What does consent mean in a sex-related criminal case?

Sex-related criminal charges in Missouri encompass a variety of different charges. The one thing that all sex-related criminal charges have in common is that they all must have the element of lack of consent to the sexual activities.

Is consent always required for sexual activities?

When it comes to any form of sexual activities, including oral and other forms, the person with whom you are participating must give you consent for the activities. Missouri laws set certain conditions on consent. One of these is that the alleged victim must meet certain age requirements in order to legally consent to sexual activities. If the alleged victim is under a certain age, which varies depending on the charge and the defendant's age, the defendant can be charged with statutory rape.

What defense options can I use for sex-related criminal charges?

There are several different defense options that people have who are facing sex-related charges. One of these options is to prove that you had consent if the person with whom you had sexual contact was old enough to consent. This can be a rather difficult point to prove, but it is possible in some cases. Other defense options include creating reasonable doubt regarding the prosecution's case, introducing an alibi or presenting an insanity defense.

Your defense strategy is the most important factor in your case. You should explore all of the options that are possible for your case so you can determine what you want to do with your defense. It is vital that you get started on your defense as soon as possible.

Source: FindLaw, "Missouri Rape and Sexual Assault Laws," accessed Oct. 13, 2015

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