Legal dating age in texas
It means a person age 17 or older has the legal right to consent to sexual activity.
Though an individual is considered able to make such a decision at 17, a person below this age isn’t considered able to make a wise decision, and even unforced sex may lead to criminal charges.
Contact us today and receive a free and confidential legal review of your case.
Like some other states, Texas has enacted this law to protect teenagers who are close in age from facing sex crime charges and convictions when they have consensual sex, even when one or both teens are below the legal age of consent (which, in Texas, is 17).
The law is so named after the fictional young lovers in the classic William Shakespeare play "Romeo and Juliet." In the play, you may recall that Juliet was 13 years old while Romeo was several years older, though their actual age gap was not specified.
The moral behind the law is that teens who are close in age and have consensual sexual relations should be protected from prosecution and being ostracized from society as if they were child sex offenders.
The same law also can protect such teens from having to register as a sex crime offender.
Romeo and Juliet law also protects these teens from having to register as sex offenders.
Therefore, what might be considered statutory rape from one standpoint is instead considered legal given the nature of Texas' Romeo and Juliet law.
If someone younger than 17 years old has sex with a person who is no more than three years older, and no threat or force was applied, then a sex crime charge against the older person may be reduced or even dropped.
However, neither person can be younger than 14 years old, as noted above, or a charge will arise regardless of Romeo and Juliet law.