New Jersey Age of Consent Laws 2021
What is the New Jersey Age of Consent?
The New Jersey Age of Consent is 16 years old. In the United States, the age of consent is the minimum age at which an individual is considered legally old enough to consent to participation in sexual activity. Individuals aged 15 or younger in New Jersey are not legally able to consent to sexual activity, and such activity may result in prosecution for statutory rape.
New Jersey statutory rape law is violated when a person has consensual sexual intercourse with an individual under age. A close in age exemption exists allowing minors between ages 13 and 15 to engage in sexual congress with a partner up to 4 years older. The Age of consent is raised to 18 if the older partner is a parent, guardian, sibling, a relative closer than a 4th cousin, or an individual with some authority over the younger party (for example, a teacher or the victim's boss).
New Jersey has a close-in-age exemption. A close in age exemption, also known as "Romeo and Juliet law", is designed to prevent the prosecution of underage couples who engage in consensual sex when both participants are significantly close in age to each other, and one or both are below the age of consent.
Depending on the situation, the New Jersey close-in-age exemption may completely exempt qualifying close-in-age couples from the age of consent law, or merely provide a legal defence that can be used in the event of prosecution.
Punishments for Violating the Age Of Consent in New Jersey
New Jersey has two statutory sexual abuse charges on the books which are used to prosecute age of consent and child abuse related crimes within the state. One or more of these charges may be used to prosecute violations of the New Jersey Age of Consent, as statutory rape or the New Jersey equivalent of that charge.
The severity of the criminal charge (felony, misdemeanor, etc) depends on the specifics of the acts committed and the relative ages of the perpetrator and victim. Click any charge for more detailed information.
|Endangering welfare of children||Crime of 2nd degree; Crime of 3rd degree; Crime of 4th degree|
|Lewdness||Crime of 4th degree||Up to 18 months of prison time|