California law on underage dating applies to sexual conduct with minors. According to California law, an unlawful act of sexual intercourse occurs when an adult (18 years or older) has sex with a minor (under 18) who is not the spouse of the perpetrator. The degree of punishment varies according to the age of the perpetrator and the age of the minor.
If Not More Than Three Years Younger
According to California dating law, any adult who engages in sexual intercourse with a minor not more than three years younger than the perpetrator is guilty of a misdemeanor.
If Younger By More Than Three Years
Any adult who engages in sex with minors more than three years younger is guilty of either a misdemeanor or a felony punishable by imprisonment in a county jail or or state prison for not more than one year.
If 21 and 16
Any person 21 years or older who has sex with a minor under 16 years of age is guilty of either a misdemeanor or a felony punishable by time in a county jail not exceeding a year or by imprisonment in a state prison for two to four years.
Violators can also be subject to civil penalties depending on the age of the participants. If the minor is less than two years younger than the adult, the amount shall not exceed $2,000. If the minor is at least two years younger than the adult, the amount shall not exceed $5,000. If the minor is at least three years younger, the amount shall not exceed $10,000. If the adult is 21 and over and the minor less than 16 years of age, the amount shall not exceed $25,000.
Where the Money Goes
According to California underage dating law, civil penalties covered by district attorney are used to pay for the cost of prosecution, with the remainder deposited in the underage pregnancy fund, used to help prevent underage pregnancy through appropriations by the California Legislature.
If the remainder of civil penalties after covering the cost of prosecution is not deposited in the underage pregnancy fund, a judge can fine any person involved an amount not exceeding $70. Ability to pay is considered, as probation will not be denied merely for an inability to pay.
Penalty for Providing Minors for Sex
According to California underage dating law, anyone who intentionally provides, gives or makes available a child under the age of 16 for lewd or lascivious acts is guilty of a felony and subject to three, six or eight years in state prison and a fine not exceeding $15,000.
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