Minimum Age of Consent in Colorado

In Colorado, the minimum age of consent for a sexual relationship is 17. If both individuals involved in the sexual act are 17 or older, it is considered consensual and is not considered a crime. For those under the age of 17, the law refers to the Romeo and Juliet law, AKA the Colorado Age of Consent. The law seeks to prevent criminalization of consensual sexual activity in which one of the individuals is below the age of consent.

What is the Colorado Age of Consent?

The Colorado Age of Consent is a legal designation stating that sexual intercourse with individuals under the age of 17 is generally illegal. The law seeks to protect minors from the risks associated with engaging in consensual sexual relationships with adults, even if the age difference between the two is relatively small.

An Overview of the Romeo and Juliet Law in Colorado

The Romeo and Juliet Law is designed to protect minors from being taken advantage of by adults. The law addresses consensual sexual relationships where both partners are close in age (one person must be less than 4 years older than the other). When the individuals involved are both under the age of 17 and within 4 years of age, the laws are generally more lenient. In this circumstance, the law typically does not consider it a criminal offense if the two minors are engaging in consensual sexual relations.

Are There Any Exceptions to the Law in Colorado?

Though the Romeo and Juliet Law in Colorado protects minor partners who are not more than 4 years apart, there are some exceptions. If one of the individuals involved is 18 or older, it is considered to be a criminal offense and will be prosecuted as such. Additionally, any sexual activity between a minor and an adult who is at least 10 years older is an automatic crime due to the heightened risk of exploitation.


Understanding the laws in Colorado regarding age of consent is essential for individuals who may engage in consensual sexual relationships. In general, the Colorado Age of Consent only applies to those who are 17 or older, though the Romeo and Juliet Law has some exceptions for minors who are close in age. Colorado takes the age of consent seriously, and any sexual activity involving someone younger than the age of consent will be prosecuted as a criminal offense. It is always important to practice safe decision making regarding any sort of physical or sexual relationship and to be aware of all relevant Colorado laws.

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