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It should be easy enough, shouldn’t it? Yes or no?

As always, life and the law are more complicated than that, and the issue of consent is not so simple.

What is consent?

A person consents if she or he agrees by choice and has the freedom and capacity to make that choice.

Can a drunk person consent?

Yes, drunken consent is still consent, but this is where problems can arise. If a person loses their capacity to choose, through drink, then he or she is not consenting.

Consent is frequently the issue in many rape cases where it is one word against the other.

Courts have said to focus on these issues:

1.    Did sexual intercourse take place?

2.    Did the complainant consent to sexual intercourse?

3.    Did the complainant have the freedom and capacity to consent?

4.    Did the defendant reasonably believe that the complainant was consenting? (this does not apply in all cases).

Who decides?

At trial, it will be for the jury to determine issues of capacity and consent having heard all of the evidence.

How do you prove consent?

In the absence of a written contract, and even then, there could be doubts, it is for the jury to decide having heard the evidence.

In some cases, it is not enough for a defendant to simply say that he or she believed the other person was consenting, there must be evidence that he or she had a reasonable belief that there was consent. This would include considering any steps taken by the defendant to ascertain the complainant was consenting.

The situation could also arise where consent is given on condition, for example, that a condom is used. If one is not used, then the “consent” may be vitiated.

There have also been cases where a female has pretended to be a male and had intercourse on that basis. The defendant was guilty because the complainant said that she would not have consented if she had known that the defendant was female.

How can we help?

This article is a brief analysis of potential issues, as you can see this is an area that would require careful assessment and expert advice.

The problem with many alleged sexual offences is that they require a jury to examine intimate factual scenarios, often clouded by drink or drugs, where there is seldom any independent evidence to assist one way or the other.

It is our job to present the strongest case possible and we have an outstanding reputation in this area.

Feedback about the service at Freemans 

Here is a small selection of the positive feedback that our specialist crime department has received

‘’Please accept my sincere appreciation for all your excellent services and highly professional support that tremendously helped to show my innocence. I am immensely grateful to everybody that contributed to this positive outcome ‘’

‘’I would like to express how deeply grateful we are to the Freemans solicitors team, everyone from beginning to end was extremely helpful and thorough throughout my case.

"They did not leave a stone un-turned. They stayed in close contact and kept me completely up to date with what's was going on without delay. I received complete support from beginning to end ‘’

‘’I would greatly recommend Freemans solicitors to you and have done to various other people who have also received there outstanding help from a great team.’’

‘’During a most difficult period of my life ever, Freemans looked after me like no-one else could ever do. If there is a firm that deserves the highest 5 stars then it is Freemans. In fact 5* is too little for service I received from Freemans Solicitors ‘’

‘’Freemans Solicitors helped my dad during a crisis wonderfully, who was suffering from mental health issues. Anyone needing a truly out of this world firm needs to call Freemans’’.

‘’I have yet to hear of trials that resulted in guilty verdicts. Brilliant team. On the ball. Would never recommend clients in the south east to go anywhere else. It's Freeman's’’

‘’Your first port of call. I cannot think of another firm that is so highly regarded by all those that have instructed them, feedback is literally 100% positive. Freemans should be your first port of call ‘’

‘’Freemans are staffed by very professional people, considerate, helpful, keep their promises, truly go the extra mile to deliver the very best service possible. Their only consideration seems to be delivering the best service to the client. Absolutely awesome. A pleasure to have known this firm. Whilst I don't know every law firm in the country, the service I received from this firm was absolutely perfect and without a flaw, I don't believe there is a firm out there that can beat this one. During a most difficult period of my life ever, Freemans looked after me like no-one else could ever do.’’

"This firm is absolutely excellent and they have recruited some of the best people to work for them. They are all amazing, helpful, kind, considerate, committed and extremely knowledgeable about their work."

How to contact Freemans

Please contact our specialist Crime Team on 020 7935 3522 or  or in an emergency please call our 24/7 number 07973 259382 for further information or to discuss your case.

Whatever your personal circumstances the above is only a guide and we would advise you to contact us to obtain definitive advice as you will appreciate that each person’s circumstances are unique to them.