Consent in Connecticut Sexual Assualt Cases
In Connecticut, the legal definition of consent is if someone approves of a certain sexual contact. It does not mean that someone needs to verbally say yes to consent, but they need to be of a mental capacity to approve of sexual contact. The age of consent in Connecticut is 16. It is important to be clear on consent in Connecticut sexual assault cases and the role that consent plays. A knowledgeable sexual assault lawyer could answer any questions you may have, and fight for a positive outcome for you.
Role of Verbal Consent When Defending Statutory Charges
When defending statutory charges, the role of verbal consent does not necessarily help because someone could be guilty of statutory rape based solely on their age. Sometimes it is a mitigating circumstance that an alleged victim in a case verbally consented and was a consensual participant in a sexual contact, but it does not mean that a person would be innocent of a statutory rape charge. It would just be mitigating and the rape would not be as offensive to the State of Connecticut as it would have been if a person had not consented.
Legal Consent as a Defense Strategy
Legal consent could be used by a criminal defense attorney as a defense strategy. There are times this defense is not as strong as a statutory rape case, because the person could still be guilty of statutory rape even if there was consent. Otherwise, consent in Connecticut sexual assault cases can be one of the strongest defenses a person could use.
When is Someone Incapable of Consenting?
If a person is any way incapacitated, whether physically or mentally, they are viewed as incapable of giving consent, in Connecticut sexual assault cases.There could be a few different ways a person could be incapacitated. An individual could be physically incapacitated. If someone is unable to move or consent in the sense that they could not participate in a sexual contact or stop the sexual contact from occurring, then they are physically incapable of consenting. A person could also be under the age of 16 which renders them unable to consent.
Someone could just not have the mental capacity to give consent or, they could be drunk or high. If a person is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, it disables them from giving consent. They are not legally able to give consent because they could be mentally incapacitated.
How Mental Illness Impacts Consent
An individual’s ability to legally consent could be impaired by a mental illness or disability in the same way that drugs or alcohol could impair someone’s ability to consent. If someone is not of sound mind, they are not able to consent in Connecticut and it could be considered sexual assault.
Evidence Used to Establish the Level of Intoxication
The evidence that is used to establish the level of intoxication at the moment of the incident is typically witness testimony, which could be testimony from the alleged victim in the case or testimony from people who know the alleged victim or were with them at the time that the incident occurred and could testify as to how intoxicated they were. There could also be medical reports, such as a toxicology screening, if the alleged victim went to the hospital or to a doctor’s office for treatment following the incident. Establishing people’s levels of intoxication could help determine whether consent in those Connecticut sexual assault cases was possible.
Speaking with a Connecticut Sexual Assault Attorney
If you want to know more about consent in Connecticut sexual assault cases and how you can leverage consent as a defense, speak with one of our top, CT sexual assault attorneys who can answer your questions. Let a proactive sexual assault lawyer advocate for you.