does someone have to wait until the age of 18 to have "legal" sex with a 24 year old person
In most circumstances, the age of consent in Alabama is 16, but if the 16 year old has diminished capacity, the older person may still face consequences. Best to wait until 18.
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In Alabama, under the current Alabama Criminal Code, persons age 16 years or older are statutorily deemed capable of consent to sexual contact. Code of Alabama, 1975, 13-A-6-70 (c ). In Parks v. State, 565 So. 2d 1265 (Ala. Crim. App. 1990), the Court interpreted the language of the statute, declaring that “a female 16 years of age is technically not a “child,” but is one capable of consenting to sexual intercourse."
The general theory to all ‘age of consent’ statutes is these statutes exist to protect those too young to have the requisite mental capacity or psychological maturity to consent to intimate sexual contact. However, age of consent statutes are not uniform within the United States. The ages of consent vary widely among the fifty different states, ranging from age 14 to 18.
Since 1915, the state of Alabama has adhered to the age of 16 as the age of consent. By act of the 1915 legislature, the age of consent was statutorily established to be 16 years of age. See, as example, Title 14, section 399, Alabama Code 1940 establishing the elements of “unlawful carnal knowledge” and the age of consent. Prior to the act of 1915, the age of consent was 14 years of age.