Although teens and university students regard this matter as ‘fun’ and a source of entertainment, the legal consequences of date rape can destroy your academics, career, social interactions, and your whole life. Unlike the widespread misconception amongst youngsters, no one should ever take ‘spiking a friend’s drink’ as a light matter. Such an act may earn you serious charges such as drug-facilitated sexual assault, assault causing bodily harm, possession of prohibited substances in terms of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA), and much more.
If the above sounds terrifying, then note that a conviction for such charges results in even more dreadful penalties. If you are facing any criminal charges related to date rape and sexual assault, you must seek legal assistance and advice from a reputed criminal defence lawyer in Edmonton.
In such a situation, the fact that the victim did not say no to the sexual activity will not suffice as a defence. This is because, according to the law, the date drug in question impairs an individual’s capability to express consent, which is very important even in an intimate relationship. You can not say the encounter wasn’t a big deal because this type of activity has occurred previously. Prior consent is disregarded in such cases.
Social Consequences Of A Date Rape-Related Charge
Even if you did not intend to harm or assault the person and merely wished to spike a person’s drink for fun, you could still face severe charges. Even if a conviction does not result in a jail sentence, you might have to register as a sex offender.
Evidently, the latter will completely alter the way people will interact with you. From employment and travel restrictions to possible dismissal from an academic institution, the social implications of such criminal charges can destroy a person emotionally, financially, and socially.
What Constitutes As Date Rape?
The rules surrounding date rape are similar to general sexual assault offences. In this regard, the primary argument against the accused is the lack of consent from the victim. The reason the consequences of this kind of assault are undermined by most people is that people think consent is unnecessary from their intimate partners or friends. Resultantly, they regard spiking up drinks or coercing a victim into sexual contact as a regular thing.
From the above discussion, date rape can be depicted using two primary instances:
Drug Facilitated Sexual Assault
This depiction is perhaps the most common one in universities and workspaces amongst friends and intimate partners. In this case, an individual’s drink is ‘spiked up’. That is, the accused secretly slips a drug like Rohypnol and GHB into the victim’s drink. These drugs deteriorate a person’s thinking capacity and restrict their ability to express consent.
If used in uncontrolled doses, these drugs can also pose a danger to the victim’s life. As a result, the consequences and penalties for such an offence are equally severe. If you have been accused of such a charge, you can be convicted for:
- Sexual Assault
- Assault causing bodily harm
- Possession of date rape drugs ( prohibited in Schedule I)
The Canadian justice system treats the possession of Schedule I drugs very severely, and Rohypnol and GHB also fall into this schedule. Thus, you can face substantial fines or a minimum jail sentence of ten years. If you are convicted for trafficking and importation of these substances, the spin-offs are even more serious.
Similarly, depending upon whether the Crown proceeds with a summary conviction or indictment, assault causing bodily harm may also earn you a jail sentence of anything between 18 months to ten years.
Forced Sexual Contact (Without Drugs)
In this scenario, the accused forces the victim, who could be a friend or an intimate partner, into indulging in sexual activity. This could include indecent touching, coercion, and even aggravated sexual assaults. Clearly, the consequences of such acts come under the umbrella of sexual assault. Therefore, a conviction for these acts may result in a ten-year jail or even a life sentence (in the case of aggravated sexual assault).
Unfortunately, the judicial system wants proof of consent and not proof of an existing relationship (as emphasized earlier). This makes defending such charges extremely difficult and sensitive.
However, our reputed lawyers boast immense experience in defending sexual and other assault charges.
About Slaferek Law
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