If you or your college-aged teen was recently charged with rape in Minnesota, it is essential that you act quickly and contact an attorney who can help you build a viable defense. A rape conviction can have serious and long-term consequences, including jail time, dismissal from college and lifelong registration as a sex offender. FindLaw details a few sexual assault defenses that might apply in your case.

One of the most common defenses the courts hear in sexual assault cases is the defense of innocence. You may argue that you could not have committed the crime before you were elsewhere when the rape took place. For this defense to work, you must have an alibi. You may also claim the plaintiff misidentified you, which you can prove with DNA evidence.

Consent is another defense to rape. A key element in rape cases is showing that the sexual behavior occurred against the victim’s will. If you can show the victim consented to the act for which he or she accused you, rape does not exist. However, know that, unless you have a tape recording or written consent, proving consent is difficult, as it is your word against the plaintiff’s. In rape cases, the courts are more likely to sympathize with the victim.

You may also plead insanity or mental incapacity. If you can obtain medical records that show you have a mental disorder that was present at the time of the crime, the courts may have no choice but to relieve you of criminal liability for your actions. The same is true if you can prove another person forced you to consume drugs or alcohol that rendered you intoxicated to the point you could not have understood the nature of your crime.

This article is for educational purposes only. You should not use it as legal advice.