New Mexico Age of Consent Lawyers
What is the Age of Consent for Sex in New Mexico?
In New Mexico, the age of consent is 17 years old for heterosexual acts, and 16 years old for homosexual acts. This makes New Mexico the only state in the union which has a lower age of consent for homosexual conduct than for heterosexual conduct.
It is not clear why this is the case in New Mexico. It is possible that the state legislature reasoned that, with homosexual conduct, there is no risk of pregnancy, justifying a lower age of consent. In any event, New Mexico’s age of consent law is somewhat complex, as in most states.
In New Mexico, anyone who is 13 years or older can consent to sex with a person who is no more than 4 years their senior. Nobody under the age of 13 can legally consent to sex in New Mexico, regardless of the age of the partner.
Different standards apply when the offender is in some position of trust or authority over the minor, such as a teacher, employer, or coach. In such situations, one should assume that the age of consent is 18, at the very least.
The penalties for violating these laws are comparatively lenient in New Mexico. Conduct which might carry a 20 year prison sentence in other states can be punished by 18 months in prison in New Mexico, however, you may still want to consider consulting a lawyer in New Mexico.
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Last Modified: 11-09-2009 12:14 PM PST