The crime of drug-facilitated sexual assault occurs when a criminal uses alcohol and drugs to get a victim to consent to sexual acts, or not consent at all. The drugs or alcohol may inhibit a person’s ability to make decisions, which means that they will not be able to resist the assault and may not even remember it after it has occurred. “Diminished capacity” refers to the fact that they will not be able to make good decisions under the impression of drugs or alcohol, and is a term that is used in each state.
This crime occurs in two different ways, either when a perpetrator takes advantage of a victim’s use of drugs, or when the perpetrator intentionally forces a victim to consume drugs without their knowledge. An example of the first kind of drug-facilitated sexual assault may occur when somebody has been drinking at a party and the criminal takes advantage of the fact. In the second instance, the criminal may slip a “date rape drug” inside the victim’s drink.
Of course, there are some things to keep in mind as it applies to these types of crimes: Alcohol is actually the most commonly used substance in drug-facilitated sexual assault crimes. However, these perpetrators also use drugs like sleep aids, anxiety medication, muscle relaxers, and tranquilizers. They may also choose to use street drugs like GHB, rohypnol, ecstacsy, and ketamine. These drugs can easily be added to drinks without changing color, flavor, or beverage odor.
Civil Lawsuits Concerning Drug-Facilitated Sexual Assault
Depending on what the victim chooses to do after a sexual assault, they may either forego criminal prosecution or sue their assailants for monetary damages. However, the plaintiff will have to prove that the defendant violated the law if they want to take up a civil action. In these cases, a civil defendant will be forced to take the witness stand and assert the privilege. Rape shield laws do not play a role in drug-facilitated civil lawsuit cases, which means that the victim or plaintiff, based on evidence, may face greater scrutiny of past sexual conduct.
Have you been accused of drug-facilitated sexual assault? There may be one defense that you can use if you know you have been falsely accused of the crime, and that is consent. If you have been accused of sexual assault or sexual intercourse without consent, you may still be able to use this defense that will show that the other person actually did consent. You will be acquitted if you can prove this, such as in a case where you can show that there was a long-standing relationship and sexual intercourse had happened many times before in the relationship. However, there may be a problem with this defense if the victim is under the legal age of consent or mentally incapable of giving consent. There may be many more issues that you run into, such as whether or not consent began and ended, if it was communicated over, and legitimate misunderstandings.
If you have been accused of drug-facilitated sexual assault, you may have some questions. You may wonder where to turn and whether or not you will receive penalties for the crime at hand. Call us today at The Law Office of Peter Blair to find out where you stand. We can help you every step of the way.