Age of consent for dating
An example of when the Romeo and Juliet defense may apply is if consensual sexual intercourse has taken place between the victim who is 17 years old and the defendant who is 18 years and is attending high school or has graduated.
The advantage of using the Romeo and Juliet defense is that it could mitigate the defendant’s liability for the crime or clear it altogether.
Most teenagers experience intense emotions, rampant hormones, and according to recent scientific studies – a reduced ability to make reasonable decisions due to an underdeveloped brain.
In addition, the defendant had made reasonable attempts to determine the victim’s age, such as checking a driver’s license.
For example, if John, who is over the age of 18, is prosecuted for breaking Arizona’s age of consent laws, his attorney may be able to use the Mistaken Identity defense if the victim, who is really 15, had told John that she was 18.
Defense II: The Mistaken Identity Rule In addition to the Romeo and Juliet defense, your attorney may be able to use the Mistaken Identity Rule if the facts of your case apply.
A mistaken identity defense is when a defense attorney may argue that the defendant was not aware that the victim’s age was lower than the victim had purported.