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Unlawful sexual contact in the first degree is a class D felonywhich is punishable by up to eight years in prison. Mistake of Age Like in most states, mistake of age is not a defense in Delaware. However, Delaware has a marital exemption for rape in the fourth degree, to protect married minors who are 16 or 17 years old and their adult spouses who are 30 years old or older. The "Romeo and Juliet" Exception Named after Shakespeare's young lovers, "Romeo and Juliet" exceptions are intended to prevent serious criminal charges against teenagers who engage in consensual sex with others close to their own age.

Statutes governing delaware's age of consent, associated criminal charges, available defenses, and penalties for conviction.

In Delaware, it is illegal for an adult someone 18 or older to have sex with a minor someone 15 or youngereven if the sex is consensual. In some states, the information on this website may be considered a lawyer referral service. Rape in the third degree is a class B felony. Rape in the fourth degree involves sexual intercourse with a victim who is 15 or younger, or when the victim is younger than 18 and the defendant is 30 years old or older.

Of course, rape that does involve force or an assault is illegal in Delaware and prosecuted as forcible rape. How it Works Briefly tell us about your case Provide your contact information Choose attorneys to contact you. Rape in the second degree is a class B felony. Please reference the Terms of Use and the Supplemental Terms for specific information related to your state.

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Call us at 1 Issue: search. Lawyer Directory. Getting Legal Guidance The information in this article provides an overview of the law relating to statutory rape. Rape in the first degree is a class A felony. How It Works Briefly tell us about your case Provide your contact information Choose attorneys to contact you. Statutory rape laws make minors legally incapable of giving consent to sexual activities. Like in most states, mistake of age is not a defense in Delaware. Delaware's Statutory Rape Laws and Potential Penalties Statutory rape is prosecuted under Delaware's sexual assault and rape laws and includes sexual contact or intercourse between an adult and a minor who is 15 years old or younger.

It is also illegal for someone who is 30 or older to have sex with someone younger than Those who break the law have committed statutory rape. The information provided on this site is not legal advice, does not constitute a lawyer referral service, and no attorney-client or confidential relationship is or will be formed by use of the site. Practice Area Please select Zip Code. Defenses to a Statutory Rape Charge in Delaware Unlike normal rape charges, consent is not usually a defense to statutory rape. If you are facing a statutory rape charge, consider consulting with an experienced criminal defense attorney who regularly practices in your area.

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Rape in the third degree involves sexual intercourse with a victim who is 15 or younger when the defendant is at least ten years older than the victim, or when the victim is 13 or younger and the defendant is at least 19 years old.

Statutes governing Delaware's age of consent, associated criminal charges, available defenses, and penalties for conviction. Start here.

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The age of consent can vary among states, and some states differentiate between consensual sex between minors who are close in age for example, two teenagers of the same ageas opposed to sex between a minor and i want to date a Delaware boy much older adult. Penalties for statutory rape vary according to the offense under which it is charged. Unlike normal rape charges, consent is not usually a defense to statutory rape. Sex Offender Registration State law requires that, in addition to the applicable fines and prison time, people convicted of certain sexual crimes including statutory rape must register as sex offenders.

A conviction for engaging in sexual activity with someone younger than 12 can result in a sentence of up to life in prison. Therefore even if the minor "consented," the sexual activity was nonetheless illegal and the defendant may be convicted of rape, unless the marital exemption or the "Romeo and Juliet" exception applies as discussed below.

Normally, minors are legally incapable of giving consent to having sex; so for example, if Jen, a year-old, willingly has sex with Tony, her year-old boyfriend, Tony can be charged with rape, since Jen is not legally capable of giving consent in the first place. That is, the exemption covers only statutory rape, not sexual battery or related crimes.

Penalties include at least ten and up to 25 years in prison. Delaware Statutory Rape Laws. In Delaware, there is a Romeo and Juliet exemption for consensual sex between a minor who is 12, 13, 14, or 15 years old and a defendant who is no more than four years older than the minor.

Unlawful sexual contact in the second degree involves sexual contact with a victim who is 17 or younger. But in Delaware, even a reasonable mistake as to the victim's age will not be a defense to a charge of statutory rape. Defendants accused of statutory rape often claim that they had no reason to know that their partner was underage. Within thosethe offense is broken further into several based on what conduct occurred—sexual intercourse, penetration, or contact may all be prosecuted and punished differently.

However, sexual contact with under the age of 12 is a serious crime.

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Statutory rape laws are premised on the assumption that minors are incapable of giving informed consent to sexual activities. Unlawful sexual contact in the first degree involves sexual contact sexual touching, even over clothing, without penetration with a victim who is 13 or younger. Their incapacity is written into the statute—hence the term, "statutory" rape. The attorney listings on this site are paid attorney advertising.

The law is complex and changes regularly. Rape in the fourth degree is a class C felonywhich is punishable by up to 15 years in prison. Unlawful sexual contact in the second degree is a class F felonyand penalties include up to three years in prison. Marriage Normally, minors are legally incapable of giving consent to having sex; so for example, if Jen, a year-old, willingly has sex with Tony, her year-old boyfriend, Tony can be charged with rape, since Jen is not legally capable of giving consent in the first place.

Get Professional Help. Penalties include at least 15 years in prison. Statutory rape is prosecuted under Delaware's sexual assault and rape laws and includes sexual contact or intercourse between an adult and a minor who is 15 years old or younger.

Delaware's statutory rape laws and potential penalties

Updated October 16, Talk to a Lawyer Need a lawyer? Assaults of a sexual nature may also be charged under the state's assault and battery or child enticement or molestation laws. Though statutory rape does not require force or an assault, it is still rape.

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Rape in the first degree includes sexual intercourse including oral, genital, or anal sex with a victim younger than 12 years old, when the defendant is 18 years old or older. So if Jen and Tony are married and living in Delaware, Tony need not fear criminal charges for having consensual sex with Jen.

The marital defense is a remnant of the marital rape exemption. Named after Shakespeare's young lovers, "Romeo and Juliet" exceptions are intended to prevent serious criminal charges against teenagers who engage in consensual sex with others close to their own age. By Jessica Gillespie. Code Ann. Rape in the second degree includes sexual contact involving penetration with a victim younger than 12 years old, when the defendant is 18 years old or older. It also includes intercourse between an adult who is 30 or older and a 16 or 17 year-old-minor unless the marital exemption applies, discussed below.

The law can change at any time, and a lawyer can evaluate the strength of the prosecution's case against you and help develop any defenses that might apply to your case. If you are trying to determine the legality of any kind of conduct, make sure to consult an experienced criminal defense attorney.

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They may argue that the victim herself represented that she was older than she was, and that a reasonable person would have believed her. Penalties include at least two and up to 25 years in prison. It's important to remember that the law can change at any time.

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State law requires that, in addition to the applicable fines and prison time, people convicted of certain sexual crimes including statutory rape must register as sex offenders. See a Lawyer It's important to remember that the law can change at any time.

A lawyer can often negotiate with the prosecutor for a lesser charge or a reduction in penalties such as, for example, probation instead of prison time and will know how prosecutors and judges typically handle cases like yours. If Tony were to rape Jen force her to have sex against her willthough, he would have no protection under the law even if the two are married.