Read on to learn what constitutes statutory rape in Georgia, if the state has a Romeo and Juliet exception, and more about Georgia dating and sexting law. A native of Georgia, Maha Amircani knows the lay of the land and can help bring clarity to an otherwise confusing and scary situation.
The law defines the age of 16 as the point at which a person may legally consent to sex. In Georgia, statutory rape is classified as a felony. It is a strict liability crime, no intent element is required except intending to do the act. There is one major exception to Georgia statutory rape law: An underage person can consent to sex with their spouse in the state of Georgia. If your situation sits in the gray-area of these laws, you may be best off speaking with a criminal Georgia law on dating a minor in Atlanta about your case.
In the state of Georgia, rape is defined as the act of carnal knowledge of a female with force and against her will. Carnal knowledge is technically defined as penetration of the female sex organ by the male sex organ. However, statutory rape does not necessarily include the use of force, and other sexual acts such as oral sex may fall under statutory rape.
Many states recognize the modern reality of underage sex and are more lenient Georgia law on dating a minor it comes to consensual sex between parties close in age. In Georgia, consensual sex between someone who is 14 or 15 years old and someone who is under 18 years old and no more than 4 years older than the first person is classified as a misdemeanor.
Conversely, when the age gap is larger and one party has authority over the other, the punishments are more severe. Common examples include teacher-student, parent-guardian, public officials. When the convicted person is under 21 years old, their felony conviction for statutory rape carries a sentence of one to twenty years in prison.
If the convicted is age 21 or older, then the minimum sentence is ten years and the maximum is twenty years. In this case, the convicted person must also register as a sex offender. Misdemeanor charges are less severe.
They can require jail time of up to one year, and the sentencing court has the power to use probation, community service, and fines. Whether you Georgia law on dating a minor facing a misdemeanor or a felony statutory rape charge, contacting a criminal defense attorney ASAP can help protect your rights and avoid a tough sentence.
Any person convicted under this subsection of the offense of statutory rape shall, in addition, be subject to the sentencing and punishment provisions of Code Section Statutory Rape in Georgia: Get the facts first and the help you need. This means that persons aged 15 and younger do not have a legal capacity to consent to sexual activity under the law. While no closing in age exemptions exist in Georgia, in the event the offender is under age 19 and the victim is no more than 4 decades younger, the crime is classified as a misdemeanor as opposed to a felony.
This distinction opens the possibility of taking advantage of the Georgia First Offender Act provisions, which help first time offenders avoid permanent records.
In the United States, state law determines the age of consent for citizens in that state.
Age of consent in the U. One must be 18 or older to marry without parental consent in Georgia. In Georgia, there are other crimes besides statutory rape that are related to age of consent and child abuse. Sexual activity with an underage person may be charged as the below-listed offenses: If you are accused of statutory rape or any of these crimes in Georgia, find an experienced criminal defense attorney who can review the facts of your case and advise you how to proceed.
In Georgia, there is no Romeo and Juliet Law, but there is an exception for some cases that reduce the statutory rape charge to a misdemeanor.
This exception applies to defendants aged 18 or younger that are within four years older than the victim. The Romeo and Juliet Laws that exist in some states allow young people to consent to sex with someone else who is close to their age, even if the first party is below the standard age of consent for that state.
For example, Delaware provides that the age of consent is However, they have an exception that permits 16 and year-olds to consent to sex with partners up to age Because Georgia has no Romeo and Juliet or close-in-age exception, the results of statutory rape cases can vary widely across the state depending on the circumstances.
For example, it is possible for two underage sex partners in Georgia to each get charged with statutory rape. Georgia can charge in cases Georgia law on dating a minor a year-old willingly had sex with a 16 or year-old partner since the year-old could not legally grant consent.
The Genarlow Wilson case was an example of the arbitrary nature of sex act violations between young people; at 17 years old, his age did not prevent him from receiving a felony charge and a minimum ten-year sentence, though the sex was consensual. For help navigating these complex circumstances, your best bet is to reach out to a trustworthy attorney in Atlanta GA.
However, these situations frequently lead to complications, so it may be best to avoid the situation entirely. Consensual dating between adults and minors is Georgia law on dating a minor a valid defense for statutory rape in Georgia. Regardless of a consensual relationship, sexual intercourse with a person under the age of 16 in Georgia is statutory rape unless the parties are married. There have been cases where individuals are charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor for only inviting the child to disobey his or her parents.
But what does Georgia law say about sexting?
When done by adults, it is a matter of privacy and they may do what they like. However, when done with or involving minors, the policy against child pornography must be considered.
The state of Georgia considers teen texting or sexting nude images to be a misdemeanor when it meets the following criteria: In juvenile courtlike at the Atlanta Municipal Courtthe law can apply more flexible remedies and protect privacy with sealed records and closed proceedings. However, sexting convictions can carry heavy fines and significant sentences for teens, whether tried as adults or juveniles.