Required

Statutory Rape in Mesa

In Arizona, statutory rape is defined as sexual conduct with a minor under age 18. These charges are frequently prosecuted in the state and carry some of the most severe penalties under criminal law, particularly for cases involving minors under 15 years old.

However, there are several legal nuances and defenses available to those who are facing charges for statutory rape in Mesa. If you have been accused of sexual conduct with a minor, seek help from an attorney with vast experience in this area. The former prosecutors at Grand Canyon Law know how these cases are put together and can successfully fight these allegations to protect you and your rights.

Sexual Conduct with a Minor Charges

In statutory rape charges, age is the primary factor. Under Arizona law, a minor under the age of 18 cannot legally consent to sexual contact with an adult. Even if a 16 or 17-year-old agrees to sexual relations with a 20-year-old, the adult could still be prosecuted on statutory rape charges in Mesa.

Intent and Consent in Mesa Statutory Rape Cases

Due to the framing of these state laws, intent is not required in a conviction for sexual conduct with a minor. However, if a defendant is not aware of a person’s age and believes them to be older than they actually are, a skilled attorney in the community could include this information as part of a potential defense to statutory rape, so long as the person was above age 15.

Relatedly, Arizona law does not recognize consent at all when prosecuting these charges. However, although a person could still be found guilty, their culpability and potential punishment may be mitigated by the fact that their relationship with a minor was consensual. Our persistent local attorneys could assert this information on a defendant’s behalf in a statutory rape court case.

Romeo and Juliet Laws in Mesa

In Arizona, there are certain allowances or defenses to charges for sexual misconduct with a minor. For instance, the so-called “Romeo and Juliet clause” pertains to consensual sexual relationships between teenagers above the age of 15. If the sexual conduct was consensual, ARS 13-1407(E) allows a defense to statutory rape for a someone who is under 19 years of age or attending high school and is no more than two years older than the alleged victim.

Penalties for Sexual Conduct with a Minor

Sexual conduct with a person under age 15 carries flat sentencing, meaning that a convicted person must serve 100% of the time in prison without eligibility for reduction. If an alleged victim is under age 15, sexual conduct is a Class 2 felony and sentencing may include 13 to 27 years in prison. In cases involving a child under the age of 12, defendants could face life sentences without the possibility of parole for 35 years.

Sexual conduct with a minor over the age of 15 is considered a Class 6 felony. However, if the defendant has a relationship of trust with the alleged victim (such as a teacher, parent, guardian, or coach), the charges could be increased to a Class 2 felony and include a mandatory prison sentence. Furthermore, anyone convicted of sexual conduct with a minor must register as a sex offender in Arizona. Because the potential consequences are so severe, an accused Mesa resident should reach out immediately to a law firm that focuses on defending statutory rape cases.

Retain an Attorney for Accusations of Statutory Rape in Mesa

If you are facing allegations of statutory rape in Mesa, the best way to protect yourself is to call the legal team at Grand Canyon Law Group. At our firm, we begin by thoroughly getting to know you and your circumstances. Through rigorous investigation, we come to know all the motivations, evidence, and angles involved in the case.

When the stakes are this high, you need an experienced attorney in your corner.  Our legal professionals are skilled in putting together the right narrative and defense for the given situation, and we will work tirelessly toward a successful outcome on your behalf. Call today to schedule a private consultation.

Get In Contact an Attorney at Grand Canyon Law Group Today

Start mounting your defense with a free consultation.

    The Grand Canyon Law Group Difference

    Free Consultation & Flexible Payment Plans
    Former Deputy County Attorney/Prosecutor
    Commitment to Keeping Our Clients Informed & Educated About Their Case
    Highly Awarded & Recognized By Independent Organizations
    Stellar Reputation Among Clients, Attorneys, Judges & Prosecutors