When is Consent in Question in a Rape Case?
4 years ago by Justin M. Schiks
One possible defense to a rape charge in Woodbury is consent. However, it can often be difficult to determine just when consent might apply as a legal defense. In some instances, consent is not an applicable defense to a charge of rape, including cases of rape between spouses, as well as cases that involve drugged or drunk rape victims.
The experienced Woodbury sex crime lawyers at JS Defense, PA can review the circumstances of your particular case and make a determination about what legal defenses might apply. Our attorneys can then argue any applicable defenses against your charge in court, with the hope of obtaining a dismissal of your charge and your criminal case as a whole. Give us a call today at (651) 968-9652 or contact us online to find out how we could assist.
When is Consent Applicable as a Defense to Rape?
Depending upon the circumstances, consent could act as a legal defense to a Woodbury rape charge. In order for consent to work as a valid legal defense, the alleged victim must have “freely agreed” to participate in a certain sexual act with the accused. The alleged victim’s agreement to the act must be evident from either his or her overt actions or actual words.
The question of whether a rape victim consented to a sexual act is often very subjective and is wholly dependent upon all of the circumstances surrounding the incident in question.
No Marital Loophole
In Minnesota, there used to be a law on the books that provided a loophole for rape in the context of a preexisting relationship or marriage. When that law was in force, an accused person charged with rape or sexual assault could use their pre-existing marriage or relationship with the victim as a defense to a criminal charge. In other words, the accused could claim that he or she was not subject to prosecution for rape simply because a marital relationship existed – and that by virtue of this relationship, the alleged victim had impliedly consented to the sexual act. The state legislature has since closed this loophole by repealing the statute, and a person could be charged accordingly, regardless of any relationship with the alleged victim.
Drugged or Drunk Rape Victims
In order for a sexual assault victim to provide legal consent, that consent must be free and voluntary. The victim must also be conscious and aware of what is going on around him or her and must be of the proper age in order to provide valid legal consent.
In cases where the alleged victim is drugged or intoxicated to the point of being unconscious – or where he or she is otherwise unable to provide knowing and informed consent – the consent defense will not likely work.
Contact a Knowledgeable Woodbury Sex Crimes Lawyer Today
The experienced defense attorneys at JS Defense, PA can help you determine whether consent might work as a defense to your sex crime charge. To schedule a free consultation or case evaluation with a knowledgeable Woodbury sex crimes lawyer, please give us a call today at (651) 968-9652 or contact us online.