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Consent in Sexual Assault Charges

Consent in sexual assault charges

When it comes to sexual assault in the State of Michigan, there is a key concept that comes into play – consent. While this term comes up often in issues of statutory rape – engaging in sexual activity with a person under the age of 16 – there are more ways that consent becomes an issue in many sexual assault cases.

In the State of Michigan there are four degrees of sexual assault at which a person can be charged with. In each of the degrees of sexual assault the issue of consent comes into play. When it comes to consent, just because a person did not say “no” does not mean they have given consent.

This became an issue for the University of Michigan back in 2015. They had somewhat unclear regulations of what is considered consent, and it has gotten them into trouble. They have since revised their policy to help give a better understanding to communicate to students what consent and coercion involves.

The University of Michigan surveyed their student body and found that more than 20% of undergraduate females said they experienced nonconsensual sexual behavior in the past year. It continues to show that 12% of female undergraduates said they experienced nonconsensual sexual penetration.

The University of Michigan is hoping that with the changes to their policy that more individuals will feel safer coming forward and pursuing action to be taken against the accused. While the policy does not call the police immediately, officials strongly encourage individuals to collect the evidence and decide later down the line if they would like to pursue action.

The University of Michigan is not the only institution that is experiencing problems with issues related to sexual assault. Many other universities are facing the same problem.

4 Different Ways a Person is Unable to Give Consent

Here are four different ways in which a person is unable to give consent with regards to criminal sexual conduct according to the Michigan Penal Code.

  1. The Person is Underage
    In the State of Michigan, the age of consent is 16. People who engage in sexual activity with children who are underage can be charged with statutory rape which is also called criminal sexual conduct in Michigan. Even if a person under the age of 16 has agreed to a sexual relationship or has pursued the act, the defendant can still face criminal charges.
  2. The Person is Intoxicated
    A person who has consumed too much alcohol is unable to give consent to sexual activity. Researchers have found that alcohol facilitated rape is the most common form of sexual violence against women.
  3. The Person Has a Developmental Disability
    According to the Michigan Penal Code, developmental disability is defined as a person has an impairment of general intellectual functioning or adaptive behavior that originated before they were 18 years of age, continued since it was first originated, constitutes a substantial burden to the impaired person’s ability to perform in society. That could include individuals with cerebral palsy, epilepsy, or autism.
  4. The Person Was Given a Date Rape Drug
    A date rape drug, also known as predator rape, is considered a sexual assault carried out when a person has become incapacitated due to being under the influence of any mind-altering substances.

Seek Help

Having consent in all sexual activity is a clear must to make sure you avoid getting charged with a criminal sexual conduct. If you have found yourself in an investigation or are afraid you will be charged with a sexual assault related due to a consent issue, seek legal advice right way. This is an area that we have extensive experience in defending and have helped many individuals. We are an experienced defense firm and are here to help. Call today.

248-348-7400 or 586-530-1000

This article was published on: May 13, 2016 and was last modified May 13, 2016