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What Is the Age of Consent in Kansas? | Sex Crimes Lawyers, Wichita

WICHITA, Kan., March 28, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — In recent years, consent has become a highly debated topic of conversation. And, with consent laws varying from state to state, it’s no surprise why. Our team of sex crimes lawyers in Wichita at the McConnell Law Firm have years of experience defending clients falsely accused of sex crimes and are breaking down what you need to know about consent laws in the state. Keep reading to learn more about Kansas’s unique consent laws and the penalties for violating them.

What Is Consent?

Legally speaking, consent refers to the voluntary agreement to engage in a particular activity, oftentimes of a sexual nature. Because consent is considered an ongoing process, it can be revoked at any moment during an interaction, requiring clear communication and mutual understanding between all parties involved. The most important thing to understand about consent is that it must be given freely, without coercion, intimidation, or incapacitation, and individuals must be of legal age to be able to provide consent.

What Is the Age of Consent in Kansas?

So, what’s the legal age of consent, you may be asking? While we’ve already established that the age of consent varies from state to state, the legal age of consent in Kansas is on the lower end of the spectrum at 16 years old. This means that individuals aged 16 or older are legally able to consent to sexual relations with others of similar age or older, provided that the interaction is consensual and non-coercive in nature. Age of consent laws apply regardless of gender or sexual orientation, and it’s important to remember that consent cannot be given by individuals who are mentally incapacitated or under the influence of drugs or alcohol, even if they are 16 years or older.

Expert Tip: Ignorance of a minor’s age is not a valid defense. You are responsible for verifying the age of your partner and ensuring you have legal consent before engaging in sexual activity. Failure to do so does not absolve you of legal liability.

Penalties for Violating Age of Consent Laws

Violating age of consent laws can result in severe legal consequences. Engaging in sexual activity with a minor under the age of 16, even if the minor appears to be willing, is considered aggravated indecent liberties and is punishable by law since any individual under the age of 16 is legally not able to provide consent. The severity of the penalties will remain dependent upon various factors, such as the age difference and the nature of the relationship.

In Kansas, engaging in sexual activity with a minor under the age of 16 is classified as a felony offense, with penalties including imprisonment, fines, post-release supervision, and mandatory registration as a sex offender. The severity of the punishment may increase with the presence of aggravating factors such as coercion, force, or exploitation.

A Real-World Example: If a 17-year-old engages in sexual activity with a 15-year-old, it will still be considered a crime, as the 15-year-old cannot legally provide consent; however, in some instances, a prosecutor may use discretion and charge it as a less severe crime due to the short distance in age.

“Generally speaking, violating age of consent laws and engaging in sexual behaviors with a minor under the age of 16 may result in a lifetime registration,” said Erica Ramstad Whitsell, sex crimes lawyer at the McConnell Law Firm. “Not only will some offenders be required to be on post-release supervision for the rest of their lives, but should they commit another felony, they could be sent back to prison. No matter the accusation, it’s important to consult with an experienced sex crimes attorney when facing such allegations, as they have the knowledge and expertise necessary to help navigate the registration process and rebuild your future.”

Have You Been Accused?

If you have been accused of violating age of consent laws, we encourage you to contact the McConnell Law Firm as soon as possible. While every case is different, and no conclusions should be drawn without first consulting one of our sex crimes lawyers in Wichita about the specifics of your case, it is always in your best interest to have a skilled attorney by your side from the beginning.

Request a Free Consultation

Do you or a loved one need the assistance of one of our sex crimes lawyers in Wichita? We encourage you to contact the McConnell Law Firm at (316) 243-5903 for a free consultation.

jonathanwmcconnell.com/contact

SOURCE McConnell Law Firm

Originally published at https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/what-is-the-age-of-consent-in-kansas–sex-crimes-lawyers-wichita-302103010.html
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