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What is the Romeo and Juliet Law?

Consent in sexual interactions is strictly regulated in Florida. If you're prosecuted for breaching those consent regulations, you'll be added to the sexual offender register, which can have long-term consequences. However, Florida's "Romeo and Juliet" legislation covers specific conditions if both partners are close in age. 

But who is covered by the Romeo and Juliet law? And how does it lessen the legal ramifications for individuals involved? From your West Palm Beach Attorney, here's all you need to know about the Romeo and Juliet law in Florida.

young couple facing trial with West Palm Beach Attorney

Understanding Romeo and Juliet Laws

What Are Romeo and Juliet Laws and How Do They Work? 

Romeo and Juliet laws ensure that this does not occur and that statutory rape laws are only used to protect young people from being used by someone considerably older who has the power to force consent. Romeo and Juliet's laws function by establishing an age gap that must be met before someone may be charged with statutory rape. 

When Does Florida's Romeo and Juliet Law Apply? 

In states where Romeo and Juliet's statutes exist, a defendant must meet specific criteria to be entitled to raise the exceptions. Each state's legislation will specify the conditions that must be met before a Romeo and Juliet statute may be applied. 

The Romeo and Juliet legislation, for example, only applies in Florida when: 

  • The minor was between the ages of 14 and 17 years old. 
  • The defendant's age difference from the minor was only four years. 
  • There are no previous sex-offense convictions on the defendant's record. 
  • The minor consented to the sexual activity.

If all of the conditions mentioned above are satisfied, the defendant may file a petition to be removed from the Florida sex offender registry.

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Looking for an Experienced West Palm Beach Attorney?

If you or your child is involved in consensual sexual contact with someone under the legal age, this legislation may help you avoid some penalties for such behavior. Consult an expert attorney to decide your next steps in filing a petition to remove the registration requirement.

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