Facing false accusations of sexual assault can completely change the course of your life. Just because you know the accusations are false doesn’t mean you will escape an unfair judgment.
While wrongful convictions are rare, they do happen, and getting them overturned is a hefty task.
There are some actions you can take to help protect yourself and prove your innocence. Minimize the chances of a false accusation ruining your life by following these steps.
If you’ve been accused or arrested, you need to understand the seriousness of your situation. Accusations of sexual assault can carry prison sentences of several years to several decades.
Even after serving a long prison sentence you’ll also have to deal with severe restrictions that will be placed on you after the sentence is over.
The first action you should take is contacting a skilled attorney to help you go through the process. If you haven’t been arrested yet, a lawyer can run interference with law enforcement for you.
Interference means that your legal representation will interact with law enforcement and potential witnesses on your behalf. The ultimate goal of this is to prevent the police or county from filing charges.
Lawyers will understand how to prove your innocence to law enforcement and get open cases closed.
After you’ve been falsely accused or arrested, you’ll be in constant communication with your representation.
Almost every contact between you and your lawyer will result in a charge.
Everything from bail to the court proceedings can cost tens of thousands of dollars. You may need to borrow money, take on a second job, or take out a loan to fund your defense.
When your lawyer goes to war for you, they will employ polygraph testers, expert testimony, and private detectives. It’s your financial responsibility to reimburse your attorney for setting up these services.
The costs may seem overwhelming, but your freedom is definitely worth the high price tag.
High-stress situations can cause people to seek ways to vent. Do whatever you can to avoid talking about your current situation.
It might seem like a wonderful idea to talk with a cousin or friend about what you’re dealing with, but it could backfire. Just as you have your lawyer working for you, the prosecution will have a lawyer trying to catch you making a mistake.
Even if you are saying things that would help your case, you don’t want a detective or prosecutor to gain a lot of information. They will speak with as many friends and family members as possible.
Never speak to the police without your lawyer present. This applies from the beginning of an investigation to the end of a possible trial.
The best policy is for you to keep your social circle small. Find the family members or friends you can trust and let them know what’s happening.
If you don’t have anyone to talk to, ask your lawyer for references to a good therapist. This gives you an outlet to get everything out.
After you’ve hired a lawyer, your work isn’t completed. Remember, attorneys have full schedules. They are often handling multiple cases at once.
Help your lawyer help you by doing anything they request. In most false accusation cases, time is a precious commodity. Don’t waste time asking a lot of questions about what your lawyer wants you to do.
You have to trust that their instructions will help your case.
Spend as much time as you can researching laws, police procedures, and gathering information from possible witnesses. If you are thinking about contacting a person, speak with your lawyer for guidance.
As soon as you hire an attorney, you are partners with the legal team. Work together and you’ll have a stronger defense.
If you’re being falsely accused, then either accuser’s interpretation of events is incorrect or they have identified the wrong person.
Sit down and spend time going over a detailed timeline of the day or night in question. Do your best to remember everything you saw, heard, or said.
Work through the who, what, where, when, and why of your alibi. It should be easy to remember most of the details since you’re telling the truth.
Compile a list of everyone you currently associate with and their relationship to you. Also, try and list everyone who interacted with you during the day in question. Let a lawyer sort out who they will contact.
Don’t just list your friends or people who will speak positively about you. Your witness list should be people who will speak the truth even if they don’t like you. If you can have someone who dislikes you clear your name, it will go a long way with the jury.
The ultimate goal is to have an investigation dropped or all charges dismissed. However, there’s a possibility that evidence doesn’t completely clear you.
Despite a strong defense case, the prosecution may try to negotiate with you so they can secure a conviction instead of looking like they didn’t do a good job.
You’ll need to have a thorough discussion about whether pleading guilty to a less severe charge is a good option. Have your attorney fight to keep you out of jail and off the sex offender registry.
Negotiating a plea deal isn’t the best scenario but it’s also not the worst option.
If you have false accusations of sexual assault against you, it’s not the time to roll over. Save yourself by mounting a tough defense that proves you are an innocent person.
Avoid jail and losing your job by hiring a talented and experienced lawyer. Your life and future depend on the next steps you take.
Take action today by contacting us to get your defense started.