How Does California’s Active Consent Law Work

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Affirmative consent is a law that was enacted in 2014 through Senate Bill 967. It is a law that covers all publicly funded universities and colleges here in California.

It requires students on college campuses to receive “active consent” before all sexual activity. “Active” consent, or “yes means yes,” is a clear, enthusiastic “yes” signaled in a verbal or non-verbal way.

Why does the law only pertain to college campuses?

This is not a statewide law or standard. It has been aimed squarely at college campuses which are suffering from something of a date rape crisis. The text of the law specifically calls it out as a student safety law.

Nevertheless, receiving affirmative consent is a smart practice for everyone. It can help you defend yourself against sexual assault charges later. So can avoiding questionable situations. 

Are you required to obtain consent before every kiss?

No. That is what critics of the law have said, but that’s stretching it to the point of absurdity.

Just communicate. Ask clearly if the other party would like to have sex with you and get a yes. And avoid questionable circumstances. If one or both of you is intoxicated, wait. If one or both of you is sleepy or high, wait. Note that your own inebriation does not act as a solid defense. 

What doesn’t count as consent?

A pre-existing dating, romantic, or  marital relationship does not relieve either party from the obligation to seek affirmative consent. Nor does past sexual activity. 

Going limp, deciding not to resist, and going silent also do not count as consent.

Can you go to jail if you don’t get affirmative consent?

If you do not get affirmative consent you can be charged with sexual assault in addition to facing disciplinary consequences levied by your college or university. 

The evidentiary standard is different. When evaluating sexual assault claims, college campuses must use the “preponderance of evidence” standard, which means more likely to have happened than not. The law must still use a “beyond reasonable doubt” standard.

It is possible college administrators could be pulled in as witnesses, or that disciplinary actions taken by the college could be used against you as evidence. 

Accused of sexual assault?

You cannot afford to go without an attorney who will protect you and defend your rights! 

Our office has extensive experience defending individuals who have been accused of sexual assault claims, whether on college campuses or in other contexts. Reach out to us today for a free case evaluation, and get the help that can preserve your life, freedom, and future.

See also: 

Do You Have to Provide DNA When Under Arrest in Los Angeles?

How to Exercise Your 5th Amendment Rights After a Los Angeles Arrest

What to Do If the Police Are At the Door of Your Los Angeles Home

 

How Does California’s Active Consent Law Work

inne-rpage-seperator

Affirmative consent is a law that was enacted in 2014 through Senate Bill 967. It is a law that covers all publicly funded universities and colleges here in California.

It requires students on college campuses to receive “active consent” before all sexual activity. “Active” consent, or “yes means yes,” is a clear, enthusiastic “yes” signaled in a verbal or non-verbal way.

Why does the law only pertain to college campuses?

This is not a statewide law or standard. It has been aimed squarely at college campuses which are suffering from something of a date rape crisis. The text of the law specifically calls it out as a student safety law.

Nevertheless, receiving affirmative consent is a smart practice for everyone. It can help you defend yourself against sexual assault charges later. So can avoiding questionable situations. 

Are you required to obtain consent before every kiss?

No. That is what critics of the law have said, but that’s stretching it to the point of absurdity.

Just communicate. Ask clearly if the other party would like to have sex with you and get a yes. And avoid questionable circumstances. If one or both of you is intoxicated, wait. If one or both of you is sleepy or high, wait. Note that your own inebriation does not act as a solid defense. 

What doesn’t count as consent?

A pre-existing dating, romantic, or  marital relationship does not relieve either party from the obligation to seek affirmative consent. Nor does past sexual activity. 

Going limp, deciding not to resist, and going silent also do not count as consent.

Can you go to jail if you don’t get affirmative consent?

If you do not get affirmative consent you can be charged with sexual assault in addition to facing disciplinary consequences levied by your college or university. 

The evidentiary standard is different. When evaluating sexual assault claims, college campuses must use the “preponderance of evidence” standard, which means more likely to have happened than not. The law must still use a “beyond reasonable doubt” standard.

It is possible college administrators could be pulled in as witnesses, or that disciplinary actions taken by the college could be used against you as evidence. 

Accused of sexual assault?

You cannot afford to go without an attorney who will protect you and defend your rights! 

Our office has extensive experience defending individuals who have been accused of sexual assault claims, whether on college campuses or in other contexts. Reach out to us today for a free case evaluation, and get the help that can preserve your life, freedom, and future.

See also: 

Do You Have to Provide DNA When Under Arrest in Los Angeles?

How to Exercise Your 5th Amendment Rights After a Los Angeles Arrest

What to Do If the Police Are At the Door of Your Los Angeles Home

 

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