Question: What do you need to know about the age of consent laws in California?

What is the “age of consent” in California? 18 years of age. Under California law, a person must be at least 18 years of age in order legally to have sex with another person to whom he or she is not married. Having sex with a person under the legal age of consent will subject a person to criminal liability.

Statutes governing Californias age of consent, associated criminal charges, available defenses, and penalties for conviction. In California, it is illegal for an adult (someone 18 or older) to have sex with a minor (someone younger than 18), even if the sex is consensual.

Under California law, an individual is only consenting if he or she engages in the activity freely and willingly and if he or she understands the nature of the act. A relationship of any kind does not automatically qualify as consent.

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