Is it legal for a 18 year old to have sex with a 17 year old In the state of Arizona?
2 attorney answers
In general under Arizona law it is illegal for a person to engage in sexual intercourse or have oral sexual contact with any person who is under eighteen. The statute that criminalizes such behavior can be found in Chapter 14 of the Arizona Criminal Code at A.R.S. §13-1405. Although the general rule is that a person cannot engage in sex with any person under the age of 18, there is a specific defense for persons like yourself who are under nineteen at the time of the consensual sexual behavior. This defense can be found in Chapter 14's Defense section, A.R.S. §13-1407. Subsection F states that it is a defense to prosecution for sexual conduct with a minor if four elements are met: 1) the victim is 15, 16, or 17 years of age; 2) the defendant is under 19 or attending high school; 3) the defendant is no more than 24 months older than the victim; and 5) the conduct is consensual. Given that that your finance was 16 or 17 at the time of the sex, that you were eighteen years of age at the time of the sex, that there was no more than twenty-four months difference in age at the time of the sex, and that the sex was consensual you qualify for the "age defense" under A.R.S. 13-1407(F) and it would be unreasonable to charge you.
Although you have a crystal clear defense under the scenario in your question, you may still want to find out about more specific issues relating to sex crimes and punishments under Arizona law and you can do so by going to schrecklawfirm.com.
In Arizona, engaging in sexual intercourse or oral sexual contact with any person under the age of 18 years old is a felony. Consent can provide a defense to the charge only if the victim is 15, 16, or 17 years of age, the defendant is less than age 19 or attending high school, and is no more than 24 months older than the victim. (Sexual Conduct with a Minor- A.R.S. 13-1405)
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