Intentionally Transmitted Diseases

Did you know that transmitting an STD can earn you a life-sentence in prison? Sure, that may be a harsh sentence, but it is possible. In many states, one can be charged with a crime for giving a partner a sexually transmitted disease, as long as it is done intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly.

This charge can even extend, in a lot of states, if the individual gives someone an STD by failing to inform that person that he or she was infected. Some states go so far as to list certain STD’s that, when transmitted, will constitute a criminal act, such as HIV, gonorrhea, herpes, and others. Some states refer to STD’s generally, meaning it can be criminalized to transmit any STD to a partner if done in one of the aforementioned ways.

As far as reckless transmission goes, an individual can be charged even if he or she did not know they were infected as long as the court feels the individual should have reasonably known. However, there are multiple defenses to these types of allegations.

First, if a partner was informed of the STD and still consented to the sexual act, a crime is not committed. Furthermore, if the defendant did not know and could not be reasonably expected to know he or she had an STD at the time of the sexual act, there is no crime.

Transmitting an STD could be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. It is most often a misdemeanor, which could land a defendant in jail for up to a year or more. But, in many states, a defendant can receive a life sentence in prison for intentionally transmitting HIV to a partner!

If you or someone you know is facing criminal charges, or their professional license is at risk, contact Attorney Miranda McCroskey for an immediate consultation at (833) 865-6253 or email her at

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