In basic terms, Romeo and Juliet laws are statutes that provide some protection from the harsh consequences associated with a sex-crime conviction for a consensual relationship when the individuals involved are minors and close in age.And, while Virginia does not have any clear-cut Romeo and Juliet laws, there are certain statutory provisions that indicate some close-in-age protections do exist in certain circumstances.In Virginia, the bright-line age of consent for sexual relationships is 18-years-old.Specifically, Virginia law states, "Any person 18 years of age or older, [...] who [...] engages in consensual sexual intercourse with [...] a child 15 or older [...] is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor."Thus, from this language, it can be inferred that consensual sexual relationships between individuals aged 15, 16, and 17 are permitted, and only become illegal if one of the individuals involved is 18 or older - essentially creating a close-in-age exemption for those aged 15, 16 and 17.
In fact, individuals typically cannot be convicted for violating this particular statute if they are married, even if one of the spouses is over the age of 18.
Introduction to Juvenile Justice in Virginia Why there is a juvenile justice system, how the juvenile system differs from the adult system, the juvenile justice process, types of hearings, when a juvenile can be detained, and consequences of committing a crime.
Introduction to a Virginia Courtroom Roles and responsibilities of persons in a Virginia courtroom.
Legal Rights of Juveniles An overview of the basic rights of juveniles in court.
Crimes Against Persons Types of crimes involving physical harm or force applied to another person and penalties for these crimes.
Explanation – and carnally know a child aged 13-14 without the use of force, you are committing a Class 4 felony.