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Can I go to prison, if I have sex with a 17 years old girl?

Brooklyn, NY |

My girlfriend is 16. She going to be 17 in November, I'm 19 years old male (My birthday was on March) and we both live in New York City. This is the problem, her mom doesn't want her daughter to have boyfriends because she thinks I might get her daughter pregnant. I don't want to have sex with my girlfriend yet, we are both in school and we have to be focus on our education. But her mom want to ruin our relationship because she told her daughter that if we don't break up, her mom was going to call the police. So, we broke up on Friday because of the bad things her mom might do to me. Can you guys please answer these questions for me?:

- She's 16 now, can I go to prison even though we haven't had sex? (New York City)
- What if we wait till she's 17, can I still go to prison?
- If her mom call the police, but my girlfriend tell the cops we never had sex, what's gonna happen to her mom?
- I'm 19 and she going to be 17, it is illegal to have girlfriend of that age in NYC?
- Her mom is illegal, she has no documents, but her daughter was born in NYC. Can her mom still call the police?
- Can we have sex after she turns 17, without me going to prison?

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Attorney answers 3


- at 16 if no sex or other intimate activities, no prison
- the age of consent in NY is 17, if it's consensual and you are bothe 17 you're ok
- depends on what mom told the police
- it is no illegal to have a girlfriend, it is illegal to engage in certain activities with your 16 year old girlfriend
- yes
- if it's consensual yes


As mr. Lieberman provided a thorough answer, i will not duplicate except to say she cannot legally consent so avoid until she is 17.

I am a criminal defense attorney practicing in Nassau, Suffolk and New York City. The above information is not a substitution for a meeting whereas all potential legal issues can be discussed.


Mr. Lieberman and Mr. Lo Piccolo give you good advice. The age of consent in New York is 17, although we as parents often believe that age should be upped to 30. Just so we're clear, almost 17 is 16 and is unlawful.

You can't go to prison for NOT having sex. You can, however, go to prison if you have committed any crime.

You can't go to prison for having consensual and non-violent sex with someone of legal age.

If her mom calls the police and your girlfriend denies having had sex, nothing will happen to her mom.

Her mom, like anyone else, can call the police. Your statement that she is "illegal" and "has no documents" suggests to me that there's an awful lot of tension between you and your girlfriend's mom.

Let me tell you what strikes me as disingenuous about your posting. You state very clearly, "I don't want to have sex with my girlfriend yet, we are both in school and we have to focus on our education." That strikes me as about as honest as a commercial that tells you that the product being advertised is the finest product ever manufactured. Because right after you make that self-serving statement, you then ask, in several different ways, whether it's a crime for you to sleep with your girlfriend. Maybe you should do as you suggested and focus on your education instead of asking in 10 different ways whether you can sleep with your girlfriend.

Good luck to you.

Michael S. Haber is a New York attorney. As such, his responses to posted inquiries, such as the one above, are limited to his understanding of law in the jurisdiction in which he practices and not to any other jurisdiction. In addition, no response to any posted inquiry should be deemed to constitute legal advice, nor to constitute the existence of an attorney/client or other contractual or fiduciary relationship, inasmuch as rendering legal advice involves the ability of the attorney to ask appropriate questions of the person seeking such advice and to thus gather appropriate information. In addition, an attorney/client relationship is formed only by specific agreement. The purpose of this answer is to provide the questioner with general information, not to outline specific legal rights and remedies.