Colorado Age of Consent Laws

Similarly to other states, when a minor is involved, age difference plays a major role in criminal charges. If you or a loved one have been accused of violating Colorado’s age of consent laws, contact a Denver statutory rape defense attorney as soon as possible.

At WeedenLaw, we know how high the stakes are when it comes to sex crime charges. Our Denver sex crime defense attorneys are ready to provide you with an aggressive defense and protect your freedom. For a free consultation in your case with attorney Jeff Weeden, call us today at (720) 307-4330.

What is the Age of Consent in Colorado?

The age of consent in Colorado is 17. This means that a person who is 17 years old or older may consent to have sexual intercourse with any other person, regardless of their age. Once a person reaches the age 17, consensual sex is permitted with any other person who is also over the age of 17.

Does Colorado Have a Romeo and Juliet Law?

Yes. Colorado does have a Romeo and Juliet law. A minor in Colorado can consent to sexual intercourse with a person who is within 4 years of his or her age, as long as certain stipulations apply.

Age of Consent Exceptions

Close in Age Exemption

Colorado has a “close in age” exemption, more commonly known as “Romeo and Juliet Law”. This states that anyone under the age of 15 cannot legally consent to have sexual relations with someone who is more than 4 years older. A person who is under the age of 17 cannot legally consent to have sex with anyone who is 10 years older or more.

This law is more lenient than other states, especially when you consider that a 15-year-old can legally have sex with a 24-year-old, as long as the sex is consensual. 

Although the age of consent is 17 in Colorado, the child prostitution laws extend to those who are 18 and under. 

Colorado Common Law Marriage

Colorado recognizes common-law marriage and is one of the only states to do so. 

What is common law marriage?

When two people live together over a certain amount of time and consider themselves to be married, they may be treated as legally married in the state of Colorado. 

Does common law marriage override the age of consent in Colorado?

The laws surrounding common-law marriage in Colorado do not specifically state a minimum age for common-law marriage.

Colorado Age of Consent Defense

Colorado does not provide for any mistake of fact defense. Some states have what’s called a strict liability standard. This means that defendants cannot argue that he or she did not realize that the other was not able to consent.

This makes statutory rape a strict liability crime. Therefore, even if the defendant was lied to, they may still be held criminally liable. 

Violating the Age of Consent in Colorado

The state of Colorado has six statutory sexual abuse charges. One or more of these may be issued to prosecute violations of the Colorado Age of Consent laws. The severity of the prosecution relies on the specific acts committed and the ages of both parties.

Internet Sexual Exploitation of a ChildClass 4 Felony1-12 Years in Prison
$2000-$500,000 Fine
Procurement of a Child
For Sexual Exploitation
Class 3 Felony2-24 Years in Prison
$3000-$750,000 Fine
Sexual AssaultClass 1 Misdemeanor
Class 4 Felony
6-18 Month Sentence
$500-$5000 Fine
2-6 Years in Prison
Sexual Assault of a ChildClass 3 Felony
Class 4 Felony
2-23 Years in Prison
$3000-$750000 Fine/
1-12 Years in Prison
$2000-$500,000 Fine
Sexual Assault of a Child
in a Position of Trust
Class 3 Felony
Class 4 Felony
2-23 Years in Prison
$3000-$750000 Fine/
1-12 Years in Prison
$2000-$500,000 Fine
Sexual Exploitation of a
Class 3 Felony
Class 4 Felony
Class 6 Felony
2-23 Years in Prison
$3000-$750000 Fine/
1-12 Years in Prison
$2000-$500,000 Fine
1-1.5 Years in Prison
$1000-$100,000 Fine

A good criminal defense attorney can help you determine whether your sex charge is a felony or misdemeanor in Colorado.

Contact Colorado Age of Consent Defense Attorney Jeff Weeden

If you’ve been charged with statutory rape or another age of consent violation in Colorado, contact Jeff Weeden, top Denver Criminal Defense Attorney.

For a free initial consultation, call 720-307-4330. WeedenLaw accepts calls at any time and will take calls from inmates, as well.

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