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Can someone change their mind with consent?

Communication is important when engaging in an intimate relationship with someone, especially because it allows you to get consent for that relationship and all of the activities that it may include. This can be quite important for those who are in committed relationships or those who are simply meeting on that day, such as college students at a social gathering.

Getting consent is certainly a great first step as it ensures that you’re not doing anything the other person doesn’t approve of. But once you get that consent, are you done thinking about it? Or could that person change their mind and remove their consent? 

If they do so, would that put you in a precarious legal position?

Did you respect their wishes?

Certainly, it is possible for someone to remove consent, and it happens all the time. For example, there have been cases where people have claimed they thought their actions were permissible because they had already had a sexual encounter with the other individual in the past. But past consent is not at all the same as current consent and doesn’t mean that the same activities are permitted once again.

If someone does change their mind and remove consent, you should not run into any legal trouble as long as you respect their wishes and stop the encounter at that point. But if you continue on with it, perhaps, because you knew you had their consent in the past, then you could find yourself in a difficult situation. They may claim that you have committed a crime when you believed you were engaging in consensual activities.

If something like this does happen to you, be sure you know what criminal defense options you have to protect your future.