Teenage romance – it happens all the time. Sometimes however, a minor
(someone who is under the age of 18), will have a romantic relationship
with someone who is 18 or older and when this occurs, the older person
in the relationship can face serious criminal charges under Arizona’s
age of consent law.
What does the age of consent mean? It refers to the legal age where someone
can consent to sexual intercourse. In the United States, the age of consent
varies from state-to-state, but it’s usually 16, 17, or 18 depending
on the state. In Arizona, the age of consent is 18.
So, what does the age of consent mean to those who engage in sexual activity
with teenagers? It means that if they are 18 or older, they are committing
a felony under Arizona law if they have sexual intercourse with a minor
who is under the age of 18.
Sexual Conduct with a Minor
Section 13-1405 of the Arizona Revised Statutes,
Sexual Conduct with a Minor, it reads: “A person commits sexual conduct with a minor by intentionally
or knowingly engaging in sexual intercourse or oral sexual contact with
any person who is under eighteen years of age.”
Under ARS 13-1405(B), sexual conduct with a minor who is under the age
of fifteen is a
Class 2 felony offense, but sexual conduct with a minor between the ages of fifteen and
seventeen is a
Class 6 felony.
Sexual conduct with a minor who is at lease fifteen is a
Class 2 felony if the perpetrator was in a position of trust; for example, the perpetrator
was a coach, teacher, or clergy member. Read about first-time felonies
here.You can also read about Arizona’s sexual assault laws by clicking
Are you facing criminal charges for sexual conduct with a minor or
sexual assault in Phoenix or Tempe? If so,
contact our office for a
free consultation with Attorney Davidson, a former Maricopa County prosecutor
who’s on your side.