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State Bar of Texas

FAQs on Age of Consent and Underage Sexual Activity

  1. What is the age of consent in Texas? The age of consent in Texas is 17 years old. However, there are close-in-age exceptions that allow individuals who are close in age to engage in sexual activity without facing criminal charges.
  2. What counts as underage sexual activity? Underage sexual activity refers to any sexual act or behavior between an adult and a minor who has not reached the age of consent. This can include sexual intercourse, oral sex, fondling, or any other sexual contact with a minor.
  3. Is it legal to date someone older or younger than me? While dating someone who is slightly older or younger than you may not be illegal, engaging in sexual activity with a minor who is under the age of consent is considered illegal and punishable by law.
  4. What are the legal consequences of engaging in underage sexual activity? Engaging in sexual activity with a minor who is under the age of consent can result in severe legal consequences such as fines, jail time, and registering as a sex offender.
  5. Are there any legal defenses available in cases involving underage sexual activity? Yes, there may be legal defenses available in cases involving underage sexual activity. Some common legal defenses include mistake of age, lack of knowledge about the age of consent laws, consent, and entrapment. However, the legal defenses available in any given case will vary depending on the specifics of the situation.
  6. What should I do if I am facing criminal charges related to underage sexual activity? If you are facing criminal charges related to underage sexual activity, it’s crucial to seek legal advice from a criminal defense attorney who specializes in sex crimes. A criminal defense attorney can help you understand your options, rights, and build a strong defense strategy based on the facts of your case.

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