Maryland Legal Age Of Consent (Legal Age for Consensual Sex)
What is the 2015 Age of Consent in Maryland?
The Maryland legal Age of Consent for sexual contact is 16 years old. There are a total of A total of thirty one states have set their age of consent at 16, the lowest age of consent in any state.
A close-in-age exception is made to the Maryland legal age of consent when the actor is less than four years older than the victim. If the victim is 14 or 15 and actor 21 or older, the actor is guilty of a sexual offense in the third degree if they engage in vaginal intercourse or other sex acts (including oral sex). If the actor is under 21 years old, but still more than 4 years older, the crime is lowered to sexual offense in the fourth degree.
Maryland Close-In-Age Exemption
Maryland has a close-in-age exemption, also known as a "Romeo and Juliet law", to the legal age of consent. This provision allows partners who are close in age, or both under the Maryland age of consent, to engage in consensual sex without fear of prosecution under Maryland age of consent regulations. For more information, read about close-in-age exemptions.
What is the Age of Consent?
The Age of Consent is the age at which a person is deemed by Maryland law to be capable of consenting to, and engaging in, sexual acts. Anyone who engages in sexual activity of any type with a partner under the applicable Age of Consent is breaking the law and can be charged with crimes ranging from a misdemeanor to a felony (statutory rape) depending on the jurisdiction in which they are prosecuted. Maryland's specific laws on the Age of Consent can be found above.
What happens if I violate the Maryland Age of Consent?
If you engage in sexual activity with a minor who is under the Maryland Age of Consent of 16, you can be prosecuted under Maryland sexual abuse laws and charged with crimes ranging from sexual assault to first degree rape, regardless of whether or not the sexual acts were consensual. Depending on the charges, conviction can carry penalties ranging from one to fifty years in prison and registration as a sex offender.
What happens if I travel to a state where the Age of Consent is lower?
In most states, the travel or transportation of a minor over state lines with the intention of engaging in sexual activity is in itself a severe misdemeanor or felony. As a result, it is generally not possible to evade a state's age of consent rules by travelling to a different state.
Need more information? Find data on the age of consent in other states.