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.

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)