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How does the law define consent?

| Aug 3, 2020 | Criminal Defense

When it comes to sexual crimes, the concept of consent is very important. It often means the difference between guilt and innocence.

The problem with consent is that there are many different ways to define it. According to RAINN, each state has its own definition of consent. In Texas, the general definition is that a person has the capacity to consent.

Capacity to consent

The capacity to consent depends on the person’s age, mental status and conscious ability. Age is dependent on the law, which can vary depending on the situation, but in many cases, it means the person is at least 17, according to RAINN.

Mental status covers a lot of ground. It can mean that the person has no mental disabilities. It may also mean that the person was not under the influence of any substance. In general, it means the person was able to understand what he or she was doing and could agree to do it.

Conscious ability applies to a situation where the person was not able to give consent, such as in the case of an unconscious person.

Other ideas of consent

In other states, consent may require that a person verbally says yes to doing something. Some states require that a person can only give consent if he or she does so of his or her own free will. The situation cannot be one where one person has power of any kind over the other one or where someone is manipulating the person. Some states may require both a verbal yes and freewill.