STDs or sexually transmitted diseases are infections that are usually passed from an infected person to another through direct sexual contact. They are caused by bacteria, fungi, parasites, viruses and yeasts. They affect both men and women, especially those who are sexually active, have many sexual partners, and those who engage in an unprotected sex.
There are many types of STDs, which include chlamydia, herpes, human papillomavirus or HPV, gonorrhea, syphilis, trichomoniasis, and human immunodeficiency virus or HIV, which causes the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome or AIDS. Some of these types are chronic while others are incurable, which can lead to a fatal situation.
Suing for Transmission of Sexual Disease
Knowing how life-threatening STDs are, the question now is, can you sue someone for giving you an STD? The answer is yes, you can sue if partner knowingly infected STD, the litigation varies from one state to another and depends on what type of STD has been transmitted. There are many states that have laws criminalizing the transmission of some types of STD. However, these STD laws, along with their imposed penalties, greatly differ among all states.
Basis for Suing for Transmission of Sexual Disease
Although there are numerous STD cases being filed nowadays, it is difficult to litigate such lawsuits that can be very costly and may not lead to any kind of civil damages due to the fact that STDs don’t usually have specific symptoms that can show the negligence of the defendant. But if the plaintiffs can actually prove that they have, indeed, contracted a certain STD from that particular defendant and from nobody else, then civil damages are like to be expected. But when can you sue someone for giving you an STD?
Legal analyst and lawyer Anahita Sedaghatfar said that if your sex partner is aware that he or she has an STD and fails to inform you about the condition, then you can sue if partner knowingly infected STD and will be held civilly liable for damages. Furthermore, a person can be convicted for infecting someone with an STD only if the former does it intentionally or recklessly. In other cases, merely exposing the existence of an STD without having any kind of sexual contact can be a basis for suing for transmission of sexual disease.
Can you sue someone for giving you an STD even if he or she does know about its existence?
But if for instance, the person does not know that he or she is infected with an STD, then they can not be found guilty of doing the crime. To convict the person who is unknowingly infected with the disease, a prosecutor must be able to prove that he or she was aware of the existence of the diseases, and they intentionally put someone in danger. In other cases, a prosecutor can show that you knew about the disease but was not concerned about the risks of exposing the STD to someone else, and you engaged in a sexual intercourse the recklessly put the other person in danger.
Penalties if Convicted
For example, if the court has convicted you with the transmission of an STD, then you can face a lot potentially serious criminal penalties. Most state laws have categorized such crime as under a misdemeanor or a felony offense. Apparently, the penalties depend on which state the criminal offense happened. But here are the potential penalties that can be imposed on the convicted person.
Jail or Imprisonment. For a misdemeanor conviction, the sentence can reach up to one year of imprisonment. Meanwhile, a felony conviction has an imprisonment of, at least, one year.
Probation. This reaches up to 3 or more years in jail. In addition to imprisonment, the convicted criminal must comply with all of the probation conditions set by the court.
Fines. The amount can range from $1,000 to $50,000, depending on the state and the court’s decision.
Restitution. This means compensation for the victims who have incurred certain expenses to make them feel better or to cure the disease. This is in addition to the fines that the court has imposed.
Registration on Sex Offender List. If convicted, then the person has to sign up for sex offender registration list that the state has prepared. This makes it difficult for the sex offender to get a good-paying job or a house. This is probably the worst penalty there is.