Is it Rape if Both Parties Are Drunk? 

A man and a woman drinking alcohol together.

Suppose two people meet on a popular dating app and decide their first meeting should be at a bar. They eat and drink together, so much so that both parties get drunk. One thing leads to another, and they have sex. 

In this case, if both parties were drunk when they agreed to have sex, is it considered rape under Missouri law? Unfortunately, the answer isn’t all too clear. 

This article discusses the potential ramifications of having sex while both parties are intoxicated and one accuses rape against another. If you’ve been charged with sex crimes in Missouri, it’s in your best interest to consult with a criminal defense attorney you can trust. 

Our Missouri sex crimes lawyers are non-judgmental, here to listen to your side of the story, and mount a compelling defense on your behalf. Contact Kirsch & Kirsch today to schedule your free initial consultation. 

Missouri Rape Laws to Know 

According to Missouri rape laws, individuals can face rape charges if they have sex with someone whose ability to consent or resist is significantly impaired due to a mental or physical condition. Additionally, they must be aware of that person’s impairment and its impacts on their decision-making process. 

While Missouri rape statutes cover the consequences of engaging in sexual intercourse with an impaired person, it doesn’t clearly address situations where both parties are intoxicated. It can be challenging to prove or disprove rape with that in mind. 

Generally, the courts must decide the outcome of rape cases involving intoxication on a case-by-case basis. A judge must consider all facts of the case, including the level of intoxication, whether consent was given, criminal history, etc. 

Understanding Title IX

This question comes up a lot on college campuses. For that reason, the federal government requires all college campuses and universities to adhere to Title IX guidelines when handling rape accusations. 

According to Title IX, colleges and universities can conduct their own investigations and make determinations regarding two drunk students and rape allegations. In many cases, colleges swiftly hand down strict punishments (i.e., expulsion). However, they don’t always conduct a thorough investigation. 

Does Voluntary Intoxication Imply Consent?

Generally, the most cut and dry rape cases involve instances where one individual clearly says “no” and the other forces them to engage in sexual intercourse. However, in many cases, when a person is drunk, by virtue, they are unable to make a clear decision. 

With that in mind, just because they decided to drink doesn’t mean that they gave their consent. Generally, the courts must consider the location of the drinking, current case law, and all other circumstances of the case to determine whether a voluntarily intoxicated person was able to give permission. 

Defenses to Rape Charges When Both Parties Are Drunk

Suppose two people have sex while they are both drunk. At the time of their encounter, both parties consented. However, upon considering the event, one party changes their mind. In cases like this, regret does not equate to rape. 

Typically, prosecutors are more likely to prosecute cases where a sober person takes advantage of a drunk person, or there is clear evidence of forcible rape like a SART exam and other evidence of forced sexual intercourse. 

Generally, every case is different. If you’ve been accused of rape in Missouri, your best option is to consult with an attorney for sex crimes in Missouri as soon as possible. Your attorney can: 

  • Investigate the details of your case
  • Identify potential witnesses (including character witnesses)
  • Ensure your rights are protected throughout the process
  • Represent you at court hearings and trial
  • Negotiate with the prosecution 

Attempting to fight rape charges (even if both parties were drunk) alone or with a subpar attorney can lead to prison time, probation, fines, registration as a sex offender, and a lifelong criminal record. 

Contact a Missouri Criminal Defense Lawyer Today

If you’re facing rape allegations in Jefferson City, MO, it’s in your best interest to consult with an experienced attorney as soon as possible. Our Missouri sex crimes lawyers understand that every story has two sides. We’re here to listen and mount a solid defense to rape charges. 

Contact us today at 573-222-0826 for your free initial consultation.