Jacksonville, FL asked in Criminal Law and Juvenile Law for Florida

Q: Is there a grey area in Florida's 'Romeo and Juliet' law?

So i'm 18 and i have this "friend" who i have known for two years. She has, on multiple occasions, asked to move things forward to an official relationships to where we could be more intimate (I don't mean ALL the way but more of just kissing and hanging over at her house) which is all fine and good (keep in mind that she is the one asking), but i have turned her down and plan to wait till she's older because SHE is 14. That is where the problem lies. But before i transition into the actual question, let me provide you with the information that we both live in Florida where, if i'm not mistaken, has a 'Romeo and Juliet' law that states something along the lines of a relationship being legal as long as the two in the relationship are four years apart and the youngest is 14 or older. The question is, does this still apply even though we ar 4 years (plus an extra 3 months) apart, or is there a 'no tolerance' rule when the eldest is anywhere OVER 4 years older than the youngest?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Shiobhan Olivero
Shiobhan Olivero
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Brandon, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: The "Romeo and Juliet" law does not make sexual contact with a minor "legal." It makes the person charged and convicted of the crime eligible to petition to be removed from the sexual offender registry after a certain period of time and if all other requirements under the statute are met. Sexual activity is not just sex - but sexual contact, touching and kissing included. It is still a crime to have any type of sexual contact with a minor. And it does not matter that "she is the one asking." Consensual sex is not a defense - it does not matter if it was consensual or if she started it.

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