What is Consent in Virginia?

Consent is an important foundation of trust and growth in any relationship and is especially important in relationships that may be considered non-traditional. Like many other states, Virginia has strict laws defining what is and isn’t consent for sexual activity with certain age stipulations alongside those laws. 

In Virginia, if no consent was given prior to a sexual act, it is unlawful. It does not matter the age of the person the accused or the age of the alleged victim – a crime has likely been committed if no prior clear consent was given.

What is the Age of Consent in Virginia?

The state has deemed that age 15 is a legal age of consent, but certain sexual acts under Virginia State Law 18.2-63 outlines acts that are unlawful until bth parties are age 18 or older. 

What is the Punishment for Sexual Acts with a Minor?

Virginia law mandates that “carnal knowledge” of committing an act against someone age 13-15 and the accused is more than three years older than the alleged victims, the accused will be charged with a Class 6 felony. If the age difference is less than three years, the punishment could be a Class 4 felony. Class 6 felonies carry a prison sentence of 1-10 years plus a potential fine of up to $2,500. Class 4 felonies carry a sentence of 2-10 years plus a fine of up to $100,000. 

Acts Involving Older Minors 

If someone 18 years or older is found having sex with someone 15-17 years of age, the state of Virginia finds that as a class one misdemeanor violation and carries a potential sentence of one year in jail plus a fine of up to $2,500. 

It is worth noting that some of these crimes will require the convicted person to register as a sex offender in the state. Those crimes are outlined here.


If you’re facing a sex crime charge in Virginia, it’s important to understand the seriousness of the offense. Whether you’re a first-time offender or a repeat accused, you do have options and rights open to you, but they need to be treated with care and professionalism. Call B.R. Hicks, P.C. today at (703) 354-4000 to learn more and schedule a free consultation.