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If a victim doesn’t say no, can it still be called rape?

On Behalf of | Apr 17, 2015 | Sex Crimes |

For the most part, rape is a pretty cut-and-try criminal offense. If any form of sexual intercourse is attempted or performed by one part on another party without one party’s consent, regardless of the genders of the aggressor and the victim, then it is considered rape. In most states, it does not matter if the parties are married or if force is exercised; nonconsensual sexual intercourse is considered rape.

However, some people interpret areas of gray in cases of rape or alleged rape. For example, some people feel that as long as the sex beings consensually, even if one person decides in the middle of the act that they are no longer comfortable, it is not rape because the sex was consensual at first. This is not the case. If at any point the sex is nonconsensual, then rape accusations can be reasonably made.

It may also surprise you to learn that it is still considered rape even if the victim does not refuse if they are unable to refuse. This is usually notable in cases of date rape, wherein the victim is drugged and is thus unable to refuse the sex. In Florida, consent must be knowing and intelligent consent, meaning that coercing someone to consent against their will is still deemed nonconsensual.

These matters of consent are very important in cases of rape because oftentimes there are no witnesses. Many rape cases are simply a matter of one person’s word against another, and the subtleties of consent can be the difference between conviction and acquittal. If you are accused of rape or any sex crime, it is in your best interests to contact a defense attorney who is familiar with Florida law. The legal consequences of a rape conviction are severe.


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