New Mexico Age of Consent Laws 2021
What is the New Mexico Age of Consent?
The New Mexico Age of Consent is 17 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 16 or younger in New Mexico are not legally able to consent to sexual activity, and such activity may result in prosecution for statutory rape.
New Mexico statutory rape law is violated when a person over age 18 has consensual sexual intercourse with an individual under age 17 who is at least 4 years younger whom they are not married to. The age of consent is raised to 18 when the perpetrator is a school system employee, a school health service provider, or a school volunteer who is over 18, at least 4 years older than the victim, and is aware that the victim is a student in school.
New Mexico 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 Mexico 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.
The age of consent in New Mexico is based on the following statutes from the New Mexico criminal code:
New Mexico Age Of Consent Law: Section 30-9-11: Criminal sexual penetration in the fourth degree consists of all criminal sexual penetration: (1) not defined in Subsections C through E of this section perpetrated on a child thirteen to sixteen years of age when the perpetrator is at least eighteen years of age and is at least four years older than the child and not the spouse of that child; or: (2) perpetrated on a child thirteen to eighteen years of age when the perpetrator, who is a licensed school employee, an unlicensed school employee, a school contract employee, a school health service provider or a school volunteer, and who is at least eighteen years of age and is at least four years older than the child and not the spouse of that child, learns while performing services in or for a school that the child is a student in a school. Whoever commits criminal sexual penetration in the fourth degree is guilty of a fourth degree felony.
Punishments for Violating the Age Of Consent in New Mexico
New Mexico has nine 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 Mexico Age of Consent, as statutory rape or the New Mexico 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.
|Aggravated Criminal Sexual Penetration||First degree felony||18 months in prison|
|Criminal sexual contact of a minor in the fourth degree||Fourth degree felony||18 months in prison|
|Criminal sexual contact of a minor- fourth degree||Fourth degree felony||18 months in prison|
|Criminal sexual contact of a minor- second degree||Second degree felony||9 years in prison|
|Criminal sexual contact of a minor- third degree||Third degree felony||3 years in prison|
|Criminal Sexual Penetration- first degree||First degree felony||18 years in prison|
|Criminal Sexual Penetration- fourth degree||Fourth degree felony||18 months in prison|
|Criminal Sexual Penetration- second degree||Second degree felony||9 years in prison|
|Enticement of child||Misdemeanor||Up to 364 days in jail, a $1,000.00 maximum fine and up to 1 year probation|