Is Sexual Assault Possible in a Marriage?
Spouses share legal marital privileges, but these perks aren’t limitless. Therefore, it’s important to establish where the law draws the line regarding marital privilege and criminal activity. That’s why Hager & Schwartz is here to determine if sexual assault is possible in a marriage.
Consent & Marriage
In the past, marriage vows were legally regarded as “forms of consent” to have sex with a spouse. In fact, all 50 states didn’t have laws against marital rape until 1993. Since then, many states (including Florida) make no distinctions between rape and sexual abuse among strangers and rape and sexual abuse among spouses.
As a result of marital rape laws, husbands and wives can be charged with sexual assault or sexual battery by their spouses.
The Problem of Consent in Marriage
While sexual assault is possible in marriage, proving an accusation of sexual assault is more difficult in a marital relationship when compared to other circumstances. This difficulty stems from the fact that after years of being together, some spouses may rarely ask for consent before “making a move” on their partner. Unfortunately, actions like these based on false assuredness could lead to accusations of sexual assault.
Consent in a marital relationship is further muddied by the fact that Florida law considers consent to “not include coerced submission.” As a result, a husband or wife who pleads with their partner for sex could be charged for sexual assault due to a prosecutor’s heavy-handed take on the meaning of “coerced submission.”
Have You Been Accused of Sexual Assault?
If you’ve been accused of sexual assault by a spouse, Hager & Schwartz is here to help. Our sexual assault lawyers understand that consent is a tricky subject, especially when it’s applied to a marital relationship. Fight for your rights and get the defense you need now!
Call (954) 840-8713 for a free consultation for your case.