romeo and juliet laws in missouri
Romeo and Juliet laws are an important part of the criminal justice system in Missouri. These laws, which are also known as “youthful offender statutes,” provide certain protections to individuals who engage in consensual sex with someone close to their own age. In essence, these laws prevent two young people from being convicted for engaging in sexual activity if both parties are close to the same age and there is no evidence of coercion or force.
When Romeo and Juliet laws apply
In Missouri, Romeo and Juliet laws apply when a person between 14-17 years old engages in consensual sexual conduct with a partner who is no more than four years older than them. For example, if one party is 16 and the other is 20 or 21, they would be protected by this law. However, if either party is 18 or over then neither party would receive any protection under these statutes.
Romeo and Juliet laws and Consent
These types of cases can become complicated because it’s not always clear whether consent was given freely or not – especially when both parties are minors. As a result, it’s important that anyone charged with such an offense contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer immediately to ensure that their rights are fully protected throughout the process. An attorney will be able to review all aspects of the case including any evidence gathered during police investigations as well as any statements made by witnesses or victims before providing advice on how best to proceed with your case.
At its core Romeo and Juliet laws exist so that two young people who have engaged in consensual sex do not face harsh penalties simply because they were too naive about legal consequences at the time of their actions – something we see far too often today due to changing social norms regarding sexuality among teenagers . Therefore , it's essential for those accused of violating such statutes understand what protections may be available under state law - which can only occur after consulting with a qualified criminal defense lawyer .