If you hookup on Tinder or some other dating app, you may run into people who aren’t whom they say they are. While it’s frustrating to be lied to about height or weight, it can be a shock to find out that someone lied about their age; especially if they’re under the age of consent.
Unfortunately, this news might come after explicit pictures are sent or deeds are done. Therefore, it’s good to determine if “I didn’t know they were underage” is a valid criminal defense.
Is “I Didn’t Know They Were Underage” a Valid Defense?
In Florida, “I didn’t know they were underage,” can be an effective defense (especially with corroborating evidence that proves this reality.)
Unfortunately, evidence (a message from the underage party lying about his or her age, the underage person’s testimony) that substantiates the accused’s claim that “I didn’t know they were underage,” doesn’t mean someone is automatically off the hook for committing underage sex crimes.
Therefore, it’s ultimately up to the jury or judge to determine if the statement, “I didn’t know they were underage” is a valid defense that will impact someone’s case.
Reasons why “I didn’t know they were underage” might not work as a defense:
- The underage party doesn’t corroborate the claim;
- The underage party (subjectively) looks or acts underage;
- The judge or jury believes the accused was careless by not asking to see ID, or by sexting a stranger.
The Right Defense Can Help
As you can see, an “I didn’t know they were underage” defense can help the accused fight for their cases, but it’s important to have a knowledgeable sex crimes attorney on your side who can help the judge or jury see the connection between the miscommunication and the supposed crime.
If you or a loved one is accused of an underage sex crime, call (954) 840-8713 now for a free consultation for your case.