Defending against claims of sexual assault or misconduct can be extremely difficult. There are always at least two sides to an accusation and many times, a case boils down to one person's word against someone else's. This is why it can be crucial to have the support of a criminal defense attorney if you are facing charges related to a sex crime.
One common defense that people have when they are in this situation is that they did not believe they were violating any laws because the other party consented. Consent can play a crucial role in a criminal case and proving that consent was legally established can be the difference between being acquitted and being convicted.
According to Florida laws, consent is established when a person knowingly and voluntarily agrees to sexual or physical contact. This permission must not be the result or coercion or force. Further, the absence physical resistance or verbal denials are not considered to be the same as giving consent.
There are also certain people who are not legally capable of giving consent. This could include people who are suffering from mental defect or people who are unconscious, unable to communicate, incapacitated or under the age of consent.
However, if it can be shown that an accuser was legally fit to consent and did so, criminal charges against an alleged offender may be dismissed. In order for that to happen, a person's defense should be solid and aggressive, which may involve examining the defendant's sexual history and calling into question his or her character. This can be very difficult to do without an attorney who understands how to approach a defense in an appropriate and legally effective manner.
People who are facing allegations of sexual assault or abuse in Florida should know that they have the right to discuss their case with an attorney and defend themselves against charges.