The age of consent in Texas is 17 years of age. This means that somebody under the age of 17 is incapable of legally consenting to sexual activity. It’s important to note the distinction between legally consenting compared to just consenting.
Anybody could technically consent to sexual activity in the broad sense of the word. Somebody who is under 17 may be okay with sleeping with their 20-year-old partner. However, just because they are okay with the action does not mean that they are capable of consenting.
The age of consent is the age at which you can legally consent to sexual activity. The 20-year-old partner mentioned above would be breaking the law if they slept with their under 17-years-old partner even if their partner had put their consent in writing or recorded it on video.
What is the Purpose of an Age of Consent?
Age of consent laws exists in order to help reduce the frequency of minors being sexually exploited by those who are older and therefore more mature than them. When it comes to human sexuality, there is a lot of darkness out there. People are willing to do terrible things to each other to satisfy their own cravings.
Children and teenagers are not yet able to deal with the complexities of sexual relations. Minors are too young to understand the way that people will exploit their emotions and lack of life experience in order to trick them into sexual encounters. We can’t blame the minors for this as they are both the victims of the behavior and unaware that there was anything two-faced about the behavior in the first place.
Age of consent laws set out an age at which is it assumed that individuals will have the maturity to make informed decisions about their bodies and therefore they are given the ability to legally consent to sexual activities. These laws help to reduce instances of sexual exploitation, unwanted teenage pregnancies, and sexually transmitted diseases.
Those who have sex with a partner that hasn’t yet reached the age of consent can find themselves facing a variety of charges such as statutory rape, aggravated sexual assault, indecency with a child by exposure, or indecency with a child by contact. Additionally, those who are convicted of any of these crimes will also have to register as a sex offender and that’s something that can ruin a person’s life.
What Should I Do If I Have a Legal Issue Regarding the Age of Consent in Texas?
If you have ended up on the wrong side of Texas’ age of consent laws then it’s important to speak to an experienced attorney quickly. An understanding law firm like Wilder Law Firm can help you to figure out what steps come next in preparing a defense. Unfortunately, we can’t offer the detailed information you need in a blog post because we don’t know the unique circumstances of your situation. Reach out to one of our talented attorneys to learn more about how we can help you.