When it comes to sex (in any way, shape or form), consent is key – not only when it comes to personal morality and individual codes of conduct, but also according to Florida’s laws.
On October 1, 2015 new Florida laws came into effect, specifically prohibiting people from posting “revenge porn” in order to get back at ex-lovers. This law criminalizes the posting of sexually explicit videos or photo images of any other person, without that person’s explicit consent. That said, many defendants who are accused of this crime can attempt to flout the laws by claiming that their victim did indeed consent to the act. For many people, consent is a confusing legal construct that they could not actually define if needed – so we will attempt to answer the question – “what does consent mean in Florida?”
Valid Consent Requirements in Florida
Florida’s consent laws are clear – under the 2015 statutes, consent must be “intelligent, knowing, and voluntary.” What exactly does this mean?
- Intelligent – All parties must be in full possession of their mental faculties, and if they are intoxicated (drunk or high), or of a lower than standard IQ they are not capable of giving their intelligent capacity.
- Knowing – All individuals must know exactly what they are consenting to, and consent to one sexual act is not automatically consenting to any other acts.
- Voluntary – All sexual contact must be of the victim’s free choice, and no outside influences should affect their decisions.
Remember – these new Florida laws state that victims of sexual crime do not have needed to fight back or attempt to ‘fight back’ or resist their perpetrator.
Consent immediately becomes invalid in any cases when the individual is:
- under duress, being threatened or is the victim of fraud;
- gave consent to a different (even if similar) act from the actual act performed (this includes someone consenting to a passionate kiss – this does not mean they automatically then consent to genital contact), or;
- intoxicated, drugged, or in some other way not in their right mind.
What should you do if you have been accused of a sex crime in Florida?
If you feel like you have been wrongfully accused of a sex crime and you know that you did indeed ensure that you obtained intelligent, knowing and voluntary consent, you need to obtain competent legal representation as soon as possible.
Florida has countless lawyers; most of these are known to advertise online in order to attract clients who have been accused of sex crimes. Choosing an Orlando sex crimes lawyer can be a difficult task, but as long as you obtain positive reviews from others who have used their services, you can be assured that you are hiring winning representation.