Asked in Criminal Law for Puerto Rico

Q: My daughter is 17 and she is dating a 21 year old man, can I press charges against him?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Brian Lehman
Brian Lehman

A: The short answer is that no person ever "presses" charges against anyone in the criminal context, so you can't press charges against anyone. The legal rational is that crimes are committed against the government and it is the government that decides whether to charge someone.

You can, if you want, notify the police that you think a crime is being committed and the police could open an investigation. Whether the police decide to arrest someone or the government decides to pursue criminal charges is largely, if not exclusively, in their discretion. Finally, the age of consent for a majority of states appears to be 16 years old, so you would need to confirm that you are in one of the states were consent is 18 years old. Otherwise, assuming consent, a crime is not being committed unless there are circumstances that you haven't mentioned here.

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