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Delaware Prohibited Consensual Sexual Activity Laws

It's a wild night out on the town and one of your friends dared you to “moon” someone. And maybe another friend snapped a photo and texted and Instragram-ed it out. Could flashing your bare bottom mean you’ve committed a sex crime? And what about the photo and the text?

Meanwhile, it is only common sense that non-consensual sex like rape and sexual assault is illegal. But could consensual sexual activity get you into some hot water with the law?

This area of the law obviously involves sensitive issues. Who you may have sex with and where can be touchy. What parts of your body you can and cannot bare in public - some people believe strongly in their rights in this area. These laws aren’t quite as obvious or well-publicized, so here’s a brief summary of prohibited consensual sexual activity laws in Delaware.

Sexual Activities Laws

Each state has laws that prohibit certain kinds of consensual sexual activity. Normally these correlate with the social norms of that particular state, and tend to change with the times. Delaware’s prohibited consensual sexual activity laws include regulations found in most other states, like provisions for public indecency and indecent exposure. However, the state also requires mandatory testing and reporting if an HIV-positive person is convicted of a sex or drug crime that “created an epidemiologically demonstrated risk of [HIV] transmission” to another person.

Prohibited Consensual Sexual Activity Laws in Delaware

The main provisions of Delaware’s prohibited consensual sexual activity laws are listed in the following chart.

Sodomy Laws Applicable to -
Penalty for Sodomy -
HIV Exposure and Compelled Testing for Offenders 10§1077 Upon request by the victim, the court shall order HIV testing of a defendant arrested and charged with an offense in §1076 if this title
Other Crimes Relating to Consensual Sex Acts 11,§1301 Disorderly conduct: unclassified misdemeanor 11,§764 Indecent exposure in 2nd degree: unclassified misdemeanor 11,§1321 Loitering: violation 11,§1341 Lewdness: Class B misdemeanor


As you can see, Delaware prohibits public and non-public indecency, covering behavior from public sex to non-public nudity intended to be seen by other people.

Delaware Prohibited Consensual Sexual Activity Laws: Related Resources

Social attitudes regarding sex are subject to change, and state laws often follow suit. If you have been charged with a sex crime or would like to fully understand your rights, you can contact a Delaware criminal defense attorney in your area. You can also visit FindLaw's Sex Crimes section for more comprehensive information on this topic.

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