Dallas Statutory Rape Defense Lawyers

Statutory rape is a criminal offense involving sex with a minor, even though the sex is often consensual. Statutory rape laws are intended to protect children from consenting to a decision which they likely do not have enough insight to truly understand. In practice, however, statutory rape charges are often pursued when a teenager is discovered by his or her parents to be engaging in sexual relations, and then their partner is accused of committing this crime. Fortunately, in Texas, there are protections against this.

If you or someone you know has been accused of committing statutory rape, you should retain the services of an experienced legal professional immediately to ensure that your rights and freedoms are fully protected. Conviction of statutory rape can carry lifelong consequences, and should be avoided at all costs. Contact the Dallas statutory rape defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter by calling 214-845-7007 today to learn more about your rights under the law.

Statutory Rape Guidelines

In the state of Texas, the age of consent is 17. Therefore, any individual having sex with a person younger than this age may be prosecuted for statutory rape. However, there are certain exceptions in place. Understanding what differentiates normal sexual relations and statutory rape is critically important. The following guidelines explain the basics of Texas statutory rape laws:

  • Before 14 years of age, an individual cannot give consent. Therefore, if a 15 year old has sex with a 13 year old, they could be charged with statutory rape.
  • Between the ages of 14 and 17, there is what is known as a “Romeo and Juliet” exception. As long as the individual is within three years of age of the minor, sexual relations are allowable.
  • After the age of 17, an individual cannot have sex with a minor unless they are within three years of the minor’s age

Being convicted of statutory rape can carry significant, burdensome consequences. Jail sentences may range from 2 to 20 years, and registration as a sex offender is commonly necessary. Do not allow these allegations to go unchallenged.

Contact Us

If you or someone you know has been accused of committing statutory rape, an experienced legal defense can be the difference between a dismissed charge and decades in prison. Contact the Dallas statutory rape defense lawyers of the Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter at 214-845-7007 today to begin formulating your defense.