The Legal Consequences Of Engaging In Sexual Activity With a Minor

Sexual activity with a minor is a serious offense with potentially severe consequences. In Arizona. According to ARS §13-1405,  the legal age of consent is 18, and engaging in sexual conduct with a minor under the age of consent can result in criminal charges. These charges can range from misdemeanors to felonies, and the severity of the penalties can vary widely. 

An Arizona sex crime lawyer can provide critical assistance in navigating the legal process, understanding the specific charges against you, and defending your rights in court.

Online Dating And Misrepresenting Age | VS Criminal Defense Attorneys

The Complexity Of Statutory Rape Laws

Statutory rape laws in Arizona are complex, and the specific charges and penalties may vary depending on the circumstances surrounding the case. Factors such as the age difference between the accused and the minor, the nature of the relationship, and whether force or coercion was involved can impact the severity of the charges. For example, if the minor is younger than 15 years old, the accused could face felony charges with mandatory prison time. 

However, if the minor is between the ages of 15 and 17, the accused might be charged with a misdemeanor, and the penalties could be less severe. In either case, having a Phoenix sex crime attorney on your side can make a significant difference in the outcome.

The Defense Of Mistake of Age

When a minor lies about their age, it can complicate the legal process. Although the “mistake of age” defense is not universally accepted, in some jurisdictions, it may be considered if the accused can prove they had a reasonable belief that the minor was of legal age. This defense, according to ARS §13-1407, requires demonstrating that the accused took reasonable steps to ascertain the minor’s age, such as checking identification or relying on credible sources. However, this defense is not foolproof and may not guarantee the dismissal of charges. 

A Queen Creek sex crime lawyer can assess the viability of this defense, gather supporting evidence, and guide you through the process.

The Importance Of Gathering Evidence

If you find yourself facing charges related to sexual activity with a minor, it is crucial to gather evidence that supports your defense. This may include text messages, social media communications, and witness testimonies that can corroborate the claim that the minor lied about their age. Additionally, evidence of the accused’s efforts to verify the minor’s age or the existence of a prior relationship where the age was misrepresented can be helpful. 

A Tempe sex crime lawyer can help you compile this evidence, analyze its relevance to your case, and present it effectively in court.

Don’t Face The Charges Alone: Contact An Arizona Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you or a loved one is accused of engaging in sexual activity with a minor who lied about their age, it’s essential to seek legal representation from an experienced Arizona criminal defense lawyer. At VS Criminal Defense, we understand the complexities of statutory rape laws, the importance of building a strong defense, and the potential consequences of a conviction.

Our team of legal professionals will work tirelessly to protect your rights and secure the best possible outcome for your case. Don’t face these charges alone. Contact us today to learn how we can help you navigate this challenging situation.


Published On: May 24th, 2023Categories: Sex Crime Defense

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