The Defense of Consent in New Jersey

Posted over 5 years ago. Applies to New Jersey, 2 helpful votes



Consent to Bodily Harm

If you believe that the victim gave consent to your actions, the basis for the defense must be presented to your lawyer to evaluate. When was the consent given? How was the consent given? What were the specific words or gestures that communicated the consent? When the issue is consent to bodily harm, these questions are very important, as the Criminal Code limits the use of this defense when bodily harm is an issue. The cases where it is allowed involve 1) the bodily harm consented to was not serious; 2) the bodily harm was a potential hazard of a mutual participation in the activity that caused the harm; and, 3) when the consent establishes a justification for the actions that caused the harm (such as in the assertion of self-defense). If you believe that the circumstances of the incident that resulted in you being charged were one of these types of conduct, discuss this defense with your lawyer before any decisions are made as to how to resolve the case.


Ineffective Consent

Situations where the consent will be ineffective and not be a basis for this defense occur when: 1) the person giving the consent is legally incompetent by reason of their age (such as in statutory rape); 2) the person giving the consent is incapable, by reason of youth, mental disease or defect or intoxication, to make a reasonable decision to give consent; or, 3) if the consent was induced by the use of force, coercion, or deception. If you believe that the consent was given, and any of these factors may be present, advise your lawyer so a proper analysis of the basis for the defense and the possible objection that may bar the defense can be made by your lawyer.

Additional Resources

NJ Criminal Defense

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