Defending Your Rights. Protecting Your Future.

2 important things to understand about consent

On Behalf of | Dec 1, 2023 | Sex Crimes

Perhaps the most important thing that people should understand about consent is that it needs to be obtained before an intimate encounter with someone else. Many allegations of sexual assault or rape happen when someone does not get consent first. They may then claim that they didn’t know they were doing anything wrong, but they could’ve cleared it up at the beginning by communicating with their partner.

But even for those who understand that they need to get consent first, there are some important points to understand about how it works. Here are two details to keep in mind.

1. It can be withdrawn

First and foremost, the person who gave consent can also withdraw it. They can do this in the middle of the encounter or at any other time. If they do, their wishes have to be respected. Consent only exists for as long as that person wants it to, and prior consent is not a defense for those who do not stop when asked.

2. Previous consent does not count

Additionally, a previous instance of consent doesn’t count for a future encounter. Just because someone was interested in having an intimate encounter in the past does not mean that they have given indefinite consent to those types of encounters in the future. People will sometimes try to claim that they have not committed assault because they’d already been together before. But it can still be a criminal act if consent isn’t obtained again.

This makes the whole situation very complex, and people certainly get arrested when they honestly didn’t know there was a problem. It’s essential for them to understand all of their legal defense options, as these types of allegations can have a major impact on their future.