A false allegation of sexual assault is considered a nightmare scenario
for anyone. Unfortunately, situations where consensual contact was involved
is misconstrued as sexual assault after the fact, the alleged victim misidentified
the culprit, or even malicious intent on behalf of the alleged victim,
So what do you do if you have been falsely accused of rape or another form
of sexual assault? Below are several tips for what to do—and not
to do—if you or a loved one face false accusations.
The following are the proper steps to take if you are accused of sexual assault:
Realize the seriousness of the accusation. As soon as you find out about the false accusations, you need to begin
protecting yourself and planning for your defense. Although it is natural
to think that if you didn’t do it, believing you will be found innocent
of the charges after an investigation or after you have been able to “tell
your side of the story,” ignoring the issue or failing to take proper
legal action may result in much deeper troubles than you started out with.
Retain experienced legal help from a lawyer. You need to hire an experienced
criminal defense attorney who can help you through the process of defending yourself at
all stages of the proceedings. You are guaranteed the right to a lawyer
by the U.S. Constitution, and conversations with your attorney are protected
under lawyer-client privilege. Your lawyer can help you to properly deal
with the accuser’s threats, protect you from self-incrimination,
negotiate with prosecutors, and help you develop an effective defense
against the charges.
Don’t say anything. Do not agree to speak to law enforcement without having a lawyer present.
Remember, you have a right to remain silent, even before the police read
you your Miranda rights. Anything you say can be used against you in court.
Build your defense. Start documenting your experience and interactions with the accuser.
Write down as many details as possible, including dates of events that
you can develop into a timeline. Compile a list of potential witnesses
to the alleged events or those who can provide an alibi for you. Additionally,
you will want testing, such as psychological tests, which disproves the
allegations against you. Plan for costs of the defense.
If you have been falsely accused of a
sex crime in Ventura County, CA,
contact Appel & Morse and schedule a free consultation with our Santa Barbara criminal defense