Date Rape Drugs & Testing for Sexual Assault

Last week, we discussed statistics for sexual assault on college campuses and how these numbers could create a predator bias. This week, we’ll take a look at date rape drugs and evidence used in sexual assault cases.

Many assailants use drugs to carry out date rape. In Arizona, sexual assault is classified as “sexual intercourse or contact without that person’s consent.” If a person is intoxicated or under the heavy influence of a drug or drugs, they cannot legally give their consent.

Drugs, if found in a purported victim’s system, could be used as evidence in a sexual assault case. DNA testing could also be used to corroborate a sexual assault allegation.

Types of Date Rape Drugs

The most common drugs used for date rape are:

  • Rohypnol
  • GHB
  • Ketamine

However, traditional drugs and even alcohol can also be used to carry out sexual assault. Alcohol, especially when mixed with prescription or illicit drugs like Xanax, ecstasy, or marijuana can make a person incoherent to the point that they cannot give their consent.

Date rape allegations can be difficult to prove, even with corroborating DNA evidence. Questions that often come up in these types of cases include:

  • What if the victim was already under the influence of drugs (of their own volition) at the time of the sexual encounter?
  • What if the victim gave their consent? Does it matter if they had drugs in their bloodstream?
  • How long do these drugs stay in a person’s bloodstream? Could the victim have had consensual sex with someone with these drugs still in their system from days prior?

Some date rape drugs leave a person’s bloodstream in as little as 12 hours while other types of drugs, like cannabis, can remain in a person’s bloodstream for weeks. If an individual is going to make a sexual assault allegation, they must go to the hospital for testing as soon as possible – if for no other reason than that evidence collected from a victim more than 72 hours (3 days) after the alleged offense may not be legally admissible in a sexual assault case.

If you or someone you know has been accused of date rape or sexual assault, we invite you to contact a Phoenix rape defense lawyer at MayesTelles PLLC today for a free review of your case.

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