Definition of Consent

Many people boil consent down to a black-and-white, yes-or-no type of situation, but the law is more ambiguous than that. Today, we will examine Colorado's definition of consent and examine some of the practical applications.

Colorado’s Definition of Consent

Colorado law defines consent as, “cooperation in act or attitude pursuant to an exercise of free will and with knowledge of the nature of the act.”

As you can see, this is a lot more than a yes-or-no kind of definition, so let’s break down each part of the definition to understand better what it means and how it applies to real-life scenarios.

Cooperation in Act or Attitude

In Colorado, consent is determinable by physical actions and personal attitudes. If someone responds positively to or engages in a sexual act, he or she consents to that act, even if they never say they consent. In other words, consent can be affirmed (or denied) through nonverbal communication.

Pursuant to an Exercise of Free Will

Consent must come from someone who has the ability to exercise free will. Therefore, people who cannot exercise free will (those who are incapacitated,  those who are physically helpless, and those who are coerced into an action) cannot consent.

With Knowledge of the Nature of the Act

Someone can only give their consent to an act when they understand the nature and expectations of the act. If someone consents to a particular sexual act, the consent only applies to that act. Therefore, consent is act-specific.

As you can see, consent is not as black-and-white as some would have you believe. If you or a loved one has been accused of sexual misconduct, the Law Office of Kevin Cahill is here to help.

Call (720) 548-2990 now for a free consultation for your criminal law case.

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