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When Are You Legal in Washington

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Legal rights and obligations generally apply to people who have reached the age of majority — 18 in most states — with whom you are considered an adult. However, states also set additional legal age limits for certain legal procedures that apply to minors. After the legal age in Washington, minors can apply for emancipation in court at age 16, and minors can sue with a court-appointed guardian or through a relative or friend between the ages of 18 or older and age 14. RCW 9A.44.093(1)(a) makes it illegal to have sexual touching or intercourse with another person under the age of 18 or to cause sexual touching or intercourse with another person who is 16 or 17 years of age and not married to the offender if the offender: As you can see above, the trend for the exception is that the people concerned are married. If you are not legally married and do not engage in sexual activity, you are not protected by the age exemption. While in most cases it may be legal to have sex with a 16- or 17-year-old, it`s always best to proceed with caution. You need to make sure the person is actually the age they claim to be at and weigh any possible legal or other implications. The sections of Chapter 9A.44 RCW describe when a person who has sexual intercourse or sexual interference may be prosecuted based on the age of the persons involved. Age is just one of many factors involved in consent. So-called “age of consent” laws, which set the age at which a person is considered old enough to legally consent to sex, vary from state to state.

In general, the age at which a person can legally consent to sexual intercourse in Washington is 16, so sex with someone under the age of 16 is generally illegal for an adult who is not near a young person. There are even situations where another minor could be prosecuted for having sex with someone under the age of 16. In Washington, the age of consent is 16 in most cases, but there are many exceptions. It is a defence against child rape, child abuse or sexual misconduct with a minor if you have been told that the person is of legal age and that it is reasonable for you to rely on what you have been told. But often, it`s your word against theirs, and these cases can pose many challenges to the defense. An increasing number of our cases start on the Internet, where young people pretend to be much older than they really are and behave very adult. These online chats often result in face-to-face meetings that can be disastrous for the person who is not very careful. For a list of Washington`s statutory age laws, see the table below. For more information, see Emancipation of minors and Basic principles of parental responsibility. In Washington State, the age of consent to sexual activity is 16. Once a person turns 16, they can legally consent to sexual activity with a legal adult who is 18 or older.

There are several exceptions to this rule, which are explained below. Age of consent laws in Washington State apply to both heterosexual and homosexual activity. The Washington Act (Chapter 9A.44 RCW) explains sexual offences and describes situations in which sexual touching is not legal. These situations include coercion or coercion; mental disability or physical impotence; and differences in age or authority. See also WAC 246-16-100 for information on the rules for sexual misconduct by health professionals. According to RCW 9A.44.093 (1) (b), it is illegal for a school employee to have sexual contact or sexual intercourse with a registered student of the school between the ages of 16 and 21 or to arrange another person under the age of 18. The offender must be at least 5 years older than the student. If you have been charged with legal rape, or if you or your child are a victim of a violation of the laws described above, a defense attorney may be able to help. An experienced criminal defense attorney in Washington can help you face the charges you face or seek redress for abuse you or your child suffered. Since Washington does not have a Romeo and Juliet Law, it is illegal for anyone under the age of sixteen to participate in sexual activity, even if the couple is close to old age. If the law is violated, the partner over the age of 16 can be charged with legal rape. Although a person may assume that they are conscious when having sex with a minor who has reached the age of 16, this is not always the case.

The law has established certain circumstances in which even a person aged 16 or 17 is incapable of legally consenting to sexual relations. This usually has more to do with the characteristics of the other person than with the 16- or 17-year-old. Here are two types of charges that could arise from having sex with a minor. Specific age differences that make sexual contact legal or illegal under the law are as follows: If a person is too young to consent under the law, consent to sexual activity is not a defence. Society has found that children at certain ages are too young to understand the nature and consequences of sexual activity, and it is therefore illegal to have this contact. Period. However, if the people involved are close to each other in age, the law does not make sexual touching illegal unless there is a lack of consent or violence is used to overcome resistance to sexual contact. In other words, under Washington law, peers can have consensual sexual touching without prosecution, but once there are more years than the number of years indicated between them, prosecution becomes a very real possibility.

Note: State laws can always change through the passage of new laws, decisions in higher courts (including federal decisions), voting initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most up-to-date information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to review the state laws you are seeking. Washington`s rape law is violated when a person has consensual sex with a person under the age of 16. The age of consent is raised to 18 if the partners are foster parents and foster children, if the older partner is at least 60 months older than their 16- or 17-year-old partner and abuses their meaningful relationship (as defined in RCW 9A.44.010) to have sexual intercourse, or if the partners are teachers and students (this law has in fact been interpreted by the Supreme Court of the State of Washington as follows: that they are students up to 21 years of age).