Texas dating age law
For instance, even though a 19-year-old may avoid sex offender registration after having sexual relations with a 15-year old, he or she may still be convicted of the underlying sex crime.
Given the complexity of sex crime laws in Texas, this article has barely scratched the surface of Rome and Juliet laws - as such, it should not be taken as legal advice.
Currently, some Texas lawmakers are attempting change this affirmative defense so that it applies to same-sex circumstances as well, but it remains to be seen what will happen with this particular legislation.
It is important to note that if the person accused of having consensual sexual relations with someone under the age of 17 is slightly more than three year older than the alleged victim, he or she will not be protected from prosecution.
So, this defense could be applicable in situations in which the accused is 19-years-old and the alleged victim is 16-years-old.
Interestingly, a similar "three-year age gap" affirmative defense also exists in Texas when a person has been accused of indecency with a child, although this defense only applies when those involved are of the opposite sex.
Although many states currently have so-called "Romeo and Juliet" laws in place to protect teenagers that are close in age from the consequences of sex crime convictions, there is often much confusion as to how these law are applied when teens actually engage in consensual sexual relations - especially here in Texas.
Essentially, the most common forms of Romeo and Juliet laws provide two types of protection for close in age teens, including protection from prosecution and protection from sex offender registration.
If you have sex with someone under 17 years old and are not married to him or her, you might be charged with indecency with a child, which is a second degree felony.
Interestingly, Texas law includes both forms of Romeo and Juliet laws.
When it comes to the first type of Romeo and Juliet laws in Texas, those accused of sexual assault in Texas may be shielded from prosecution as long as they are close in age to the alleged victim.
If you have been accused of statutory rape you should speak with a lawyer immediately.
Don't be added to a sexual predator list - find an experienced criminal defense attorney who will be able to advise you of your rights, help you with a defense, and advise you as to what options may be open to you.