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Alcohol & Other Drugs Effects On Sexual Assault Cases

Posted by Ronald D. Hedding | Jun 17, 2020

When Both Parties Are Conscious And Of Age, Does Alcohol Affect Consent In A Sex Crime Case? In Los Angeles County, alcohol does affect consent in sex crime cases. Suppose one party is too intoxicated to consent, and the other party involved takes advantage of that and has sex or sexually assaults them in some manner. In that case, technically, that's a crime.

It gets complicated when both parties are highly intoxicated and can't remember what happened. And maybe, the people are consensual, leading up to the point where one blacks out or loses consciousness.

In that situation, the other party might think that it's okay because they were with the person the whole night and everything was going well. That's really where the issues start to get very complicated.

I see situations in which my clients hook up with people on dating apps, get intoxicated, and have sex. And then, a day or two later, the other party's claiming sexual assault and going to the police.

Believe it or not, this usually happens if my client is purportedly rude to the other person. If they do not return their calls, the other person starts to evaluate the whole situation instead of chalking it up to the fact that the person was looking for a one-night stand and didn't call back. And so, the other party now thinks that some sexual assault occurred.

If you're in a position where you're being investigated, and you think the other party is angry at you or is accusing you of doing something wrong, you should get an attorney right away. People often like to get the other person to admit that they did something wrong.

For instance, if the text you and say, “I can't believe what you did.  How can you do that?” If you're foolish enough to respond with, “I'm so sorry, I didn't mean to,” or something similar, that's an admission of guilt.

The same thing can happen if the police have the person call you; they can tape-record the conversation. They can challenge you and say that an innocent person would not say, “I'm so sorry.” The average person would say, “What are you talking about?

You were there too. You were kissing me. I don't get it? What do you mean?” If you're being investigated and there is an issue about consent and intoxication, pick up the phone and make the call now. I've been doing this for 26 years. I have experience with prosecutors and judges, and I've had my criminal defense practice since 1994.

Does This Mean That Every Person Who Has Consumed Any Amount Of Alcohol Or Drugs Cannot Legally Consent To Sex?

Just because you have consumed alcohol or any drug, it does not mean that you cannot legally consent to sex. People can still agree while drinking alcohol. However, if people are hooking up and having sex while drunk or one party is drunk, many problems can occur.

Alcohol & Other Drugs Effects On California Sexual Assault Cases

For example, if you go on a dating app, meet a person for the first night and end up having sex with them, but are rude to them by not calling them back, the other person could wonder what just happened to them.

Then, fast-forward ahead to a jury, the jury could look at you like, “Wait a minute. Why would somebody have sex the first night? Maybe you did force your way on them.”  That's a problem that you could face, and it is dangerous, especially when you're just meeting somebody and alcohol or another drug is involved.

You run the risk that you're going to get accused of something. I've had my clients call me up and say, “Hey, can I get these people to sign a consent form before I have sex with them?” I shake my head because that's what it's come to.

If you're going to go on dates from these dating apps, and you're going to engage in sex on the first date and consume alcohol, you run the risk that somebody is going to claim that you did something wrong. Don't consume alcohol if you're worried about that.

In today's day and age, you need to be careful. If you are in a precarious situation where the other party is accusing you of doing something, or if they were asking, “Did I have sex with you last night?” That means that they don't even know because they were so intoxicated.

But, if that's the case, that's a red flag. That person may accuse you of some sex crime, and it's time to hire a lawyer. I act as a buffer between you and the police if you hire me. I'm not going to act as a buffer between you and the person because I will tell you not to contact that person anymore.

If they're accusing you of something, you cannot have any contact with them because the more connection you have, the more likely you're going to say or do something that further implicates or incriminates you in a criminal offense.

So, if you're being investigated, if you're concerned that you may be accused of sexual assault, pick up the phone and hire me. I will do everything I can to try to avoid a criminal filing.

What Is Information Helpful To Provide My Criminal Defense Attorney In An Alcohol-Related Sexual Assault Case?

The information that is helpful to your criminal defense attorney in an alcohol-related sexual assault case is THE TRUTH. If you don't tell your attorney the truth, then you're just hurting yourself and putting yourself at a disadvantage.

I have many people who are being investigated for sexual assault or a sex crime, and they're trying to get me to solve the problem over the phone. They give me the facts that they want me to hear. Of course, usually, what they're telling me is that they didn't do anything wrong; they say, “I don't know what happened."

We got together. We kissed, and they agreed to have sex. Now, all of a sudden, they're accusing me. What do you think?” On my end, I'm like, wait a minute; there's nothing wrong with the story that you just described.

But, I feel that when the other person went to the police, they didn't tell the story the same way that you did. So, I think the first thing you need to do is tell the truth about what happened. And, if you are accused of certain items, either in person, over the phone, or via text, you better tell me what you are accused of.

People don't want me to hear what they're being accused of, but I need that information. I don't just need what you're claiming happened because if you think you didn't do anything wrong, then I'm not going to get the whole story.

When you call, tell the truth about what happened, and number two, don't expect that your case can just be resolved. This is not an information booth where you can plug in some facts and get all the answers.

Please give me the information you have, retain me, and figure out what prosecutor to talk to, what to do, and what moves are next. We may not have all of the pieces of the puzzle at that very moment.

I need to see the videotape of the alleged victim stating the police. I need to see the SART exam, the sexual assault exam that was done. I need to see what those findings were. I need to see the results of any injuries on the alleged victim consistent with her being sexually assaulted, like bruising or tears.

Contact a Defense Lawyer for Help

You can't solve the problem over the phone. I can certainly give you advice on what to do, and I can give you an idea of what you're probably facing having done this for 26 years.

Also, a lot of people just want to play the wait-and-see game. They bury their head in the sand and take care of them themselves, which usually ends up being a disaster.

They end up getting arrested at their home in front of their neighbors or at work. Suppose you're truly being investigated for sexual assault, and someone's claiming that you did something wrong. In that case, you need to get a criminal defense attorney on the case immediately to see if we can mitigate the charges.

Then, follow the advice of that attorney. That way, you're putting yourself in the best position to succeed. Contact our Los Angeles sex crime attorney for a free case evaluation at (213) 542-0979.

About the Author

Ronald D. Hedding

What Makes Ronald Hedding Uniquely Qualified To Represent You? I've been practicing criminal defense for almost 30 years and have handled thousands of cases, including all types of state and federal sex crime cases. All consultations are discreet and confidential.

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