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A Guide to the Romeo and Juliet Law in Texas

The Law Firm of Andrea M. Kolski

Romeo and Juliet is a melancholy tale about two star-crossed lovers whose lives end in tragedy. Pieces of the story are intertwined in how the Romeo and Juliet law in Texas came to be, but this is no fairytale.

If you’re someone that has been wrongly accused of committing a sexual act with someone underage, the Romeo and Juliet Law Texas is worth looking deeper into. Our guide will provide you with all the information you’ve been searching for to help you with your case.

What is the Romeo and Juliet Law?

The Romeo and Juliet law is a law that seeks to protect young adults that have engaged in consensual sexual acts with someone that is considered underage. When the young adult and minor are within a few years of each other as far as age, the law protects the young adult from facing a criminal offense charge.

By having a law like this in place, you protect young adults from becoming registered sex offenders and from facing time behind bars with people who have committed heinous crimes. Because of this law, many young adults in Texas and worldwide have been saved from situations that would’ve changed the outcome of their lives.

Where Did the Name Originate?

As we mentioned above, the story of Romeo and Juliet is one that ends in tragedy. Two lovers whose families are at odds are forbidden to engage in a relationship with each other.

In the end, realizing that they will never be allowed to be together, they commit suicide. The law was named after this sordid tale because it applies to the tragic ending that falls upon young adults when they are hit with statutory rape charges.

They lose their freedom, and forever after this charge, their lives will be different. A statutory rape charge changes things like where they are allowed to go to school, live, and work. It’s for this reason that the law got the name of the Romeo and Juliet Law.

Why Was the Law Formed?

Whenever someone hears of an adult, no matter their age having intercourse, consensual or not, with someone underage, their thoughts immediately jump to statutory rape charges for the adult. In Texas, when it comes to statutory rape, it doesn’t matter what the age is of the people involved; it’s a crime.

This crime can carry serious jail time for adults that get prosecuted and found guilty. The law was passed in 2011 because it was highly unfair to send a teenager to jail for a consensual relationship.

For example, before the law was passed, an 18-year-old engaging in a relationship with a 16-year-old would be statutory rape. Today, the Romeo and Juliet law protects the young adult from these criminal charges and jail time because of their age and the nature of the relationship.

When Does the Law Apply?

If you’re facing accusations of statutory rape, this law may be of service to you. Some requirements are necessary before the law can get used as a solid defense. As the accused, you can be no more than three years older than the victim when the offenses allegedly took place.

The victim has to be at least 14 years or older for the law to apply. If the victim is someone that you were specifically forbidden to see or marry. The law would not apply in that case; the relationship must have been consensual.

Under this law, anyone between the ages of 14-17 can engage in a sexual relationship as long as both parties consent to the relationship. There are some instances when the law will not apply.

If you’re the adult in the situation and assume the person you’ve had intercourse with was of age, you can still get charged with a criminal offense. If you’re in a position of authority, you can also still face hefty penalties for engaging in a relationship with the minor consensual or not.

When Should I Get an Attorney?

If you’re accused of this crime, you should find a legal attorney as soon as possible. They will have more knowledge about this law and be able to discuss with you the next steps that you need to take.

Even in situations where the relationship was consensual and you fall within the age requirement, it’s still useful to have someone on your side that knows how to handle cases such as these in the right way. When your freedom is on the line, it’s best to have people on your side that know what they’re doing.

One slip-up can cause adverse effects that you’re not ready for. Find lawyers that you can trust because dealing with the law and other legal documents and processes can be overwhelming and frustrating.

Romeo and Juliet Law: More Than a Love Story

In Texas, the Romeo and Juliet Law is meant to protect young adults from facing a life-changing event because of a consensual relationship they had. If you’re accused, our guide will provide you more information about how the law can apply to you and help you in your case.

If you’re looking for a lawyer who knows what they are doing and can help you contact Andrea M. Kolski. She’s has experience in more than one law area and understands what it takes to look out for her client’s best interests.

In a situation that calls for a gentle touch, yet firm understanding of the law, this is the lawyer for you.

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