How to Determine Consent


Matters of consent are at the forefront of rape discussions. Consent governs whether someone is guilty or innocent alleged rape. However, for something that holds so much weight in a person’s integrity and rights, it can be difficult to determine. Consent is the acknowledgement that both parties are willing to participate in a sexual encounter. It is what judges look for when presiding over a rape trial.

How to Know When Consent is Given

Consent can be a difficult matter to prove when one is accused of rape. These accusations boil down to one person’s word against the others. However, there are certain things you can look for while engaging in sexual activity, to determine consent.

Two main factors of consent are:

  1. Is the person willing to participate in sexual conduct?
  2. Is the person able to give consent?

It can be difficult to determine whether the person gives consent just by observation. While you may believe your partner is interested in going further, unless they specifically say so, you cannot assume consent. The only way to know is to ask. However, many would not want to specifically ask this question when trying to create a romantic atmosphere.

Other questions to determine consent include:

  • Is this okay?
  • Do you want to go further?
  • Are you enjoying this?
  • Do you want me to stop?

If a person is under the influence of drugs or intoxicated, he or she is incapable of giving consent. If sexual intercourse occurs while you are aware of your partner’s intoxication, it will work against you if you are accused of rape. In a court case, it is the defendant’s responsibility to show evidence against the accusation.

At Koffel Brininger Nesbitt, we believe that everyone is innocent until proven guilty. In matters of sex, it is important to be aware of what consent is and how to determine it. Everyone has a right to due process. If you have been accused of rape or sexual assault, contact our Ohio sex crime attorneys today. We will review your story and help you build a case.