Activities Impacted by Age Limits The variation of age limits for different activities, such as marrying, voting, or consuming alcohol, illustrates the values a society places on certain types of activities and how a society values individual responsibility and accountability.
For instance, when a minor intentionally injures another or damages property, he or she may be held liable for the act at age fourteen, and even earlier, in some instances, in certain courts.
The age at which every person is considered an adult is known as the "age of majority" and is usually 18 years old.
In addition, some states allow minors who are living apart from their parents and supporting themselves to be "emancipated." This means that the minor will be treated as an adult for legal purposes.
The age of consent in other states ranges from ages 14 to 18.
Some states base the penalty for violations on the age of the offender, with older offenders receiving harsher penalties.
But he or she may not be allowed to drink or vote until age 21 or 18.
The limitations on a minor's ability to contract, however, are established to protect innocent third parties and ignorant or immature first parties.
Two aspects of "capacity" are recognized: the mental capacity to form the intent to commit an act, and maturity, or the roughly objective measure of the ability to form a legal intent.For example, California, Maryland, Missouri, Nevada, and New York reserve their harshest statutory rape penalty for offenders who are age 21 or older.(1) If the minor is under age 15, five years in prison; (2) if the offender is at least age 18 or is tried as an adult and the minor was age 12 or younger, life in prison and the offender is ineligible for release until serving 35 years; (3) if the offender is at least 18 or tried as an adult and the victim is age 12, 13, or 14, the presumptive sentence is 20 years; or (4) if the minor is at least age 15, it is punishable by one year in prison Sexual assault to knowingly inflicts sexual intrusion or sexual penetration on a victim (1) under age 15 if the actor is at least four years older or (2) at least 15 years old but less than 17 years old and the actor is at least 10 years older.However, this type of emancipation does require a parent or legal guardian's signature.Emancipation through Court Order Although this option is not available in certain states such as Delaware and Maryland, emancipation through the filing of a court order is a viable alternative for minors who are not married, not enlisted, or who cannot obtain parental permission.Emancipation through the Military The other way that minors are emancipated without a court order occurs when they join the military.