CategoryFiled under: Arkansas Criminal Law, Sex Crimes

Age of Consent in Arkansas

Some states define statutory rape according to the age of the victim and the age of the accused. Statutory rape in Arkansas, however, is defined as sexual intercourse where in which the victim is less than 14 years of age and the accused is more than three years older. There is actually no legal description for the specific age of consent in Arkansas. The term “statutory rape” is not listed in Arkansas rape laws; it is simply called rape. If the accused is not more than three years older, that’s an affirmative defense to prosecution. Arkansas rape law does not require consent as an element of the crime. That is, in order to convict someone of rape in the state of Arkansas, the state does not need to prove consent. Because of the victim’s young age (under 14 years old), the victim is not considered to be legally able to form consent.

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Other Arkansas Rape Laws

Arkansas rape laws also define sexual intercourse as rape if the victim is a minor and the accused is a family member. A minor is defined in Arkansas rape laws as anyone under 18 years of age. Family member can be a legal guardian, an uncle or aunt, a grandparent, a brother or sister, a nephew or niece or a first cousin. It’s a defense to prosecution is the accused was not more than three years older than the victim.

Rape defense lawyer for West Memphis, Marion, and Forrest City

As a sex crimes lawyer, I understand how difficult and serious these cases can be. Rape in Arkansas is a Class Y felony (the most serious) and is punishable from 10-40 years. Pleading guilty to sex with a victim under 14 years of age will get you a minimum 25 years in prison.

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    As with all sex cases, identity is always going to be an issue. Can the state prove it’s you? Is there DNA evidence that could mean it was someone else? In other cases, the victim and the accused may know each other well. In those cases you have to ask,

    • Was a sexual act even performed?
    • What evidence does the state have other than the victim’s word?
    • Does the victim have a motive to lie?
    • Is the victim mistaken about what happened?

    The first step to resolving a sex crime case in Arkansas is to secure a capable and experienced lawyer. Contact Stegall Law Firm for sex crimes in Crittenden County and other parts of East Arkansas.

    Call Stegall Law Firm at 901-205-9894 for more information.

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