Under Indiana law, what happens between two consenting adults is their own business. However, it is absolutely vital that all parties involved fit the legal definition of an adult. Age of consent laws are serious and need to be understood if you intend to engage in sexual contact. No matter your age, disregarding these laws leads to serious consequences that follow you for your entire life.
You need to be aware but do not necessarily need to be afraid. This guide will help you better understand age of consent laws in Indiana, and what you can do if accused of breaking them. A strong Indiana sex crimes lawyer can be the difference between freedom and severe consequences, so be aware and know when to reach out for help.
What Is the Age of Consent in Indiana?
In the state of Indiana, anyone under the age of 16 legally cannot consent to sex. Verbal or written consent does not matter, and you will face criminal charges. It is essential that you know how old your partner is before engaging in sexual activity. Even if they lied to you about their age, you could still be accused of a criminal offense.
Romeo and Juliet laws are one of the only exceptions, but they have strict parameters. Individuals aged 14 and 15 can engage in consensual sexual relations with others their age and even those up to four years older than themselves.
What Does It Mean to Consent?
Consent is, in essence, another person agreeing on something with you. In this case, that something is sexual contact. If someone agrees to sex with you, written or verbal, you are legally in the clear for whatever is agreed on.
However, that consent can be revoked at any time. Communication is key and will help you navigate the issue of consent smoothly. Under no circumstances should you force something, whether your partner expresses dissent openly or not.
However, this only applies to those 16 and older. Under this age, no matter what, they cannot legally give consent for any sexual action. If the person is found to be otherwise unfit to give informed consent, that is also a serious sex crime. Consent is central to Indiana sex crime law, and unlike many states, there is no single definition of statutory consent.
Consequences of Violating Age of Consent Laws
Violating age of consent laws is one of the most severe crimes you can commit, with consequences that last a lifetime. Depending on the offense, you could be facing jail time or prison time, fines, and will likely be added to the sex offender registry.
Build a Strong Defense When Accused of Breaking Age of Consent Laws
If someone has accused you of breaking a consent law, your best option is immediate legal representation. You will almost certainly be facing a court date, so you need to find a top-rated defender to represent you.
Wruble Law has been serving Indiana for over 35 years as criminal defense attorneys, clearing our clients’ names by helping with a variety of matters. Call or text us today, or contact us through our convenient contact form, for a free and fast consultation.