Legal Age

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Legal Age

The time of life at which a person acquires full capacity to make his or her own contracts and deeds and to transact business or to enter into some particular contract or relation, such as marriage.

In most states a minor attains legal age at eighteen, although for certain acts, such as consuming alcoholic beverages, the age might be higher; for others, such as driving, the age might be lower. Legal age is synonymous with age of consent or age of majority.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

legal age

n. the age in which a person is responsible for his/her own actions (including the capacity to enter into a contract which is enforceable by the other party), for damages for negligence or intentional wrongs without a parent being liable, and for punishment as an adult for a crime. In almost all states the basic legal age is 18, which is the universal American voting age under the 26th Amendment to the Constitution, ratified in 1971. States' laws vary as to legal age for drinking or buying alcoholic beverages (sometimes with differences between beer and hard liquor), marriage with or without parental consent, driving, prosecution for crimes, the right to choose an abortion, and liability for damages. (See: minority, infancy, juvenile court, age of consent)

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Currently, the legal age for marriage depends on which of the 15 religious community courts the couple falls under the jurisdiction of, and is determined by that court's personal status law.
Weighing in, Fanos Leventis, head of the Association of Owners of Recreation Centres (Pasika) said raising the legal age would be more trouble than worth it.
The plea was filed by social activist Kush Kalra through his counsel Charu Walikhanna who sought quashing of section 23 of Delhi Excise Act, 2009 which prescribes 25 years as the legal age of drinking in the National Capital Territory of Delhi.
'Schoolgirls, irrespective of age, should be protected against sex pests, who are hellbent on taking the legal age loophole to abuse them in the knowledge that they will go unpunished,' he said.
They are a leading cause of anti-social behaviour in the run-up to bonfire night and the sale of them to persons under the legal age limit will not be tolerated."
Kerr said having an increased supply of marijuana might be leading to more use by students who are under the legal age. He noted that many of them are already taking part in underage drinking, and students often obtain alcohol from older, legal-aged peers.
Critics of raising the legal age, nevertheless, argue that there are many other serious activities 18-year-olds are allowed to do, like join the military, buy a gun, get married without their parents' consent, hunt and be charged as an adult for a crime.
Although ENDS and reduced-risk products such as snus should not be treated the same as cigarettes for all regulatory purposes, the minimum legal age should be raised to 21, without equivocation, for all tobacco products.
CALIFORNIA could soon raise the legal age for buying cigarettes and other tobacco products to 21, from 18.
Although the legal age is 17, under a legal provision for "exceptional circumstances" a family can apply for the consent of the courts to legally marry off a child who is younger than the established legal age.
One model projected that 50,000 deaths from lung cancer among people born between 2000 and 2019 could be prevented, just by raising the minimum legal age to 21.
Dubai - A 20-year-old tourist allegedly stabbed a nightclub guard after the latter denied him entry for being under the legal age, a Dubai court heard on Tuesday.

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