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Understanding the Issue of Consent in Sexual Assault Cases

 Posted on August 09,2022 in Criminal Defense

Denton County sex crimes attorneyThere are a variety of situations where a person may be accused of committing sex crimes. One of the most common offenses that falls under this category is sexual assault. This charge may apply if a person is accused of engaging in sexual intercourse with another person without that person’s consent. However, consent is not always easy to understand, and situations may arise in which a person accused of sexual assault may have believed that consent had been given, but the alleged victim may disagree. By understanding how the laws in Texas address consent, people accused of sexual assault or other sexual offenses can determine their legal options.

When Is Sexual Activity Considered to Be Non-Consensual?

The Texas Penal Code outlines a number of different instances in which sexual activity may be considered to be without consent and constitute sexual assault. Most people would recognize that when physical force is used, this involves a clear lack of consent and constitutes sexual assault. However, other methods of compelling a person to engage in sexual intercourse may also be used, such as threats to injure the victim or someone else or other forms of coercion.

Other situations involving a lack of consent may include cases where a person is physically unable to resist or is unaware that sexual activity is occurring. These cases often involve intoxication due to the use of alcohol or drugs. In some cases, a person may be accused of intentionally causing the alleged victim to become intoxicated, such as through the use of “date rape” drugs. If the alleged victim did not explicitly consent to engage in sexual activity, any sexual acts performed while they were unconscious or intoxicated may be considered sexual assault.

A lack of consent may also be presumed in situations where an alleged offender was in a position of power or authority over the alleged victim. A doctor, nurse, counselor, or other provider of health care or mental health services may be accused of exploiting a patient or former patient’s emotional dependency on them in order to engage in sexual activity. Coaches, tutors, members of the clergy, or caregivers may also face accusations that they have used their power or influence to coerce a person into engaging in sexual acts.

Sexual assault is generally charged as a second-degree felony. Since minors cannot legally give consent to sexual intercourse, sexual assault charges may apply if an adult is accused of engaging in sexual acts with a person under the age of 17. In addition to child molestation, a person may be charged with indecency with a child if they engage in any form of sexual contact with a minor. The offense of improper relationship between educator and student may be charged in cases where teachers or other school employees engage in sexual intercourse or sexual contact with students. These offenses are also usually charged as second-degree felonies.

Contact Our Cooke County Sexual Assault Defense Lawyer

Being accused of sexual assault or other sex crimes can turn your life upside down. You may not only face criminal charges, but your personal and professional reputation may be damaged. To address these accusations correctly, you will need help from a qualified and experienced lawyer. Magaña & Van Dyke can help you determine your best defense strategy, and we will advise you on the steps you can take to address this situation and resolve your case successfully. Contact our Denton County sexual assault attorney today at 940-382-1976 to arrange a free consultation.


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