The Age Of Consent In Georgia And Statutory Rape
Age matters when it comes to engaging in lawful sexual activity. Across the country, each state has its own individual laws about who can legally consent to engage in sexual activity. In Georgia, there are different rules for various ages and life situations but as a general rule, if a male or female is age 15 and younger the law states they may not legally consent to sexual activity with a legal adult or someone who is 18 years and older.
Simply because you assumed an individual to be of legal age is not a defense that will hold up in court if you are being charged with statutory rape in Georgia. Also, if the laws are different in another state that you may have lived in and known about you cannot apply them as a means of defense in Georgia because Georgia has its own set of laws. Due to the severe criminal penalties and far-reaching negative life implications that come with a sex crime conviction, specifically statutory rape, it is in your best interest to consult with an experienced attorney for assistance should you be facing statutory rape charges in Georgia. The Georgia sex crime defense attorneys at Hawkins Spizman Trial Attorneys can help you in this situation.
Statutory Rape in Georgia and Age
Sexual activity that is prohibited in the state between an adult aged 18 years and older and with those under the age of 18 who are considered minor includes several sexual acts. What is known as “carnal knowledge” is just another term that describes intercourse. Sexual intercourse or carnal knowledge includes penetration of a sex organ, oral sex, and anal sex. If there is penetration involved in a physical act between an individual who is incapable of lawfully consenting and an adult (and this can be proven), then a conviction can be secured.
There are exceptions to Georgia’s Romeo and Juliet Law, or the rule that defines the age of 16 as the age of consent. If marriage takes place between an adult and a younger person under the age of 16, then sexual intercourse between these two parties is not considered a crime.
To be convicted of statutory rape, force is not an element of the offense. This means that even when force is not applied if an adult engages in a sexual act with a person under the age of 16, statutory rape can still be proven. Statutory rape is a felony in Georgia that can come with jail time for as long as twenty years. And, if you are accused of statutory rape, the statute of limitations in the state allows for accusations to be as old as seven years or more depending on the age of the alleged victim.
Speak to an Atlanta Sex Crime Defense Attorney Today
Working with a skilled and experienced criminal defense attorney can help you tremendously when you are charged with a serious sex crime like statutory rape. For more information on what your options are, you can call the Atlanta criminal defense attorneys at 770-685-6400.
Hawkins Spizman Trial Attorneys represent individuals charged with sex crimes in Georgia including Atlanta, Dunwoody, Alpharetta, Cobb County, Fulton County, Gwinnett County, Johns Creek, and Sandy Springs.