Most of us know someone who has dated someone a few years older or younger than they were. It’s not unusual. In high school, there are always sophomores or juniors who date a senior. Your child may be in this kind of relationship. We usually don’t give this a second thought. After all, they’re in the same school. How bad can it be? What a lot of people don’t realize is that it can be a crime in Boise to date someone who is just a few years younger.
Boise criminal defense lawyers don’t usually see people accused of statutory rape until after the relationship has gone downhill. While two people are dating, it’s rare for someone to complain about their age difference. Of course, there are some parents who file criminal charges as soon as they learn their teen is dating someone older than them. But most of the time, it isn’t until the couple breaks up that one of the parties decides to file charges.
Even if the people involved in the relationship are okay, a third party could report the crime as well. Perhaps a teacher catches wind that someone is 19 and is dating a 15-year old. Or it could be a concerned friend of relative. Either way, if you’ve been charged with statutory rape in Idaho, it isn’t a laughing matter. You should call and talk to an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Idaho right away.
What Does the Law Say About Dating Someone Younger Than 18?
It would be a lot easier to know right from wrong if there was a simple age of consent in Idaho. However, that isn’t the case. It’s not a matter of having sex with someone under the age of eighteen (18). Not only does the age of the people engaged in the sexual act matter. The difference in their age matters as well.
The law in Idaho considers it statutory rape in the following two situations:
- The victim is 16 years old or younger and the perpetrator is at least 18 years old
- The victim is 16 or 17 and the perpetrator is at least 3 years older than the victim
As you can see, someone can be a victim of statutory rape no matter whether they’re 13 or 17. As long as the person they are having sex with is 3 years older than they are (or 18) charges can be filed. And, as far as what constitutes rape, it is the same definition used for any rape crime in Idaho.
The law states that rape involves the penetration of the victim with the perpetrator’s penis. This includes oral, anal or vaginal penetration. And, surprisingly, a female can be charged with statutory rape as well as a male.
What if You Didn’t Know How Old the Victim Was?
As with any other crime, your Boise criminal lawyer knows that ignorance is no defense. You can’t just assume someone is old enough for you to have sexual relations with. Even if they tell you they’re 18, you need to check their identification. This may sound awkward. Who wants to ask to see someone’s ID before they engage in sexual intercourse? The problem is, if you don’t check, you could find yourself behind bars.
One would hope you would now how old someone is if you’re going to have sex with them. But with the way people meet others today, there’s no guarantee that this is the case. You could meet someone online or at a club and assume they’re over 18. They may even tell you they’re of age. But if you find out after the fact that they’re a minor, you can be charged with rape. If this happens, the first thing you’ll want to do is call and talk to one of our skilled criminal defense lawyers in Idaho.
Contact a Skilled Boise Criminal Defense Lawyer as Soon as Possible
If you or your child have been charged with statutory rape in Boise, you need help. Despite what you may think, if convicted, your loved one will be facing serious penalties. The best way to get the charges reduced or dismissed is to let an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Boise handle the case for you.
What you need to do is call our office and schedule a consultation right away. Sit down with one of our experts. They can let you know what you’re up against. They can also reach out to the prosecutor and see if they can get the charges dropped. There is simply too much at stake to try to handle this yourself.