Statutory Rape

Statutory Rape

It is against the law for a person over the age of 18 to have sexual intercourse with a person under the age of 18 years old. For purposes of determining the severity of this crime, the age of the people involved is a factor.
If the older person involved in intercourse was less than 3 years older than the younger person involved in intercourse, the offense is considered a misdemeanor.
If the older person involved in intercourse was more than 3 years older than the younger person involved in intercourse, the offense may be prosecuted as a misdemeanor or a felony (this is left up to prosecutorial discretion).

See CA Penal Code 261.5.


There is no requirement that any type of force be used for a charge of statutory rape. Nor will the law take into account the circumstances of the intercourse (such as if the parties were in a relationship or if the younger person initiated the intercourse).

Unfortunately, given the nature of relationships among teenagers, these types of charges can occur when no person was forced to engage in any behavior against their will. 

Defenses to Statutory Rape

Even though the law flatly prohibits intercourse between persons of a certain age difference, there are defenses to a charge of statutory rape. These include a reasonable belief that the younger person was age 18 or older and/or if the intercourse never took place. A consultation with an experienced sex crimes defense attorney can help determine what legal defense strategy would work best for the circumstances of your particular case.

Contact the offices of White Goldstein to speak with an attorney who specializes in defending people accused of sex crimes. We understand that when statutory rape charges have been brough, the circumstances can be complex. We are dedicated to giving our clients the highest level of service. We will thoroughly investigate the charges you or your loved one face and will tirelessly work to have them dismissed.

Free Confidential Consultation

Call White Goldstein today at (310) 295-1810 for a free, confidential consultation.

See CA Penal Code 261.5.

White Goldstein

At White Goldstein, we provide our clients, and their loved ones, with nothing less than excellence in criminal defense. Unlike many criminal defense attorneys in Los Angeles, we fight for our clients with compassion and emotion as well as intellect and skill because we genuinely care for our clients and their families

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