South carolina legal dating age

By Monica Steiner , Contributing Author. In South Carolina, it is illegal for an adult someone 18 or older to have sex with a minor someone younger than 15 , even if the sex is consensual. Those who break the law have committed statutory rape. Statutory rape laws are premised on the assumption that minors are incapable of giving informed consent to sexual activities.

United States Age of Consent Map

By Monica Steiner , Contributing Author. In South Carolina, it is illegal for an adult someone 18 or older to have sex with a minor someone younger than 15 , even if the sex is consensual. Those who break the law have committed statutory rape. Statutory rape laws are premised on the assumption that minors are incapable of giving informed consent to sexual activities. The age of consent can vary among states, and some states differentiate between consensual sex between minors who are close in age for example, two teenagers of the same age , as opposed to sex between a minor and a much older adult.

Though statutory rape does not require that the prosecutor prove an assault, it is still rape. Of course, rape that does involve force or an assault is illegal in South Carolina and prosecuted as forcible rape. And for information about rape between spouses, see Marital Rape Laws. Penalties depend on the age of the parties and the type of sexual contact that occurred, as described below. First degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor occurs when there is sexual penetration however slight, with an object or body part , intercourse, oral sex, or anal sex between a minor who is 10 or younger, and a defendant of any age.

This offense is a felony , and a conviction can result in 25 years or more in prison without the possibility of parole. Second degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor occurs when there is sexual penetration, intercourse, oral sex, or anal sex between a minor who is 11, 12, or 13, and a defendant of any age. It also includes penetration, intercourse, oral sex, or anal sex between a or year-old minor, and a defendant who is in a position of authority or older than the minor when the marital exemption, described below, does not apply.

This offense is a felony and can incur up to 20 years in prison. Third degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor occurs when a defendant who is 18 years old or older commits or attempts to commit lewd acts on a minor under 16 years old. This offense is a felony, and a conviction can result in up to 15 years in prison. State law requires, in addition to the applicable fines and prison time, that people convicted of certain sexual crimes including statutory rape register as sex offenders for specified periods of time.

For example, a conviction for first degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor incurs a lifetime status as a registered sex offender. South Carolina has a marital exemption for statutory rape that allows consensual sex between a married female 14 or older and her adult spouse, or a married male 16 or older and his adult spouse, even though their ages would prohibit it if they were not married. Minors are legally incapable of giving consent to having sex; so for example, if Jen, a year-old willingly has sex with Tony, her year-old boyfriend, Tony can be charged with rape, since Jen is not legally capable of giving consent in the first place.

But if Jen and Tony are married and living in South Carolina, Tony need not fear criminal charges for having consensual sex with Jen. However, if Tony were to rape Jen force her to have sex against her will , he would have no protection under the law even if the two are married. In South Carolina, there is a Romeo and Juliet exemption for consensual sex between a minor who is 14 or older and a defendant who is 18 years old or younger.

For example, a year-old who engages in consensual sex with a year-old cannot be charged with statutory rape. However, sex with a minor younger than 14 is always a felony, no matter the age of the defendant. A conviction for sexual intercourse with a year-old, for example, can result in up to 20 years in prison. Defendants accused of statutory rape often claim that they had no reason to know that their partner was underage.

They may argue that the victim herself represented that she was older than she was, and that a reasonable person would have believed her. But in South Carolina, even a reasonable mistake as to the victim's age will not be a defense to a charge of statutory rape. If you are facing a statutory rape charge, consider consulting with an experienced criminal defense attorney who regularly practices in your area. The law can change at any time, and there may be defenses that apply to your statutory rape charges.

An experienced attorney can also often negotiate with the prosecutor for a lesser charge or a reduction in penalties such as, for example, probation instead of prison time and will know how prosecutors and judges typically handle cases like yours. The information provided on this site is not legal advice, does not constitute a lawyer referral service, and no attorney-client or confidential relationship is or will be formed by use of the site.

The attorney listings on this site are paid attorney advertising. In some states, the information on this website may be considered a lawyer referral service. Please reference the Terms of Use and the Supplemental Terms for specific information related to your state. Lawyer Marketing Lawyer Directory. Toggle navigation CriminalDefenseLawyer. Search Term. South Carolina Statutory Rape Laws. Statutes governing South Carolina's age of consent, associated criminal charges, available defenses, and penalties for conviction.

Sex Offender Registration State law requires, in addition to the applicable fines and prison time, that people convicted of certain sexual crimes including statutory rape register as sex offenders for specified periods of time. Statutory Rape Marital Exception South Carolina has a marital exemption for statutory rape that allows consensual sex between a married female 14 or older and her adult spouse, or a married male 16 or older and his adult spouse, even though their ages would prohibit it if they were not married.

When Both Parties Are Minors: Mistake of Age Defendants accused of statutory rape often claim that they had no reason to know that their partner was underage. See a Lawyer If you are facing a statutory rape charge, consider consulting with an experienced criminal defense attorney who regularly practices in your area. Updated July 27, Talk to a Lawyer. Start here to find criminal defense lawyers near you.

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Individuals aged 15 or younger in South Carolina are not legally able to consent to sexual activity, and such activity may result in prosecution for statutory rape. In the United States, the Age of Consent is the legal age at which an individual is Sexual relations with someone under the Age of Consent are considered statutory rape, even (in some jurisdictions), if both partners South Carolina, 16, No.

For thousands of years, people of different ages have fallen in love and had sexual intercourse. Across the nation, the age of consent is either 16, 17, or Here in South Carolina, the age of consent is years-old. If you believe you have been falsely accused of sexual assault, read more about what to do here. If an individual age 18 or younger engages in illicit, but consensual sexual conduct with a child age 14 or older, he or she does not commit CSC in the second degree.

Romeo and Juliet laws address the issue of consensual sex between teens and young adults. Historically, these young adults could be charged with statutory rape when engaging in a relationship or sexual relations with someone who is technically under the age of consent.

Login Education Database Volunteer Portal. Here are some state laws regarding sexual assault and consent:

Ages of consent in the United States

If a person has sex with someone who is below the age of consent , they are guilty of statutory rape. Essentially, they have had sex with someone who, according to the law, could not possibly consent to the act. Since rape is sex without consent, they are guilty of a form of rape. In many states, the age of consent for males and females is different. In some states, there is an exception to the age of consent law if the two partners are close to the same age usually a 2 or 3 year difference , and in most of those states, punishments are harsher if one of the partners is significantly older than the other. Note, though, that if both partners are above the age of consent, any age difference between them is irrelevant.

Romeo and Juliet Laws

In the United States, age of consent laws regarding sexual activity are made at the state level. There are several federal statutes related to protecting minors from sexual predators, but laws regarding specific age requirements for sexual consent are left to individual states , District of Columbia , and territories. Depending on the jurisdiction, the legal age of consent ranges from age 16 to age In some places, civil and criminal laws within the same state conflict with each other. While the general age of consent is now set between 16 and 18 in all U. In , the age of consent was set at 10 or 12 in most states, with the exception of Delaware where it was 7. The final state to raise its age of general consent was Hawaii, which changed it from 14 to 16 in Age-of-consent laws were historically only applied when a female was younger than her male partner. By ages of consent were made gender-symmetric. In Mississippi became the last state to remove this provision from its code.

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South Carolina Statutory Rape Laws

The South Carolina Age of Consent is 16 years old. In the United States, the age of consent is the minimum age at which an individual is considered legally old enough to consent to participation in sexual activity. Individuals aged 15 or younger in South Carolina are not legally able to consent to sexual activity, and such activity may result in prosecution for statutory rape. South Carolina statutory rape law is violated when a person has consensual sexual intercourse with an individual under age Mistake of age may be used as a defense in some cases. South Carolina does not have a close-in-age exemption. Close in age exemptions , commonly known as "Romeo and Juliet laws", are put in place to prevent the prosecution of individuals who engage in consensual sexual activity when both participants are significantly close in age to each other, and one or both partners are below the age of consent.

Age of Consent by State

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