What is the Age of Consent in Florida?

Have you ever heard the term “jail bait” before? Well, it’s a very real thing, especially under Florida’s statutory rape law. Each state has established an “age of consent,” which refers to the age that someone can legally consent to sexual intercourse. Across the United States, the age of consent is either 16, 17, or 18. Here in Florida, the age of consent is 18.

So, what does this mean to adults who date minors? It means they can face serious criminal charges if they have sex with a teenager age 17 or under. Florida’s statutory rape law is covered under Section 794.05(1) of the Florida Statutes.

Under this statute, if someone is 24 years of age or older and they engage in sexual activity with a 16 or 17-year-old, they are guilty of a felony of the second degreeunder Florida law. If an adult 24 or older violates Sec. 794.05(1), they don’t have to have actual intercourse. Oral sex or anal penetration both qualify as “sexual activity” under this law.

What You Need to Know

There are two other pieces of information you should know. First, if a man gets a teenage girl pregnant, the state can order the alleged father to submit to a paternity test after the child’s birth and if the DNA proves that he is the father, he can be ordered to pay child support. To learn more, see Section 794.05(4) of the Florida Statutes.

Second, if a minor between the ages of 12 and 17 is accusing you of forcing them to have sex, you could be charged with sexual battery under Section 794.011 of the Florida Statutes, a felony of the first degree, punishable by up to 30 years in prison and by a fine not to exceed $10,000.

Are you accused of engaging in sexual activity with a minor in West Palm Beach? If so, you could be facing first or second-degree felony charges. Contact my firm at once to learn about sex offender registration and your legal defenses.


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