In just about every state, it is against the law for an adult to have any type of sexual contact with a teenager. No brainer. These laws were designed to protect young people from being taken advantage of. The law doesn’t want a 19-year old man having sex with a 15-year old girl. While the law does not treat young men and women differently, when it comes to prosecution, gender does matter. More men are charged with statutory rape than women. That is a given. However, an interesting problem in Idaho is that the laws regarding sexual communications with a minor do not necessarily align with the statutory rape laws.
When the original laws regarding sexual communication with a minor were written, we didn’t have cell phones or the internet. These laws were typically enforced against grown, adult men who tried to engage in sexual conversation with teenage girls. We’ve all seen the specials on television where someone is caught trying to lure young girls in a sting operation. In fact, for years, there were shows that dealt exclusively with this issue. Shows like, “To Catch a Predator” come to mind. However, these shows were created before social media was invented. As a result, a lot of these laws had become outdated.
In Idaho, You Can Be Charged with a Misdemeanor or Felony for Sexting Your Significant Other
As a result, many states, including Idaho, changed the laws that target adults who engage in lewd communications with minors. However, the new laws do not really align with the Idaho laws on statutory rape. For example, a 16-year old girl can engage in consensual sex with a 17-year old boy. However, if these same teens are caught sending naked pictures of each other through their cell phones, they can be charged with a misdemeanor under Idaho Code 18-1507A for a first offense. If it is a second offense or more they can be charged with a felony. Additionally, depending of the ages of the individuals passing pictures, they could be charged with a felony under Idaho Code 18-1507 requiring them to register as a sex offender (See Idaho Code 18-1507(3)). This is why it’s so important that people charged with these crimes talk to a criminal defense lawyer right away. There is so much at stake and the laws are really confusing. It can be hard for a couple to know what is legal and what is illegal.
Contact a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Boise, Idaho Right Away
Thankfully, most people will never have to deal with being charged with statutory rape or sexual exploitation of a child. Most young people who engage in this kind of behavior never worry about being charged with a crime because they often will not be. Unless their parents vehemently oppose the relationship, the sex or communications will never be reported to the police. However, there are times when you or your teenage child will find themselves in court defending these exact charges. If that is the case, you really need a skilled criminal defense lawyer from Idaho standing by your side.
Call our office and schedule a consultation with one of our experienced defense lawyers. If you cannot make it into the office for a consultation, we may be able to do a consultation by phone. With these trying times, we understand that it is not so easy to make it into the office. We’ll do what we can to work with you so you can prepare an adequate defense to your charges. Call and set up a date and time that works for you. You won’t have a lot of time before your first hearing and it is crucial that you have someone by your side who knows the law and can fight for you.