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Incest Laws by State 2022

Incest is defined as a sexual relationship between two closely related family members. The relationship between the two people is so close that they are unable to legally get married. In the United States, incest laws prohibited intimate relationships between children and parents, siblings, and grandchildren and grandparents. Almost all states criminalize incest between adults. Some states also prohibit intimate relations between aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins. Additionally, state laws vary regarding half- and step-relatives and adopted relatives. States also have minimum age laws for marriage to help prevent child marriage, which could help prevent incestual relationships.

In the majority of states in the United States, incest is illegal. The punishments associated with engaging in an incestuous relationship vary by state. In many cases, incest is not revealed to outside parties, so the parties involved are not prosecuted. Except for those states mentioned below in this article, incest is illegal in all states.

In the states of New Jersey and Rhode Island, incest between adults is legal. However, neither state permits marriage. In New Jersey, each person involved in the relationship must be at least 18 years old. In Rhode Island, the age of consent is 16 years old. In Georgia, incest laws are limited to heterosexual intimate relationships. Intercourse between fathers and daughters and mothers and sons is illegal. This includes any half- and step-children and siblings, and extended family. In North Dakota, incest includes marriage and cohabitation between first cousins or anyone closer than first cousins, even if half-related. Second and third cousins are generally free to marry in most states, and first cousins are generally allowed to have relationships. In Ohio, incest is legally allowed provided that one party is not a parental figure to the other party.

Incest Laws by State 2022

State Incest Legality Prison Sentence Fine
New Jersey18 months to over 15 years
Rhode IslandNo criminal prosecution for 16+
Alabama1 to 10 yearsUp to $15,000
Alaska2 to 12 yearsUp to $50,000
Arizona1 to 3.75 years
Arkansas3 to 10 years$10,000
CaliforniaUp to 3 years$10,000
Colorado2 to 12 yearsUp to $750,000
Connecticut1 to 5 years$5,000
DelawareUp to 1 year$2,300
FloridaUp to 15 years$5,000
Georgia10 to 30 years
HawaiiUp to 5 years
IdahoUp to a life sentence
Illinois2 to 10 years$25,000
Indiana1 to 6 years
IowaUp to 5 years$7,500
Kansas5 to 136 months
Kentucky5 years to life
Louisiana5 to 30 years
MaineUp to 5 years$5,000
Maryland1 to 10 years
MassachusettsUp to 20 years
MichiganUp to 2 years$500
MinnesotaUp to 10 years
MississippiUp to 10 years$500
MissouriUp to 7 years
MontanaUp to a life sentence
Nebraska1 to 25 years
Nevada2 years to life$10,000
New Hampshire10 to 20 years
New MexicoUp to 3 years$5,000
New York10 to 25 years
North Carolina10 to 182 months
North DakotaUp to 5 years$10,000
Ohio2 to 6 years
OklahomaUp to 10 years
OregonUp to 20 years$375,000
PennsylvaniaUp to 10 years
South Carolina6 months to 5 yearsMinimum $500
South DakotaUp to 15 years$30,000
Tennessee3 to 15 yearsUp to $10,000
Texas2 to 20 yearsUp to $10,000
UtahUp to 5 years$5,000
VermontUp to 5 years$1,000
Virginia1 to 20 yearsUp to $100,000
WashingtonUp to 10 yearsUp to $10,000
West Virginia5 to 15 years$500 to $5,000
WisconsinUp to 40 years$100,000
WyomingUp to 15 years$10,000

Incest Laws by State 2022

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