Experienced, powerful advocate
and trial attorney on your side

click for a free consultation

Consent: What It Is and Why It Matters

Most of us when we hear the word rape, think of something that we’ve seen in the media. We imagine girls getting attacked and assaulted in the middle of the night or in an isolated location.

But let’s be clear about what rape is and what it is not. While certainly, the above scenario would qualify as a rape or sexual assault under Arizona Law, it’s not the only way that a rape can occur and in fact, most rapes are not a result of the violence of a stranger.

If you were recently accused of rape, you are going to need the help of a Scottsdale sexual assault lawyer. Contact the Hallam Law Group today to find out how we can help.

How Does Arizona Define Rape?

ARS 13-1406 Defines Sexual Assault (rape) as intentionally or knowingly engaging in sexual intercourse or sexual contact with any person without the consent of such person. The key words here are without consent.

Sounds simple enough. “No” means “No”, we’ve all heard it. But what happens when those words were never said and consent is still disputed?

Arizona, like many states, legally defines what the term without consent means:

  1. The victim is coerced by the immediate use or threatened use of force against a person or property;
  2. The victim is incapable of consent by reason of mental disorder, mental defect, drugs, alcohol, sleep or any other similar impairment of cognition and such condition is known or should have reasonably been known to the defendant;
  3. The victim is intentionally deceived as to the nature of the act; or the victim is intentionally deceived to erroneously believe that the person is the victim’s spouse. Arizona Revised Statute § 13-1401

Of course, this list is not all-inclusive, for instance, a person under 18 cannot give consent. For the purposes of this article, we’re going to specifically focus in on the second definition on the list. Mental disorder, intoxication or sleep.

The majority of reported “rape” cases we see are the result of intoxication. Many people make misguided decisions when they are under the influence. People force themselves on others, thinking that it is a valid act when it isn’t. Many people don’t listen when they are drunk or intoxicated and don’t listen for words of consent. Or they don’t listen when others turn them down.

Let’s be clear, the rule of thumb is that an intoxicated person cannot give consent under the law.

Contact A Lawyer

However, if you’ve already found yourself in a situation, an aggressive and thorough investigation is needed early on to defend yourself against these types of charges.

Make smart choices knowing you may be exposing your self to serious and life-altering sex crimes allegations. And if you get charged, or even questioned, have an attorney with you.

Do not give statements to police without a lawyer present. The consequences are too severe. Invoke your right to counsel and your right to remain silent until you have consulted with a knowledgeable sex crimes attorney.