Dating laws california

California statutory rape law is violated when a person has consensual sexual intercourse with an individual under age 18 who is not their spouse. Punishments .
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  • Ages of consent in the United States.
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The degree of punishment varies according to the age of the perpetrator and the age of the minor. According to California dating law, any adult who engages in sexual intercourse with a minor not more than three years younger than the perpetrator is guilty of a misdemeanor. Any adult who engages in sex with minors more than three years younger is guilty of either a misdemeanor or a felony punishable by imprisonment in a county jail or or state prison for not more than one year.

Any person 21 years or older who has sex with a minor under 16 years of age is guilty of either a misdemeanor or a felony punishable by time in a county jail not exceeding a year or by imprisonment in a state prison for two to four years.


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Violators can also be subject to civil penalties depending on the age of the participants. According to California underage dating law, civil penalties covered by district attorney are used to pay for the cost of prosecution, with the remainder deposited in the underage pregnancy fund, used to help prevent underage pregnancy through appropriations by the California Legislature.

Ability to pay is considered, as probation will not be denied merely for an inability to pay.

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California Age of Consent & Statutory Rape Laws

California's law on underage dating applies to sexual intercourse. Meet Singles in your Area!

If Not More Than Three Years Younger According to California dating law, any adult who engages in sexual intercourse with a minor not more than three years younger than the perpetrator is guilty of a misdemeanor. If Younger By More Than Three Years Any adult who engages in sex with minors more than three years younger is guilty of either a misdemeanor or a felony punishable by imprisonment in a county jail or or state prison for not more than one year.

If 21 and 16 Any person 21 years or older who has sex with a minor under 16 years of age is guilty of either a misdemeanor or a felony punishable by time in a county jail not exceeding a year or by imprisonment in a state prison for two to four years. Separate crimes exist for sodomy with minors and sexual intercourse between a child under age 14 who's attacker was at least seven years older. California does not have a close-in-age exemption.

California Law on Underage Dating

Close in age exemptions , commonly known as "Romeo and Juliet laws", are put in place to prevent the prosecution of individuals who engage in consensual sexual activity when both participants are significantly close in age to each other, and one or both partners are below the age of consent. Because there is no such "Romeo and Juliet law" in California, it is possible for two individuals both under the age of 18 who willingly engage in intercourse to both be prosecuted for statutory rape , although this is rare. Similarly, no protections are reserved for sexual relations in which one participant is a 17 year old and the second is a 18 or 19 year old.

The Age of Consent ranges state-by-state from 16 to 18 years old across the United States. Click the map to view any state's age of consent laws. The age of consent in California is based on the following statutes from the California criminal code:.

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California has seven statutory sexual abuse charges on the books which are used to prosecute age of consent and child abuse related crimes within the state. One or more of these charges may be used to prosecute violations of the California Age of Consent, as statutory rape or the California equivalent of that charge. The severity of the criminal charge felony, misdemeanor, etc depends on the specifics of the acts committed and the relative ages of the perpetrator and victim.

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Click any charge for more detailed information. Back to list of state ages of consent View international ages of consent.