 16, and the law recognizes an age differential of two years. This means that no person can be convicted of rape or rape by instrumentation with anyone over the age of 14, with that person’s consent, unless the defendant was older than 18 at the time the sexual act occurred.

 

Oregon

18: In Oregon, the age of consent for sex is 18 years old. This applies to everyone; it applies to both men and women, and to both heterosexual and homosexual conduct.

 

Pennsylvania

16: The age of consent in Pennsylvania is 16 years of age for statutory sexual assault and 18 years for corruption of minors. Teenagers aged 13, 14 and 15 may or may not be able to legally engage in sexual activity with partners who are less than 4 years older.

 

Rhode Island

16: In Rhode Island a person is guilty of statutory rape if he or she is over the age of eighteen (18) and the victim is between fourteen (14) years old and under the age of consent which is sixteen (16).

 

South Carolina

16: The legal age of consent in South Carolina is 16. However, individuals as young as 14 years old are able to consent to have sex with a partner who is 18 years old or younger. Submitting to coercion, especially of an aggravated nature, is not consent.

 

South Dakota

16: If you’re over the age of 16 in South Dakota any consensual relationship is legal, but when it comes to child pornography it’s a different story. While a 16 year old is old enough to consent to a sexual relationship they could face a felony child pornography charge if they are caught sexting.

 

Tennessee

18: Tennessee – Age of Consent. (a) Statutory rape is sexual penetration of a victim by the defendant or of the defendant by the victim when the victim is at least thirteen (13) but less than eighteen (18) years of age and the defendant is at least four (4) years older than the victim.

 

Texas

17: The age of consent in Texas is 17. The minimum age is 14 with an age differential of 3 years; thus, those who are at least 14 years of age can legally have sex with those less than 3 years older.

 

Utah

18: For women, the age of consent in Utah is 16 years old. While for men, it is 18 years old. However, for women between the ages of 16 and 18, there are some restrictions. No person under the age of 18, male or female, can legally consent to sex with a person who is more than 10 years older than the minor.

 

Vermont

16: The age of consent for sexual conduct in Vermont is 16 years old. Vermont is among the very few states with a single age of consent. Vermont also has what is referred to as a “close-in-age” law and a Romeo and Juliet exception.

Virginia

18: Individuals aged 17 or younger in Virginia are not legally able to consent to sexual activity, and such activity may result in prosecution for statutory rape. Virginia statutory rape law is violated when a person has consensual sexual intercourse with an individual under age 18.

 

Washington

16: In Washington State, the age of consent for sex is 16 years old. At this age, a person can consent to sex with any adult, regardless of the age difference between them. Washington’s age of consent laws apply to both heterosexual and homosexual conduct.

 

West Virginia

16: West Virginia statutory rape law is violated when a person has consensual sexual intercourse with an individual under age 16, so long as the offender is more than 4 years older and not married to the victim.

 

Wisconsin

18: Under Wisconsin law, the age of consent is 18. Consensual sexual contact with a person 16 or 17 years of age is a “criminal offense,” albeit a misdemeanor only.

 

Wyoming

18: The age of consent for sex is 16 years old for women, while it is 18 years old for men. Having sex with a minor below the age of consent is known as statutory rape. The age of consent law in Wyoming only specifically addresses heterosexual conduct.

 

This information was taken from Dunham & Jones. We plan to review this post every six months in order to keep it up-to-date but if you notice an error/change please let us know so that we can be as accurate as possible.

 

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