California's criminal statutes identify a wide range of illegal conduct that is made punishable by sanctions like imprisonment and fines.While many of its criminal laws and sanctions are similar to those of other states, California is unique in a number of ways.Depending on the jurisdiction, legal age of consent ranges from 16 to 18 years old.In some places, civil and criminal laws within the same state conflict with each other.In California, except for a few restrictions relating to real and personal property, a minor may also make valid legal contracts.A minor may also consent to medical treatment if he or she is: at least 15 years of age, living apart from parents, and managing his or her own personal finances.While the general age of consent is now set between 16 and 18 in all U. states, the age of consent has widely varied across the country in the past.
For example, a state might set the age of consent at 18.In this hypothetical state, two seventeen year olds who had consensual sex could both theoretically be convicted of statutory rape.Other states imply a different method which, like the federal statute, takes into account the relative ages of both people.Until the late 20th century many states had provisions requiring that the teenage girl must be of previous "chaste character" in order for the sexual conduct to be considered criminal. The act has to be illegal under state or federal law to be charged with a crime under 2422(b), and can even be applied to situations where both parties reside within the same state but use an instant messenger program whose servers are located in another state. § 2260) makes it a federal crime to possess or create sexually explicit images of any person under 18 years of age; this creates a federal age of consent of 18 for pornography.In 1998 Mississippi became the last state to remove this provision from its code. forbids transporting a minor (defined as under 18) in interstate or foreign commerce with the intent of engaging in criminal sexual acts in which a person can be charged. Thus, while some conduct covered by the statute is highly culpable, these penalties apply even when consensual sex between someone under the age of eighteen and someone over the age of eighteen is entirely legal under state law, the non-commercial possession of an explicit picture or video clip of the person under the age of eighteen (such as a cell phone photograph of a naked sexual partner, under the age of eighteen, of the person taking the photo) may still constitute a serious federal child pornography felony. § 2251 (such as taking a suggestive cell phone picture of an otherwise legal sexual partner under the age of eighteen without an intent to share or sell the picture), face fines and a statutory minimum of 15 years to 30 years maximum in prison.