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How Alcohol Affects Consent in Criminal Sexual Conduct Cases

CHARGED WITH CRIMINAL SEXUAL CONDUCT IN MINNESOTA? CONTACT JENNIFER SPEAS!

Covered under the broad charge of criminal sexual conduct in Minnesota, rape is a very serious crime to be accused of and can ruin your life if convicted. However, some accused of rape are not always the vicious criminals that some people think that all rapists are. On occasion, those charged with rape are young people who have made a mistake with consent. Consent can be a complicated matter, but alcohol rises the complexity of consent to even loftier levels of confusion. Not knowing how alcohol affects consent, as most people don’t, could ruin someone’s future.

Under Minnesota law, rape is defined as forced sexual contact with someone that does not intend to engage in sexual contact or who has made any attempt to resist sexual contact. In essence, this means that someone who had given consent in the beginning of a sexual encounter, but then began to resist after the event has been initiated is still considered someone that has been raped. This is why consent is often the trickiest part of a rape case, as it can be given and then revoked at any point during the sexual encounter.

HOW DRUGS AND ALCOHOL EFFECT CONSENT

When it comes to rape charge s, drug and alcohol use can affect consent in several different ways. These include times where the substances were administered without the victim’s knowledge and times when the substances were willingly used.

CONSENT WHEN UNKNOWINGLY GIVEN DRUGS OR ALCOHOL

If someone was given drugs or alcohol without their knowledge, such as the case of date rape drugs or even playfully spiking a party drink with alcohol, consent cannot be given to any sexual contact. This person did not know that their mental faculties had been compromised, and as such, they are classified as mentally incapacitated at the time by the law. This unknowingly intoxicated person cannot give consent to sexual activity if all their actions suggested consent. If the act was consensual even with unknown substance use, there wouldn’t be a case in the first place.

CONSENT WHEN WILLINGLY INGESTING DRUGS OR ALCOHOL

Consent if the victim willingly takes various substances is a little foggier, but usually still as firm. If the intoxicated person were to fall asleep, for example, then the law would consider them helpless and consent could not be given. Similarly, consent cannot be given if a personally cannot actually communicate any consent. If the victim were to be so drunk that they cannot even form coherent sentences, then they cannot legally consent to sex. Furthermore, if the victim suddenly falls unconscious after sexual contact has started, even if they gave consent before, their consent is no longer valid.

In truth, the use of alcohol in rape cases can sway the case either way. Either the victim was too drunk to consent or they became willingly intoxicated and that led to consensual sex. This leads to a number very gray consent cases in which the jury could go either way depending on the unique circumstances of the case and the evidence presented. However, if you can prove that consent was given in a rape case, it can often lead to the charge being entirely dropped.

NEED HELP? CONTACT CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY JENNIFER SPEAS!

Have you been accused of rape or any other action that falls under the charge of criminal sexual conduct in Minnesota? We can help you. Contact us today to see how the Speas Law Firm can help you limit the potential punishments of your accused crime. Rape or any other sex crime is definitely not something you want on your record, and we can help keep you from getting a permanent black mark.