November 10, 2014 By Stephen Klarich

Sex Between Teenagers Can Lead to a Sex Crime (California Penal Code Section 261.5)

Typically, the teen years bring the first dating experiences. It is very common for teenagers to date, and these days, it is also common for that dating to lead to further experiences. However, sexual intercourse between teenagers is often not legal, and it could lead to serious legal consequences. Lets take a look at how teenagers could face criminal prosecution for engaging in sexual activity.

Statutory Rape Between Minors (PC 261.5)

sex between teenagers
Sex between teenagers is not legal in California.

In California, minors cannot legally consent to sexual activity. That means all acts of sexual activity with minors could be considered rape, even if both the alleged victim and the defendant are under the age of 18.

Statutory rape typically occurs when both parties “consent” to the sexual activity, but one of the parties involved is a minor, and thus cannot legally consent to having sex. Essentially, if you are under 18 years old and the alleged victim is also under 18, and you engage in sexual activity with the alleged victim, you could still be charged with statutory rape.

Statutory Rape of a Minor (PC 261.5)

When your teenage son or daughter is dating a fellow high school student who is still a minor after he or she turns 18 years old, it could be considered statutory rape if the couple engages in sexual activity, even if the sex was consensual. As long as the other person is still under 18, it is a crime for your son or daughter to have sexual intercourse with that person even if it started prior to your son or daughter turning 18. This is true even if the minor teenager’s parents condone the conduct because California law pursuant to Penal Code section 261.5 prohibits a minor from consenting to sexual intercourse.

Any prior relationship that occurred before your teenage child turned 18 does not matter. An 18-year-old having sex with a minor could always lead to serious statutory rape charges. Anything you hear otherwise is a myth.

Punishment for Statutory Rape in California

statutory rape charges
Statutory rape charges could lead to serious penalties.

If you are being charged with statutory rape in California, you face severe penalties under PC 261.5.

If you are charged with misdemeanor statutory rape, you could face up to one year in county jail and fines of up to $1,000. A felony charge for statutory rape is much more severe. It is punishable by 2, 3 or 4 years in county jail and a maximum $10,000 fine.

How you will be charged will depend on the specific circumstances of your case. That is why it is important to retain the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney if you are facing statutory rape charges.

Call the Rape Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich Today

If you are facing statutory rape charges in California, you need to contact an attorney immediately. Your criminal defense lawyer can help you by making sure you face the lowest charge possible and begin preparing a strategy for your defense. At Wallin & Klarich, our attorneys will carefully review the facts of your case and help you achieve the best possible outcome in your case.

With offices in Orange County, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Bernardino, Riverside, and Ventura, there is an experienced Wallin & Klarich rape attorney available to help you no matter where you are located.

Contact our offices today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245. We will get through this together.

AUTHOR: Stephen Klarich

Stephen Klarich is a partner at Wallin & Klarich and expert in the field of sex crimes. For over thirty years, Stephen Klarich has been handling criminal cases and matters involving sex offenses. With an unparalleled knowledge of sex crimes defense, Stephen Klarich protects his clients’ rights. Stephen Klarich has experienced significant success in obtaining a Certificate of Rehabilitation or Governor’s Pardon for his clients. Thousands of clients have put their trust in Stephen Klarich and the attorneys at Wallin & Klarich in their time of legal need.

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