Sexual assault and rape occur when someone doesn’t consent to a sexual act. Additionally, consent is not established when people are compelled to do things against their wills.
However, did you know that some people are “incapable of consent;” including people younger than 17 years old (excluding so-called “Romeo and Juliette” cases,) those with intellectual disabilities, and those who are “physically helpless” due to being unconscious or unable to indicate their willingness to act.
In other cases, it may be less obvious whether all parties consent to a sexual act.
Every state has different laws when it comes to sex crimes. For example, the age of consent in Colorado is 17, while in Oregon, it is 18. In the same way, there are different definitions of terms such as “consent” from state to state.
In Colorado, consent can not be given if someone’s intoxication “is known or reasonably should be known by the defendant to be unable to make a reasonable judgment as to the nature or harmfulness of the conduct charged to constitute the offense”, according to CO Rev Stat § 18-1-505 (2016).
What this means is that if someone is unable to make a reasonable judgment due to their mental state, they cannot consent to a sexual act, even if they say yes. So, what about cases where both parties could not make reasonable judgments due to drunkenness?
Every case is different, but generally speaking, the person who initiated the sexual encounter may have committed sexual assault or rape. You are responsible for your actions when you are drunk and you cannot take advantage of another person who is too drunk to “make a reasonable judgment as to the nature or harmfulness” of having sex.
However, regardless of the circumstances of your case, talking to an attorney can help you.
If you are accused of a sex crime, you need a knowledgable criminal defense lawyer on your side. Call the Law Office of Kevin Cahill at (720) 548-2990 now for a free consultation concerning your case.