Consent is the permission given for something to happen. People can give consent for a variety of reasons, such as to borrow a vehicle or to use their home while they’re on vacation. In the realm of sexual assault and rape, consent is a popular word. It is often the defining factor that determines whether the plaintiff in the case was assaulted or raped or if the sexual encounters were pursued with proper consent, that is with both people giving permission for them to happen and therefore no need for legal charges.
In Texas, sexual crimes are often charged as a felony. So in order to prevent yourself from becoming a felon, it’s in your best interest to understand the details of consent and how it may play into your case.
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Age Of Consent
The main defining factor for consent is age. In Texas, the age of consent is 17 years old. Therefore, it is legal for people 17 and older to have sexual relations together. In general, officials are willing to be lenient on this rule if one person is a minor so long as the other person in the relationship is within three years of age. The leniency goes away if one of the people is a registered sex offender.
If one has relations with a minor younger than 17 to whom he or she is not married, there may be a second degree felony charge on the line under indecency with a child. Moreover, anyone who has relations with a person under 14 years old can be charged with aggravated sexual assault; this is a first degree felony.
Another serious charge that can be given when a person has sexual relations with a minor is statutory rape. While the minor may say yes to the sexual relations with an older person, it may still be considered statutory rape because a minor is not legally allowed to give such type of consent without parent permission. Statutory rape is different than rape. Rape is when someone forces another to have sexual relations against their will; whereas, statutory rape is when both parties may give consent but the law still states the persons should not be having relations together.
Consent Between Two Adults
In the matter of rape, it is essential for both people to provide consent prior to having sexual relations. If one person does not give consent and the other forces the relations, it is considered rape. In Texas, rape is charged as sexual assault, which is typically a felony though there are variations that are charged at a lesser level.
To defend rape charges, one must be able to prove consent. In the case of sexual assault, both people must give conscious consent and cannot be inebriated in any way, such as under the influence of alcohol. Moreover, both people have the right to change their mind about consent at any time. The laws state that rape is sexual penetration that is forcefully given without the other person’s consent. Other types of sexual activity pursued without consent may still be charged as sexual abuse.
If you or someone you know has been charged with sexual abuse or assault in Lubbock, you need to reach out to a lawyer immediately to start reviewing your case.
Cynthia Mendoza is a professional lawyer who specializes in sexual assault cases in Lubbock. She is committed to protecting your rights.
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