The “age of consent” refers to the legal age to have sexual intercourse. If you are interested in a younger person, or if you are dating someone who is younger than you, it’s a good idea to find out what the “age of consent” means to you.
It’s important to know what could happen to you if you are intimate with someone who is under the age of consent. In Texas, and in other states, people can get into trouble if they have sex with someone who is under the age of consent.
If you are interested in someone who is 16 or younger and you’re an adult, you must understand that Texas has statutes (laws) outlawing any type of sexual activity between youth and adults. In fact, sexual offenses involving minors are generally felonies, even when the minor is a willing participant and “consents” to the sexual activity.
What is the Age of Consent in Texas?
Under Title 5, Chapter 21 of the Texas Penal Code, the “age of consent” is 17 years-of-age. This age is important to note, because if an adult asks someone age 16 or younger to expose their breasts or buttocks, or if they engage in “touching” with the minor, or if they have intercourse with the minor, the adult can be charged with a felony and sent to prison.
The main sex offenses involving minors below the age of consent:
- Indecency with a child: Under Sec. 21.11 is where someone engages in “sexual contact” with a child under the age of 17. It’s also where the person causes the child to expose their private parts. Indecency with a child is a second or third degree felony.
- Sexual performance by a child: Under Sect. 43.25 this offense is a felony of the second degree, or a felony of the first degree if the child was under 14.
- Sexual assault: Under Sec. 22.011 sexual penetration with a child under 17 by any means is a felony of the second or first degree.
If you had a relationship with a minor under the age of 17 and you are now facing criminal charges, we urge you to contact Zendeh Del Law Firm, PLLC, to schedule a consultation with a Plano criminal defense lawyer at once!