Sexual assault is a topic that can make many people feel uncomfortable. It is one that many people have a strong opinion about, especially when it comes to issues around what constitutes “consent”. When one or both people have been drinking or using drugs and may have become intoxicated, the waters become muddied even further.
The following are answers to some common sex assault questions to provide some information on this important issue.
Sex Assault Questions About Consent And Intoxication
- How Is “Consent” Defined?
“Consent” is an exchange of words or actions in the affirmative that indicate someone is willing to participate in sexual activity which is mutually agreed upon. In order to be valid, a person’s consent must be informed. It must also be freely and actively given.
The person who initiates the sexual activity is responsible for obtaining clear and affirmative responses that their partner consents to each stage of sexual involvement. Lack of a negative response is not the same thing as the other person giving their consent.
A person who is incapacitated from use of alcohol of drugs (whether voluntarily or involuntarily consumed) cannot legally give consent to sexual activities. Also, if someone gave consent to sexual acts in the past, it does not imply consent to any further sexual activity.
- How Can I Tell Whether Someone Is Incapacitated And Cannot Consent To Sexual Activity?
Look for signs like slurred speech, difficulty maintaining balance, stumbling, not able to focus their eyes, the inability to communicate or comprehend the situation or unconsciousness. If you are not sure whether someone is incapacitated, make sure refrain from any sexual activity with that person.
- What Happens If The Initiator And/Or The Victim Were Intoxicated?
When someone is intoxicated, they cannot legally consent to sexual activity (whether they are the initiator or not). Having any sexual contact with someone who is intoxicated is considered criminal sexual conduct and can be considered rape. Rape is a serious crime, and being under the influence of alcohol or drugs while the offence is being committed doesn’t mean that a person is not guilty.
Sexual Assault Defense Lawyer
There are a number of reasons why you need a lawyer for sexual assault charges. This is a serious offense, and you need proper legal representation. The best thing you can do is to hire an attorney with experience defending these types of cases, like us here at Peter Albani Law.
We will listen to your account of what happened during the event and discuss the type of evidence that the police and the prosecutor have against you. If you are tempted to simply plead guilty or take a plea deal being offered “to get things over with” because you think you have no other options, please do not do anything until you have spoken with Peter Albani Law. We will help you defend a sexual assault charge.