Sex with a Minor: Serious Legal Consequences

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Having sex with a minor carries serious legal consequences. The goal of the law is to deter people from committing this crime.  There are instances in which a person can find himself or herself being charged with this crime due to not having knowledge of minor’s true age, this usually occurs when a person is charged with statutory rape.  The laws that penalize having sex with a minor child vary from state to state.  The consequences will vary according to the age of the minor child.  The younger the minor the more severe the criminal consequences a defendant will face.  Usually, a defendant must be 18 years or older in order to be charged with having sex with a minor.  However, there are instances where an individual that is 17 can face this charge as well.

Types of Legal Consequences for Having Sex with a Minor

A person that is convicted of having sex with a minor will face numerous criminal penalties. Each state has varying degrees of felony penalties.  The degree of felony penalty that a defendant faces will depend on his or her actions.  If the minor was extremely young, or a dangerous weapon was involved, or if the crime was committed with violence then the most serious felony will attach.  Also, if a defendant has been convicted of having sex more than once, a more serious felony charge will be given.  However, if a defendant is facing a statutory rape charge, the penalty could be reduced to that of a misdemeanor with less than a year in jail and a fine usually no more than $5000. 

This can mean prison time up to 99 years or life in some states and fines as large well into the tens of thousands of dollars.  Along with the fines and prison time, a defendant that is convicted of having sex with a minor child will have to register with the federal sexual offender registry for life.  Another serious consequence for having sex with a minor is the inability to live within a certain distance to public schools.

Seeking Legal Help

If you have been charged with having sex with a minor, you should contact legal counsel as soon as possible.  Only an attorney will be able to evaluate your case and provide you with the legal guidance you need.  There are defenses available to this charge and a lawyer will be able to properly present any defenses to the court on your behalf.

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