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What is the age of consent in South Dakota?

On Behalf of | Jan 17, 2022 | Criminal Defense |

Most sex crime allegations depend on issues of consent. One person claims to have said no while the other claims they said yes, or one person alleges to have had so much to drink that they were incapable of providing consent. The ability to consent is often a major consideration in the prosecution of modern sex crimes.

Lack of maturity can quickly complicate consent, as can a big gap in age between the parties involved. Age of consent laws seek to make it clear when it is appropriate to initiate a relationship or encounter with another person and when it is illegal. What is the age of consent in South Dakota?

The basic age of consent is 16

In general, those under the age of 16 cannot consent to physical intimacy, especially if the other person involved is over the age of 18. The law in South Dakota makes it impossible for anyone under the age of 13 to give consent in any situation, so a sex act involving someone under that age will constitute rape.

The law does include a bit of nuance depending on the ages of the people involved. When someone is between the ages of 13 and 15, the other person involved in the interaction could face charges if the difference in age is more than three years.

A 14-year-old dating an 18-year-old could result in criminal charges for the 18-year-old, meaning that relationships between seniors and freshmen in high school could potentially lead to criminal charges. Understanding the age of consent in South Dakota can help you better respond to pending criminal charges.