What is the Age of Consent in Wisconsin?

Across our nation, many states have serious regulations relating to crimes relating to sexual activity, and particularly assault of a child. Knowing the specific legislation that exists in your state at a local level, can provide critical clarity on the facts and details of your case that can help you navigate the process forward through litigation. In Wisconsin for example, the understood and agreed upon age of consent is 18 years old. This means that if you engage in sexual intercourse with a minor who is 17 years old or younger, it is considered statutory rape. This act is known to be a Class A misdemeanor charge, which can still carry serious consequences for anyone accused of doing so. There is reasoning behind the age of consent being in line with our nations recognition of legal adulthood. Based on the decisions of our state senators and other government officials in our region, the Wisconsin law considers individuals who are under the age of 18 to be too young to have the ability to rationally give informed consent to any sexual acts or intercourse. To avoid any potential confusion or loopholes, these rules and guidelines are outlined quite clearly in the laws of our state. The understood inability of those in the age group under 18 to be able to communicate proper consent to any sex acts or intercourse is included in the Wisconsin Statutes. This distinction is what explains the reasoning behind the existence of the term “statutory rape” in common colloquial and legal discourse surrounding charges of sexual assault against a victim who was a minor at the time that the act was committed against them. Because of the aforementioned language outlined in the legislation of the state of Wisconsin, it is important to know that If you are younger than 18 and have sexual intercourse, then you are considered a victim under Wisconsin law.

Is the Age of Consent the Same in Every State?

Throughout the United States, the age of consent ranges from 16 to 18 years old. Wisconsin is one of the only 11 states where the age of consent is 18. In the rest of the United States, the age of consent is either 16 or 17 years old.

Is the a Close-in-Age Exemption to Statutory Rape Law In Wisconsin?

In many states, “Romeo and Juliet” laws exist, which state that if someone who is 15, 16 or 17 years old has sexual intercourse with someone who is within three years of their age, statutory rape charges will not occur (as long as sexual intercourse is consensual). However, a Romeo and Juliet clause does not exist in Wisconsin. This means that it is possible that two underage individuals engaging in consensual sex in Wisconsin could be charged with statutory rape. 

Does a Marital Exemption to Statutory Rape Law Exist in Wisconsin?

A marital exemption to statutory rape laws does in fact exist in Wisconsin. If someone who is 15, 16 or 17 years of age married to a someone who is an adult and they engage in consensual sex, it is permitted according to Wisconsin law.

Contact an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney

If you have sexual intercourse with an individual under the age of consent, you will face at least a misdemeanor. All other charges of sexual contact or intercourse with a minor will result in a felony charge. A sexual assault charge of any kind is a serious allegation and a resulting conviction will undoubtedly taint your reputation. The attorneys at J. Kippa Law, LLC understand the fear that comes with being charged with a crime. Our approach entails thoroughly reviewing our client’s side of the story and creating a plan of action that will achieve the best results possible. Call 920-733-1100 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.

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