Age of Consent in Georgia

Age of Consent in Georgia

At What Age Can You Legally Consent to Sex?

The age of consent is 16 in the state of Georgia. This means that a person must be 16-years-old or older to legally consent to sexual activity. If a person is not at least 16-years-old, they cannot consent to sex with anyone according to the law.

As such, if you have sex with a person under 16 in Georgia, you could be looking at statutory rape and other sex crime charges. These criminal allegations could apply if you are an adult (18 or over) who has sex with someone under 16, aged 17 and engage in sexual activity with a person under 16, and if you are under 16 and have sex with someone under 16. In other words, if you have sex with someone under 16 in Georgia, you could get in legal trouble regardless of your age.

Oftentimes, high school-aged minors in dating relationships worry about getting statutory rape charges for having sex with their partners who are under 16. This is a very real threat for high school-age students who are sexually active, especially if an unhappy parent discovers their child is having sex. It doesn’t matter if a 14 or 15-year-old explicitly expresses their consent and undoubtedly shows interest in having sex with a 17 or 18-year-old because, under the law, the 14 or 15-year-old is not at the age in which they can legally consent to sexual activity.

Nonetheless, sexual activity between two people who are under 16 or between one person over 16 and one partner under 16 could result in the following sex crime charges:

  • Statutory rape
  • Aggravated child molestation
  • Child molestation
  • Aggravated sexual battery
  • Sexual battery
  • Aggravated sodomy

A conviction for any of the charges above could ruin your life. Luckily, however, certain laws provide several exceptions and protections from statutory rape charges for certain age groups in Georgia.

Under Section 16-6-3 of the Georgia Criminal Code, individuals age 18 or younger who engage in sexual activity with people who are no more than 4 years younger than them will get misdemeanor statutory rape charges rather than the felony charges they would otherwise suffer. As such, if one person is at least 14 but less than 16 and the other person is 18 or younger, then the punishment would be misdemeanor charges rather than felony statutory rape charges.

However, if a person is 18 or older and has sex with a 13-year-old or younger, they could be looking at felony statutory rape charges in addition to the charges above potentially. A felony statutory rape charge in Georgia is punishable by 1 to 20 years in prison. If the convicted offender is 21 or older, they will get 10 to 20 years in prison.

Caught Up in a Bad Situation? Let Us Help.

Unfortunately, it’s far too easy to fall under the impression that your sexual partner is 16 or older. But these days, especially in the age of online dating, lying about age is far too common. As such, you may have reasonably believed your sexual partner was 16 or older but later learned that they lied about their age. Whatever the situation may be for you, know that you are innocent until proven guilty. Our criminal defense lawyers will help uphold your innocence and relentlessly fight your sex crime charges.

To schedule your free consultation and learn more, contact us at (866) 580-3089!