Consent can be a key issue in many sex crime cases where the alleged victim and alleged attacker know each other. A court will make a judgment about whether or not the alleged victim gave their consent. If a court decides they did not give their consent, it will likely convict the other party of a sex crime.
Unfortunately, consent is not always clear, especially if alcohol or drugs are involved, and memories are hazy. Here are a few things to consider about consent:
Was it recent?
Just because you had consensual sex in the past does not mean it is still OK to do so. Being married does not confer automatic consent either.
Was it specific?
Did the consent cover the particular act in question? Permission for a kiss does not give consent to do anything else.
Was it explicit?
Just because someone doesn’t say “no,” doesn’t mean they’re saying “yes.” Anything short of express permission for a specific action cannot be considered consent.
Was it retracted?
People are allowed to change their minds. They can do so before something starts or at any point during the act. As soon as someone retracts their permission, the other person needs to stop right away, as continuing could lead to criminal charges.
Was the other person in a position to give consent?
Even if someone said yes, there are occasions when a court will find they could not give their consent. For example, if someone was threatening them if they were legally too young or if they were mentally incapable.
If you find yourself accused of a sex crime after doing what you thought you both wanted, seek legal help to examine your defense options.