Is it legal for an army man, age 18, to be dating a civilian girl, age 16?

Asked over 1 year ago - Angier, NC

The girl is consensual and so are her parents, the man is worried that the age of consent in the army is strictly 18 with no exceptions. They both live in the state of North Carolina where the regular law states that 16 is the age of consent. The military affiliated personnel is concerned that he will get into serious legal trouble if he dates this girl before she turns 18. Please help and thank you for your time.

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Erika Leigh Hamby

    Contributor Level 7

    Answered . The UCMJ (Uniform Code of Military Justice) is a very different beast. There are many things that are considered major offenses under the UCMJ that are not offenses in the civilian courts, and by signing on the dotted line the service member has agreed to be held to that higher standard.

    If this is a new relationship I would advise the service member to step back as this could cause him problems. If this is a relationship that preexisted his entry into the military or is otherwise long term; he may consider speaking to his chain of command and seeing if there are any waiver options that may apply to his situation.

    He should be aware that if his relationship with his chain of command is not a good one; he may be putting himself in a situation where he is admitting to conduct that could result in an NJP or worse. If that is the case I would advise him to contact the base JAG office or a local attorney with military/JAG experience and consult with a them as to the proper course of action.

    This response does not create an attorney-client relationship. You should seek a full consultation with a licensed... more
  2. Ernest Clarke Dummit

    Contributor Level 13

    Answered . You are allowed to date! It is completely legal in North Carolina. If on the other hand you are talking about sex, it is still legal under those circumstances in North Carolina. You could run into trouble if she complains to your superiors. It is best to wait on anything more than dating until she turns 18.

  3. John Daniel Hafemann

    Contributor Level 12

    Answered . More information is needed to answer your question. If by dating, you really mean having sex, than the servicemember will not be charged by the military as the legal age of consent is 16 years of age. This, however, does not mean that the state of NC could not charge him if the age of consent in NC is say 17 or 18 and they are having sex off base. Feel free to give my office a call if you need additional advice. Good luck.

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