There’s no doubt that statutory rape is one of the most serious criminal charges that one can face not just in the state of Arizona, but nationwide. Your actions after being charged with statutory rape are critical because they could strongly impact how you are charged and how your case is handled.

It’s recommended that if you suspect you will be charged with statutory rape or if you have already been charged that you communicate directly with an experienced criminal defense attorney. Since these charges are taken so seriously, you need to ensure that someone is looking out for your rights during the course of events leading up to a possible trial. An experienced criminal defense attorney in Arizona should be your first point of communication after being charged.

What is Statutory Rape?

In general, these charges refer to sexual intercourse with a person under a specific age, usually a minor. Even in cases where the victim has provided consent for the acts in question, the other individual could still be charged with statutory rape.

What Does Arizona Say About Statutory Rape and Consent?

Arizona follows these same guidelines in legal statutes such that anyone aged 18 or above is prohibited from having sexual intercourse with a minor.  Under the Arizona laws related to this statute, a minor is considered anyone aged 18 or younger. Even if the younger partner consented, the older partner could be tried for statutory rape. This viewpoint is predicated on the idea that minors are not able to give informed consent to sexual activities.

Penalties for Statutory Rape

In the state of Arizona, statutory rape is prosecuted underneath relevant molestation and sexual abuse laws. The different laws that may apply can vary based on the circumstances of the events in question. The most critical factors for determining how a charge will be handle are the type of sexual contact and the age of both parties. The following cover the most common situations:

Molestation of a child can be charged when the minor is 14 years or younger and when there has been alleged sexual contact without penetration. This does not include touching of a female’s breast.

Sexual abuse does include circumstances where a female’s breast has been touched, with the minor aged 14 or younger.

Sexual contact with a minor might be charged if there is oral sexual contact or sexual intercourse involving a minor aged 14 or younger with a defendant of any age as well as situations where the minor is between 15-17 with a defendant aged 19 or older.

What Next?

If you have been charged with statutory rape or any of the charges outlined above, you need to hire a Mesa criminal defense attorney quickly. These cases can evolve rapidly and what you say and do after being charged can end up hurting you unless you are completely clear about your rights. Your attorney can counsel you about the appropriate actions and defenses relevant to your case, so communicate with your lawyer as soon as you have been charged.


This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice, please feel free to contact Mesa Criminal Attorney, Garrett L. Smith at 480-540-6021 log on to, or contact an attorney in your area.