Imagine that you go to a social gathering at a friend’s house, and there are many people there that you don’t know. As the night goes on, you and everyone else consume a fair amount of alcohol. It’s a fun party, and it’s the type of relaxation you were looking for at a stressful time in your life.
However, you end up spending the night with someone you don’t even know. Studies of dating culture have found that these encounters are often fueled by alcohol. While you may think this was an ideal way to end the evening, are there any potential legal ramifications you need to be aware of?
Did you have consent?
As these studies point out, the trouble is that no established dating relationship exists in many of these hook-ups. That’s true in the above example, and it means that you and the other person may not be on the same page.
For instance, what if they accuse you of sex crimes and say that you did not have their consent? You may counter that, while you didn’t have an explicit conversation about consent, you felt that it was clear that they were fine with what happened. Then they may claim that you took advantage of them in an intoxicated state, doing things they do not even remember, but there was no way for them to give you consent for your actions. They feel like you assaulted them or perhaps even bought them drinks on purpose because you knew you’d never get consent otherwise.
You can see how fast what you thought was a fun party can spiral out of control. These are very serious accusations, and you need to know exactly what legal defense options you have.