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What is the age of consent for sexual intimacy in Arizona?

On Behalf of | Apr 10, 2024 | Criminal Defense

Adults in Arizona could find themselves accused of criminal activity under a variety of different circumstances. For example, the pursuit of a romantic relationship could potentially put someone at risk of sexual assault accusations.

Such allegations often involve violence or impairment. However, age can also be a prime consideration in certain circumstances. Adults in Arizona can face criminal charges if they engage in physical intimacy with someone who is under the age of consent.

Only adults can typically consent to sexual encounters

Teenagers may look physically mature, but they still have underdeveloped brains. They can easily fall victim to manipulation and coercion on the part of older individuals. To protect young adults from the potentially life-altering consequences of sexual intimacy, the state requires that someone be 18 or older to consent to a sexual encounter.

If an adult becomes intimate with someone under the age of 18, even if the younger partner consents enthusiastically, the older partner could face criminal prosecution. In cases involving two teenagers both under the age of 18, it may be possible to avoid prosecution if both of the teens are relatively close in age. If one of the partners is under the age of 15, however, prosecution could still occur.

Those who know the law are less likely to violate it and may also be able to defend against allegations that they did something inappropriate. As such, becoming familiar with Arizona’s unique consent laws can be important for those beginning new romantic relationships.