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What is a defense of consent?

If you're accused of sexual assault, then the first thing you will probably want to do is to start explaining yourself. You should be careful, though, because anything you say can, and may well, be used against you. There are several good defenses for sexual assault charges that you can consider with your attorney before you ever say anything to the authorities.

Probably the most obvious thing you can do is to claim innocence. This is particularly wise in cases where you are innocent, but it can also be claimed in cases where you feel you didn't participate in a crime, even if you did have sex or participate in sexual activities with another person.

Sometimes, innocence can overlap with the defense for consent. In a case of consent, your argument is that the other person was a consenting party at the time of the act. For instance, if you had a girlfriend who you were having intercourse with willingly, this would be a fairly common situation. If you break up and find you've been accused of assault even though you knew she was consenting, then you can work on a case to support your claim and to point out that her claim is either a lie or retaliation.

Consent can be difficult to prove, so you will need to work closely with your attorney to gather the needed information. You will need to demonstrate willingness on the other person's part, so texts, phone calls and other information can be helpful. You may also find that medical reports following the incident, if there are any, can prove no abuse took place.

Source: FindLaw, "Sexual Assault Defenses," accessed Dec. 08, 2015

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