A simple rule of thumb to avoid many sex charges on a college campus is simply to always get consent. Never assume you have it. Never pressure someone into something they don’t want to do. Just ask them beforehand, get consent, and then proceed based on what they told you.
This may sound simple, but any college student knows that it can get very complicated, especially when drinking is involved. This can result in legal charges that you may believe have no basis in what really happened or what you intended.
Can someone give consent while intoxicated?
For instance, it has been argued that an intoxicated person cannot give consent. This can be true with alcohol and may even be more clear if other drugs have been used. Someone who does not know what is happening and who is no longer in control of their actions can’t consent to anything.
But what if you were also drinking, and you didn’t realize that they were too intoxicated to offer their consent? You believed that you were both on the same page and that it wouldn’t be a problem, only to find out the next day that they were accusing you of sexual assault. You never wanted to hurt anyone.
Or, what if there are gaps in your memory, and in theirs? Maybe you believe you asked for and got consent. They say that they never gave it to you in the first place. Did you perceive what happened incorrectly, or have they just forgotten what happened? It can be hard to determine what really took place, especially if there was no one else there.
Protecting your future
In a complex situation like this, the charges against you can drastically impact your future. Make sure you know what options you have for a defense.