Can a Person Give Consent to Sex While Intoxicated?

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With stories such as the Steubenville High School rape case spreading through social media and news coverage, the topic of rape has come to the forefront in people’s minds. What was once a taboo topic is now considered a national problem. However, with all the conversation about sexual assault and what constitutes rape, rather than finding strict black and white cases, there are more gray areas.

Some of the ambiguity stems from the question of consent and intoxication. Many individuals often wonder whether a person can give consent to sexual acts while intoxicated. The simple answer to this is no. Ohio laws dictates that sexual conduct cannot occur if:

The other person's ability to resist or consent is substantially impaired because of a mental or physical condition or because of advanced age, and the offender knows or has reasonable cause to believe that the other person's ability to resist or consent is substantially impaired because of a mental or physical condition or because of advanced age.

Under this code, “impaired mental or physical condition” includes the state of intoxication. If a person is drunk or high and are not conscious of their decisions, they cannot give consent to sexual activity. When it comes to allegations of rape, though, it can be difficult to prove the level of intoxication in court. An experienced criminal defense lawyer can help parse through the details to ensure that your rights are upheld if you have been accused of rape.

Rape is a very serious matter. Even an accusation has the power to taint an individual’s reputation and adversely affect their personal and professional life. At The Koffel Law Firm, we believe that you have the right to due process. You are innocent until proven guilty! Our Columbus criminal defense lawyers work hard reviewing your case to ensure that we properly and effectively represent you. Contact us today for a consultation and take the first steps to getting your life back!