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Tempe Statutory Rape Lawyer

While state law never mentions the term “statutory rape,” the phrase is used informally to describe sexual activity with a person below the age of consent. Under the law, people below a certain age lack the capacity to voluntarily agree to specific sexual encounters.

If you are facing these allegations, it is crucial for you to seek help from a skilled sex crimes attorney today. A conviction can damage your reputation and lead to incarceration. Instead of representing yourself, it may be time to discuss your options with a Tempe statutory rape lawyer. Contact our team at the Grand Canyon Law Group to get support today.

The Age of Consent

Every state has an age of consent, and Arizona is no exception. Sexual contact by an adult with a person younger than 18 is generally treated as statutory rape. This offense is formally known as sexual conduct with a minor.

The penalties are severe when the alleged victim is below the age of 15. In addition, anyone convicted in these cases is required to serve their entire sentence without any reduced time. This Class 2 felony can lead to between 13 and 27 years in prison, and if the alleged victim was younger than 12, the accused may face a potential life sentence.

Along with this, other life-changing consequences can occur, including mandatory registration as a sex offender. Due to the high stakes in these situations, the support of a statutory rape attorney in Tempe is invaluable.

Romeo and Juliet Laws

There is an important exception to be aware of for relationships between people who are of a similar age. Certain consensual sexual contact is not treated as a crime for people between the age of 15 and 19. Because of this, the state will not prosecute in circumstances where one of the parties is below the age of consent, but both were born no more than two years apart. This is referred to as a “Romeo and Juliet” law, but it does not apply if one of the parties did not give their consent.

Viable Defenses

Anyone who makes a reasonable mistake regarding the alleged victim’s age can be acquitted. The word “reasonable” is essential here. There must be an explanation for why the accused should not have been expected to know that person’s actual age.

One example includes using a fake ID in an age-restricted place like a bar or nightclub, though this defense is never available for reporting witnesses younger than 12. Deciding on the right approach is never easy, especially for anyone unfamiliar with the system. When you work with a Temple statutory rape lawyer at the Grand Canyon Law Group, you can expect a defense strategy that is carefully tailored to the facts of your case.

Talk to a Statutory Rape Attorney in Tempe Today

Significant risks come with acting as your own counsel, especially when the charges carry as much stigma as statutory rape. A conviction can have a lasting impact on your life and your freedom.

Let the Grand Canyon Law Group put you in the best possible position to succeed. Call right away for a private consultation with a Tempe statutory rape lawyer.

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