Imagine this. You’re at a party with some friends, having a night out, when someone catches you’re eye. They’re good-looking, vibrant, and you can’t take your eyes off them. They see you looking, and come over to say hello. One thing leads to another, and you find yourself in a private room with them. The last thing you want to do is ruin the moment by asking them how old they are, but it can be one of the most important questions you ask.
Especially in the state of Minnesota.
Sex Crimes: Age of Consent, and Sex With A Minor, in Minnesota
We’re all familiar with the idea of age of consent. In short, it states that people do not have the ability to consent to sex until they reach a certain age. If someone is under that age of consent, even if they are an enthusiastic participant in the act, that doesn’t matter. Legally speaking, they cannot give consent, and therefore having sex with that person is a crime. Statutory rape is the common legal term, though the specific offense may vary from one jurisdiction to another.
Now, in Minnesota, the legal age of consent is 16. Anyone who is at least 16 years old can legally have sex with anyone their age or older, if they want to, and they won’t be breaking any laws. There is also something called an age gap provision, which states that there’s a gray area for partners who are closer in age to that person. This sort of provision was created so that younger couples, say those who begin dating in high school, can still have a relationship without worrying about the 16-year-old partner being arrested for kissing the 15-year-old one at the school dance.
Something that Minnesota does not have, though, is a mistake of age defense. That means if you have sex with someone who is under the age of consent, you cannot put forth the defense that they did not look like they were under the age of consent. Even if you met them in a place underage people weren’t supposed to be, it’s your responsibility to check someone’s age before you have sex with them. Even if asking feels like one of those questions that would kill the mood, it’s better to lose the moment than to lose your freedom because you didn’t stop to cover all your bases.
Always Check, And Know Your Rights
If you are ever questioned by the police regarding something you’ve done, make sure you embrace your Miranda Rights and don’t talk to them without a lawyer. You might have the desire to just “clear all this up” on your own, but more often than not you’re just going to dig yourself a deeper hole by giving the police more information. You have rights for a reason, and you need to use them at every opportunity in order to be sure they’re helping you.
There is no reason for you to share who you’re dating (much less sleeping with) with the police. If they’re asking, make sure you think about what you say next. Because in Minnesota there is no case of mistaken age, and there’s no taking back what you say to the police once it comes out of your mouth.
If you find yourself in need of representation in a Minnesota sex crimes case, make sure you seek out experts in the field. Martin Law Offices has the experience to protect your rights, and to make sure you have a voice. For more information on how we can help you, simply contact us today!