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L. Patrick Mulligan & Associates, LLC L. Patrick Mulligan & Associates, LLC
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Determining the Boundaries of Consent


Consent is the difference between a fun-filled evening and an illegal act. Unfortunately, many people do not realize that there are boundaries to consent. Here are a few examples of the limitations of consent.

People Can Withdraw Consent

Many people believe consent is set in stone once it’s given, but that’s not the case. Consent isn’t permanent: people can take away their consent to sexual acts.

Therefore, the most recent statement on consent is the one that matters. If someone consents to an act but no longer consents five minutes later, the other person must legally abide by the partner’s most recent decision to revoke his or her consent.

Consent Doesn’t Apply to Future Acts

Consent to one act does not guarantee consent to future instances of the act. If someone consents to an act on Tuesday, that does not mean that he or she consents to the same act on Wednesday.

You may be surprised to learn that based on this boundary of consent, a spouse is technically capable of sexually assaulting another spouse if he or she does not consent to a sexual act. Therefore, even in committed relationships, consent to an act does not apply to future acts.

Consent to an Act Doesn’t Apply to Other Acts

Consent is act-specific: it only applies to the stated act agreed upon by both parties. Therefore, consent to an act does not extend to variations or similar acts. For example, consent kissing does not mean that the person automatically consents to sex. Furthermore, consent to a specific sexual act does not apply to other sexual acts.

Accused of Sexual Assault?

If you’ve been accused of sexual assault, you’ll need a trusted sex crime attorney defending your case. If you’re looking for criminal defense, Patrick Mulligan & Associates wants you to know that we’re dedicated to defending our clients’ rights.

Call (937) 685-7006 now for a free consultation for your case!