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Age of Consent in Nevada

Nevada Defense Lawyer Explains Age of Consent

Legal age of consent in Las Vegas, NVIn the state of Nevada, certain kinds of sexual conduct have been prohibited. Unlawful behaviors are considered crimes against the person and are defined within Chapter 200 of Title 15, which is the Nevada penal code that addresses crimes and punishments. Sexual acts have been made illegal if they are considering to be damaging to victims, to public morality, or to public standards of decency.

There are many different sexual behaviors that are prohibited, including engaging in unwanted sexual behavior with a victim who does not agree to the conduct. In most cases, however, consent is a defense. If a competent adult consents to engage in sexual behavior, it is typically lawful unless there is some specific reason why the conduct is not allowed in the state.

In some cases, however, consent is not a defense to accusations that a sex crime has been committed. In these circumstances, even if all parties involved in sexual conduct were willing, criminal charges can still result. This occurs when one of the parties involved in the sexual behavior is unable to give consent.

A person can be classified under Nevada law as unable to give consent if the individual is physically or mentally incompetent or is incapacitated. A person who is passed out and severely intoxicated, for example, may be unable to give consent. A person with a physical or mental disability who cannot form an opinion or communicate preferences also cannot give consent.

There is another group of people who cannot give consent as well: minors. If a person is below the age of consent, it does not matter if that individual enthusiastically agrees to participate in sexual acts. That person cannot, by law, give consent, and any adult that is involved in sexual behavior with someone under the age of consent can be charged with a serious crime.

If you have been accused of sexual conduct with someone under the age of consent, it is important that you understand what types of criminal charges you are facing and what this could mean for your future. In some cases, individuals have been convicted of serious sexual offenses and have found themselves facing jail time and a lifetime on the sex offender registry because of conviction of a sex crime related to sexual contact with someone under the age of consent. This can even occur in the event that the underaged person has lied about his or her age.

You need to respond assertively and strategically when faced with accusations that you become involved in a sexual act with someone under the age of consent if you want to try to minimize penalties that you face. A Vegas sex crimes defense lawyer at LV Criminal Defense can provide the representation and assistance you need to respond to accusations that you engaged in sexual conduct with someone under the age of consent.

You should give us a call if you have been charged with an offense or if you are under investigation so we can put our legal experience to work for you.

What is the Legal Age of Consent in Nevada?

Romeo and Luliet law NevadaThe age of consent in the state of Nevada is 16. A person who is under the age of 16 cannot give consent to engaging in sexual conduct. Even if a person under the age of 16 is a willing participant or even if a person under the age of 16 initiates a sexual encounter, an adult who engages in sexual behavior with someone under the age of consent could be in legal trouble.

The age of consent is defined within the sexual assault and seduction subsection of Chapter 200, in Nevada Revised Statute section 200.364. This statute sets forth the definitions used within the sex crimes statutes that are outlined within Chapter 200.

The relevant statute indicates that sexual conduct can be illegal if it involves a person aged 18 or older with a person who is under the age of 16. Because this definition only criminalizes sexual conduct between a person who is over 18 and someone who is under 16, there will be no criminal charges if two people under the age of 16 engage in sexual conduct.

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If a person who is 17 years old engages in sexual conduct with someone who is 16 years old, that individual will also not be charged with a crime even through he or she technically did engage in sexual behavior with someone under the age of consent.

Why is Age of Content So Old in Nevada?

Romeo and Juliet Law in Nevada

Many states, including Nevada, don’t charge people who are close in age with sex crimes even if one of the participants in sexual activity is under the age of consent – as long as both partners involved in the sexual act were willing. Laws protecting people who are close in age from facing criminal charges for consensual sexual conduct are sometimes called Romeo and Juliet laws.

There is no Romeo and Juliet law in the state of Nevada. This means that both participants engaging in an intercourse under the age of 16 can be prosecuted for a statutory rape.

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Criminal Charges for Sexual Conduct with Someone Under the Age of Consent in Las Vegas

While a young person who has sexual contact with someone under the age of consent will not be charged with a crime, adults who engage in sexual behavior with someone under the age of 16 can be charged with a serious offense.

If the conduct would have been consensual, had the underaged participant been able to consent, a defendant can be charged with statutory sexual seduction. This is the official legal term in Nevada that describes the crime most people think of as statutory rape.

A defendant can be charged with statutory sexual seduction, according to N.R.S. 200.364, if the defendant engages in ordinary sexual intercourse, anal intercourse, cunnilingus, fellatio, or any other sexual penetration with the goal of gratifying lust, passion, or sexual desires involving someone who is under the age of 16.

What are the Penalties for Statutory Sexual Seduction?

Violating age of consent in NevadaThe penalties for statutory sexual seduction are outlined in Nevada Revised Statute section 200.368. According to the relevant statute, unless a harsher penalty is provided for in Nevada Revised Statute section 201.540, a defendant who is convicted of statutory sexual seduction will be charged with a category C felony if the defendant is at least 21 years of age at the time when the sexual conduct occurs with someone under the age of 16.

N.R.S. 200.368 also imposes a penalty on defendants who are between the ages of 18 and 21 who engage in statutory sexual seduction. If someone over aged 18 but under 21 engages in sexual conduct with someone who is under the age of 16, that defendant can be charged with a gross misdemeanor offense.

N.R.S. 201.520, the statute that imposes harsher penalties than the standard consequences for statutory sexual seduction, is a statute that deals with sexual conduct between students and teachers or other employees or volunteers of schools.

Under the relevant statute, any person who is at least 21 years of age and who is in a position of authority within the school could be charged with a crime if that individual engages in sexual conduct with a pupil who is under the age of 17. In other words, a teacher or other person within a position of authority can be charged with a sex crime even when a victim is one year older than the age of consent in Nevada.

When a school employee or volunteer engages in sexual conduct with a pupil aged 16 or 17, the employee or volunteer can be charged with a category C felony. If the school employee or volunteer is over 21 and the victim is 14 or 15 years old, the teacher or volunteer could be charged with a category B felony and could face a minimum period of imprisonment of one year and a maximum period of imprisonment of six years along with a fine of $5,000 or less.

Age of Majority in Nevada

Age of consent is not to be mistaken with the age of majority. N.R.S. 129.100 describes the age of majority as the age when an individual legally becomes an adult. It is currently 18. However, the state laws stipulate emancipation via a court order of a child 16 or older.

Getting Help from a Vegas Criminal Defense Lawyer

Gross misdemeanor or felony charges for engaging in sexual conduct with someone under the age of consent can be very damaging to your reputation, career, and future.

Often, the mere accusation of statutory sexual seduction will have serious consequences for your relationships and for your professional life. Because of the profound impact that an accusation can have upon your future, it’s important to know the age of consent in Nevada and to understand what charges you can face if you engage in sexual acts with someone who is underaged.

If you have been accused of sexual conduct with a person under the age of 16, you need to be very proactive in reaching out to Las Vegas defense lawyers who can help you.

LV Criminal Defense will work closely with you to fight charges and try to reduce penalties or secure an acquittal so you don’t end up in jail and with a criminal history. We can put your extensive legal knowledge of sex crimes cases to work for you, so give us a call as soon as you have been charged.

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