It's nothing new, nothing unheard of. The tale of two young lovers.
hopelessly, endlessly in love with each other. A Romeo and Juliette. You
see them in high schools, walking down the street, in the malls, and everywhere
in between. Young love, there's nothing like it and your first love,
they say, is never forgotten. But if you live in the state of California
that young love could be considered a crime.
In the state of California, according to Penal Code section 261.5, if you
are age 18 and over and are engaging in sexual acts with anyone under
age 18, it is considered
Statutory Rape. In other words, if you're an 18-year-old Senior dating a 17 year
old Junior and having sexual relations, you are committing a crime. Regardless
that the relationship is consensual it is still considered a crime and
has legal consequences.
According to the US Department of Justice, 3 of every 10 statutory rape
offenders in the US are boyfriends or girlfriends. To add to it, just
about anyone can report statutory rape. From parents to teachers, from
physicians to clergy members, anyone who knows or suspects statutory rape
has the right and sometimes, the legal obligation to report it. The offense
can be charged at the discretion of the prosecutor as either a misdemeanor
or a felony, depending on the difference in age between the accused and
the victim. Punishment for statutory rape varies case by case and fines
can run up to $ 10,000.
If you have been accused of statutory rape in Murrieta or the neighboring
communities of Temecula, Menifee, Wildomar, Perris, Hemet, Lake Elsinore,
Banning, Corona or Riverside, you are facing a serious offense and will
need expert legal advice. Since the Riverside County District Attorney's
Office reviews each case independently, it is imperative to know your
rights and obligations under California law.
Choose an experienced attorney who knows the law and has
proven success. For a free and confidential consultation please
Our office is located near the Southwest Justice Center in Murrieta, California.