Close-In-Age Exemptions To The Age of Consent


Many, but not all, states have a close-in-age exemption to their age of consent law. Also known as “Romeo and Juliet laws”, these exemptions exist to protect youths close in age who are engaging in sexual relationships from prosecution even if they are technically in violation of the state’s age of consent law.

Close-in-age exemptions are designed to include situations in which both partners are under the age of consent, or one partner is older then the age of consent and one partner is younger (but they are close to each other in age). While the exact age range and details of the close-in-age exemption vary state by state, most allow for all people within 3-4 years of age of each other to legally engage in consensual sexual acts.

Close-in-age exemptions may completely allow close in age sexual contact, or it may only prevent prosecution (while technically keeping such contact illegal). Some states without close-in-age exemptions may allow close in age, consensual contact as an acceptable defense in court if one or both consenting parties are prosecuted.


The following states have a close-in-age exemption to their age of consent law:
Alabama close-in-age exemption

Alabama’s Age of Consent: 16
Alaska close-in-age exemption

Alaska’s Age of Consent: 16
Arizona close-in-age exemption

Arizona’s Age of Consent: 18
Arkansas close-in-age exemption

Arkansas’s Age of Consent: 16
California close-in-age exemption

California’s Age of Consent: 18
Colorado close-in-age exemption

Colorado’s Age of Consent: 17
Connecticut close-in-age exemption

Connecticut’s Age of Consent: 16
Delaware close-in-age exemption

Delaware’s Age of Consent: 18
District of Columbia close-in-age exemption

District of Columbia’s Age of Consent: 16
Florida close-in-age exemption

Florida’s Age of Consent: 18
Georgia close-in-age exemption

Georgia’s Age of Consent: 16
Hawaii close-in-age exemption

Hawaii’s Age of Consent: 16
Idaho close-in-age exemption

Idaho’s Age of Consent: 18
Illinois close-in-age exemption

Illinois’s Age of Consent: 17
Indiana close-in-age exemption

Indiana’s Age of Consent: 16
Iowa close-in-age exemption

Iowa’s Age of Consent: 16
Kansas close-in-age exemption

Kansas’s Age of Consent: 16
Kentucky close-in-age exemption

Kentucky’s Age of Consent: 16
Louisiana close-in-age exemption

Louisiana’s Age of Consent: 17
Maine close-in-age exemption

Maine’s Age of Consent: 16
Maryland close-in-age exemption

Maryland’s Age of Consent: 16
Massachusetts close-in-age exemption

Massachusetts’s Age of Consent: 16
Michigan close-in-age exemption

Michigan’s Age of Consent: 16
Minnesota close-in-age exemption

Minnesota’s Age of Consent: 16
Mississippi close-in-age exemption

Mississippi’s Age of Consent: 16
Missouri close-in-age exemption

Missouri’s Age of Consent: 17
Montana close-in-age exemption

Montana’s Age of Consent: 16
Nebraska close-in-age exemption

Nebraska’s Age of Consent: 17
Nevada close-in-age exemption

Nevada’s Age of Consent: 16
New Hampshire close-in-age exemption

New Hampshire’s Age of Consent: 16
New Jersey close-in-age exemption

New Jersey’s Age of Consent: 16
New Mexico close-in-age exemption

New Mexico’s Age of Consent: 17
New York close-in-age exemption

New York’s Age of Consent: 17
North Carolina close-in-age exemption

North Carolina’s Age of Consent: 16
North Dakota close-in-age exemption

North Dakota’s Age of Consent: 18
Ohio close-in-age exemption

Ohio’s Age of Consent: 16
Oklahoma close-in-age exemption

Oklahoma’s Age of Consent: 16
Oregon close-in-age exemption

Oregon’s Age of Consent: 18
Pennsylvania close-in-age exemption

Pennsylvania’s Age of Consent: 16
Rhode Island close-in-age exemption

Rhode Island’s Age of Consent: 16
South Carolina close-in-age exemption

South Carolina’s Age of Consent: 16
South Dakota close-in-age exemption

South Dakota’s Age of Consent: 16
Tennessee close-in-age exemption

Tennessee’s Age of Consent: 18
Texas close-in-age exemption

Texas’s Age of Consent: 17
Utah close-in-age exemption

Utah’s Age of Consent: 18
Vermont close-in-age exemption

Vermont’s Age of Consent: 16
Virginia close-in-age exemption

Virginia’s Age of Consent: 18
Washington close-in-age exemption

Washington’s Age of Consent: 16
West Virginia close-in-age exemption

West Virginia’s Age of Consent: 16
Wisconsin close-in-age exemption

Wisconsin’s Age of Consent: 18
Wyoming close-in-age exemption

Wyoming’s Age of Consent: 17