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Is There a Legal Definition of “Too Drunk to Consent?”

Consent Laws

Some of us have only hazy memories of our wildest nights. How often have you woken up in the afternoon feeling an odd mixture of amazing and horrible? You are not sure which drugs you consumed and in which quantities. People show you pictures of you being more awesome than your sober self or, as the case may be, acting like a complete fool. The worst is if you cannot remember whether you engaged in sexual activity while alcohol or drugs were in charge of your decisions. 

From a legal standpoint, it is impossible for a person unconscious or otherwise incapacitated by alcohol or drugs to consent to sexual activity. Of course, the outcome of a criminal case rests in the details. How drunk is too drunk to consent? Did the defendant know how drunk the accuser was, and should they reasonably have known? 

Texas sex crime attorney at the Law Office of Patrick J. McLain, PLLC, can help you if it is your word against another person’s whether a sexual encounter was consensual.

Is It Your Responsibility to Know How Much Your Partner Drank?

The law makes it clear that sexual acts that, in laymen’s terms, would be called “taking advantage of someone” are not consensual. As a result, it is possible to be charged with and convicted of rape, sexual assault, or indecent assault for engaging in these actions. The details of the case matter. 

Suppose you have little memory of the incident because you were under the influence of alcohol or drugs. In that case, it is hard to argue that you reasonably believed that the intimate contact was consensual. An appeals court in Texas recently ruled on a case where a defendant argued that the prosecution could not prove that the defendant, who was accused of engaging in non-penetrative sexual acts with a person at a party whose tolerance for alcohol was significantly reduced because of their recent bariatric surgery and weight loss, knew that the accuser was physically unable to fend off his advances.

It can be challenging to present your version of events based purely on your memory of events and on the accuser’s memory if both of you were intoxicated. In this case, potentially, there is corroborating evidence, such as phone messages showing that you had left the place where the assault allegedly occurred before the time that the accuser claims that you assaulted her. Or, other people testify that they were with you at the time of the alleged assault, and the accuser was not there. 

While working out the details of your defense, it is best not to try to discredit the accuser by describing them in general terms as being dishonest or feeling morally conflicted about sexuality. This is because trying to make someone else look bad, makes you look bad.

Contact the Law Office of Patrick J. McLain, PLLC, About Sex Crime Defense Cases

You should hire a Dallas criminal defense lawyer if you are being falsely accused of sexual assault. Contact the Law Office of Patrick J. McLain, PLLC, in Dallas, Texas, to discuss your case.