Last Updated on May 21, 2022 by Fair Punishment Team
It is important to be aware of the age of consent, but when it comes to the United States, it can be confusing.
Each state has its own laws regarding rights and consent so it is easy to get mixed up and be unsure of your rights in each state as you move around.
To help ease your uncertainty, here is all the information you need to know regarding consent in the state of Louisiana.
Save yourself from some uncomfortable legal trouble by understanding the age of consent in Louisiana.
What Is The Age Of Consent In Louisiana?
The age of consent is the minimum age that someone is considered to be old enough to consent to sexual activity.
Those who engage in sexual activity with someone below the minimum age of consent can be prosecuted for crimes like statutory rape.
Throughout the US, the age of consent usually ranges between 16 to 18 years of age.
In Louisiana, the legal age of consent is currently set at 17 years of age.
This means that if you have sexual activity with an individual in Louisiana who is 16 years of age or below, then you could be prosecuted for statutory rape.
This is because the individual cannot consent to sexual activity – even if they clearly say yes.
Regardless of their opinion or sexual history, someone who is below the age of 17 cannot consent to sexual activity because they are considered too young to be able to give consent.
Therefore, if you ask a 16 year old to engage in sex with you and they say ‘yes’ – you will still be engaging in statutory rape if you go through with the act.
Does Louisiana Have Close In Age Exemptions?
Some states have close in age exemptions in place when it comes to minors and sexual activity. This helps protect those who are in young relationships and still engage in sexual activity with someone below the age of 17.
For example, a couple where one individual has recently turned 17 can still engage in consensual sexual activity with their partner who is still 16.
There ‘Romeo and Juliet’ laws help protect couples from being prosecuted for statutory rape while in a relationship.
However, no such laws or exemptions do not apply in Louisiana.
The state does not hold any close in age exemptions, so anyone engaging in sexual activity with someone below the age of consent can be prosecuted – even if those involved have been in a relationship for a long time.
Therefore, a 17 year old who has been in a relationship with their 16 year old partner for years can be prosecuted for engaging in sexual activity.
What If Both Individuals Are Below The Age Of Consent?
Even if both individuals are below the age of consent, if they are caught in sexual activity, they both can be prosecuted for statutory rape.
Therefore, a teenage couple who both are 16 years of age can both be prosecuted for having sex or enganging in sexual activity with the other.
It does not matter what age you are – as long as you are engaging in sexual activity with someone below the age of 17, you are also engaging in statutory rape.
What About Other Forms of Consent?
Legally, when it comes to consent, it is not always about sex and sexual activity.
Consent can also refer to other things like medical treatment or getting married. These are often referred to as medical consent and marital consent, and both are different from the age of sexual consent.
In Louisiana, the age of majority is 18 years of age. This is the age that someone is legally seen as an adult and can enjoy the rights and freedoms of an adult, as well as being held responsible for the liabilities that comes with adulthood.
The age of majority is tied into a lot of other forms of consent, but not always – such as with the age of sexual consent.
It differs from the age of sexual consent, which is set at 17. This means that in Louisiana, a minor can technically be allowed to have sex and engage in sexual activity – as long as their partner(s) are also 17 or older and everyone has given clear consent.
When it comes to consenting to medical treatment, the standard age for consent is 18. This means that once a minor becomes an adult, they can seek and approve of medical treatments without their parent’s consent or knowledge.
An individual who is 17 years or younger cannot consent to medical treatment without their parent’s consent.
This is because they are still considered a minor and their parents are responsible for their health and wellbeing – meaning that they make all the decisions regarding their health.
The same goes for procedures like abortion – an unmarried individual under the age of 18 needs their parents’ or guardian’s written permission to undergo the abortion procedure.
The age for martial consent is also 18 in Louisiana, but minors as young as 16 are able to marry with their parents’ permission.
Once married, the minor can become completely emancipated – meaning that they now no longer need their parents’ consent for medical treatment.
Emancipated minors are able to live away from their legal guardians, earn their own money and live completely independent.
To become emancipated before reaching the age of majority, you can either get married with your parent’s permission, join the armed forces with your parent’s permission, or appeal to a court and let a judge or jury decide if you are responsible enough to be emancipated.
Being emancipated does not always mean you can consent to sex.
Only if you are married are you able to consent to sex before the age of 17 – so even if you are emancipated from your parents and live freely at the age of 16, you cannot legally consent to sex unless you are married.
So – the age of sexual consent in Louisiana is 17 years. Anyone caught engaging sexual activity with someone aged 16 or younger can be prosecuted for statutory rape (even if you are minor yourself).
The age of medical and marital consent is the same age as the age of majority – 18 years old.
You are allowed to get married from the age of 16 with your parent’s permission but you cannot consent by yourself until you are 18.
As for medical decisions, minors still need their parent’s permission unless they have been emancipated by a court or through marriage.
And that pretty much sums up everything you need to know about the age of consent in Louisiana!