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misdemeanor athens ga

Consent and Sex Crimes

            Stephens & Brown, Athens Georgia’s premier DUI and criminal defense law firm, welcomes University of Georgia, University of North Georgia, Athens Technical College, and Piedmont College students back to Athens. Continuing in our series of blogs intended to help new and returning students in Athens understand and navigate the legal system, today’s blog will focus on consent and laws concerning sexual conduct, and sex crimes. If you have questions about academic concerns/ student conduct hearings, DUI laws or other local and state laws regarding alcohol consumption, you can access Student Legal Services Series 1: DUI here; Series 2: Alcohol Laws and Local Ordinances, here; and Series 3: Academic Concerns, here.

Remember, if you are charged with a crime or asked to meet with school administrators about alleged crimes, it is essential that you hire an attorney who can provide you with a powerful defense and protect your future. Kim Stephens defends students every day against false or inflated accusations, winning in court, and preventing incidents from impacting students’ education and lives beyond college. He is a nationally ranked defense attorney and has successfully litigated hundreds of cases.

Consent:

While in college and beyond, it is important to understand the meaning of consent as it relates to sexual activity in order to avoid hurting someone, committing sexual assault, and facing charges that could permanently impact your reputation, freedom, and well-being. The University of Georgia defines consent (via their EOO website) as “Words or actions that show a knowing and voluntary willingness to engage in mutually agreed-upon sexual activity.  Consent cannot be gained by force, intimidation or coercion, by ignoring or acting in spite of objections of another, or by taking advantage of the incapacitation of another, where the respondent knows or reasonably should have known of such incapacitation…Past consent does not imply present or future consent.  Silence or an absence of resistance does not imply consent. Minors under the age of 16 cannot legally consent under Georgia law.”

In other words, before engaging in sexual activity you need to be certain that:

  1. The other person has clearly indicated that they want to have sex or engage in sexual acts with you. Remember you should NEVER attempt to coerce or convince an individual to do something they are unsure about or don’t want to do.
  2. You have consent for each encounter. Just because a person has consented to sex previously does NOT mean that you have the right to engage in sexual activity without their ongoing and clear consent.
  3. The other person is not intoxicated or under the influence of drugs. An intoxicated person, or a person who is incapacitated because of medication, CANNOT legally consent to sex or sexual activity.
  4. That the person is over the age of sixteen. Remember that nobody under the age of 16 can consent to sexual activity. Even if you are only one or two years older than the individual and have a relationship with them, any sexual activity (including kissing) could still be considered a crime.

 

 

Sex Crimes:

You should be aware of the following laws and regulations regarding sexual activity in Georgia:

  1. If you touch someone in a sexual manner without their consent—for example, slapping buttocks or touching intimate areas of their body—you can be charged with sex crime such as  sexual battery or even aggravated sexual battery. See O.C.G.A. 16-6-22.1 and 16-6-22.2.
  2. If you have sex with an individual under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you can be charged with rape, aggravated sexual battery, sexual battery, and other serious criminal charges, even if you were also intoxicated. See O.C.G.A. 16-6-1, 16-6-22.1 and 16-6-22.2.
  3. If you have any kind of sexual contact with someone under the age of consent (16), you may be charged with child molestation, aggravated child molestation, statuary rape, sexual battery, aggravated sexual battery, and/or enticing a child for indecent purposes. See O.C.G.A. 16-6-3, 16-6-4, 16-6-22.1, 16-6-22.2 and 16-6-5.
  4. Students, particularly male students, are being expelled by UGA and other colleges and universities based upon accusations of sexual misconduct, where both students involved were under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time, WITHOUT A HEARING to determine the truth of the accusation.

Remember if you are accused of any crime involving sexual misconduct, it is vitally important that you hire an attorney to help you defend the accusations and protect your future.

IF YOU HAVE BEEN CHARGED WITH A CRIME OR ARE FACING A STUDENT JUDICIARY HEARING, CALL KIM STEPHENS TODAY FOR PROFESSIONAL ADVICE AND A POWERFUL DEFENSE. 706.548.3933

 

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