Being falsely accused of sexual assault can have a negative impact on your entire life. However, what may have appeared to be a consensual encounter could be misconstrued as sexual misconduct shortly afterward.
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 must build a strong case to prove your innocence Although it is natural to think that if you didn’t do it, thinking you will obtian a favorable outcome once the case concludes or you could explain your perspective of the situation during trial, ignoring the issue or failing to take immediate 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 develop an effective defense strategy. 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. Write down as many details as possible about your interactions with the alleged victim, creating a visual timeline. Gather 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. All of this comes at a cost.