Rape is a serious crime in any state.
In Georgia, the definition of rape is twofold: to have carnal knowledge of a female against her will or to have sexual intercourse with a female under the age of Statutory rape is another crime that involves sex with someone under the legal age of consent 16even if that person gave his or her consent. Rape is a felony crime that can come with life-changing consequences. Georgia has a provision, however, known as the Romeo and Juliet Law, that makes certain sex crimes involving minors misdemeanors instead.
While this is still against the law in Georgia, the sentence is not as harsh.
What are the statutory rape laws in georgia?
Rather than treating it as a felony rape, the courts will treat it as a misdemeanor crime. The penalties for rape are tough in Georgia.
A rape conviction can come with the death penalty in Georgia, as well as life in prison without parole. Another potential punishment is a split sentence: 25 years in prison followed by a life of probation.
Committing a rape crime or statutory rape if over the age of 21 also comes with a requirement to register as a sex offender for life. This can affect the ability to get a job or find a place to live.
When the two people involved in the crime are minors or otherwise qualify under the Romeo and Juliet provision, the courts are more lenient than with typical sex crime cases. The crime will be a misdemeanor instead of a felony, with lesser penalties. This is an order that works similar to a restraining order against the defendant.
Rather than focusing on the penal aspect of the law, the Georgia courts aim to rehabilitate a defendant convicted of a crime under the Romeo and Juliet Law. Carnal knowledge of someone 14 to 16 years old by someone older is still against the law, but as long as the defendant is still a minor and no more than four years older than the victim, he or she will not face felony charges or related penalties. Smaller fines and reduced jail time serves to teach the defendant a lesson without ruining his or her life.
In Georgia, 16 is the youngest age a person can give his or her lawful consent to sexual activities.
A landmark Romeo and Juliet case in Georgia, Haywood v. The Stateestablished that it is not a usable defense to say the defendant had a good faith belief that the plaintiff was over the age of 16, even if the belief was reasonable.
Age of consent in georgia
Even if the victim said she was 16, for example, the defendant could face charges if she was younger. It may be possible to defend against a Romeo and Juliet accusation with help from a defense lawyer. Defenses could include wrong defendant, lack of evidence or that the alleged crime never actually occurred.
A qualified attorney could also aim for lighter charges or penalties if a not-guilty defense is not possible. Sexual assault is an expansive area of law in Georgia with dozens of statutes in the Official Code of Georgia Annotated O. December 19, Rehabilitation vs. Defenses for a Romeo and Juliet Crime In Georgia, 16 is the youngest age a person can give his or her lawful consent to sexual activities.
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