8 Things to Do If You Are Falsely Accused of Sexual Assault
Did you know that a person in the United States is sexually assaulted every 73 seconds? Around 433,648 Americans are raped or sexually assaulted each year.
Most victims of sexual assault are under the age of 30. 54% are between the ages of 18-34. 1 in 6 women in the U.S. has been a victim of rape or attempted rape.
Sexual assault can have severe impacts on victims. 94% of victims of rape experience post-traumatic stress after their assault.
Sexual assault is a serious crime that should be tried to the fullest extent of the law. Being falsely accused of sexual assault is something no one wants to face. Keep reading to find out what you should do if falsely accused of this serious crime.
1. You Must First Understand the Severity of the Accusations
As mentioned above, sexual assault is a horrible crime that affects millions of Americans and has a life-changing impact on each person. So an accusation of sexual assault can bring some severe consequences to you.
When you’re falsely accused of a crime, you might think things will blow over or that the court will find the truth to the situation.
This doesn’t always happen as fast as you think. Preparing for the legal consequences of these accusations is the best way to fight for your rights and prevent you from more severe legal troubles.
2. Find the Best Attorney
Being falsely accused of rape is a serious matter and whether you are only being investigated and haven’t been charged with a crime, it’s important to prepare for what’s to come.
The most important thing to do when you find yourself accused is to hire a sexual assault attorney. These lawyers are experienced in defending their clients against these accusations in the best way possible and will work hard to get any charges dismissed. A lawyer with experience in sexual crimes will also advise you on the best ways to approach every step of the process.
3. Write Down All the Details
If you’re accused of a crime as serious as assault but you know you’re innocent, you want to make sure you document as much detail of the incident as possible. By doing this you’ll be able to tell your side of the events and point out where situations might have been misinterpreted and where the accuser is falsifying information.
Put together a timeline of events where you interacted with the person accusing you. Write down as many details as you can remember, this can help your lawyers piece together your defense and prove your innocence.
4. Prepare for the Costs
When you’re facing false sexual assault allegations you might think that proving your innocence will be a quick and easy process. Any type of legal proceedings, especially involving an accusation as serious as sexual assault, can drag on for a long time and that will end up costing you more money than expected.
Legal fees, paying your lawyers, the costs of gathering certain evidence and expertise, and the costs of having to spend time in a courtroom instead of earning an income can begin to add up. Defending yourself from false accusations can be as costly as committing a crime, prepare yourself to face that realization.
5. Collect the Necessary Documents
During the process of disproving false claims of assault, you’ll need to work with your attorneys to collect the necessary evidence and conduct the proper tests to prove you haven’t committed a crime. This is an important step in dismissing charges against you.
Certain medical tests might be required to help prove your case. You might also have to submit yourself to psychological testing or even a polygraph in order to gather more evidence of your innocence. Working with different experts in these fields will help build your case to prove you aren’t guilty of a sexual crime.
6. Start Gathering Witnesses
When facing false accusations of abuse creating a list of witnesses is crucial. These witnesses should be people who know both you and the accuser and can testify to your characters. If they were present or interacted with either of you during the time of the incident you’re being accused of, they are even more crucial to your case.
Even if you think a witness won’t add much to the testimony, they might have information that can help your case. Your attorney will figure out which witnesses are important for your case based on the information you give them.
7. Learn About the Law
While you’ll have attorneys to defend you and explain the legal process of a sexual assault case to you, it’s important that you stay informed on everything to the best of your ability. Understanding the charges and the legal consequences is one part of it.
You’ll also want to stay informed on every step of the process, every test, and every hearing. By learning about the law and the legal proceedings you could face, proving your innocence will become easier.
8. Behave Properly
Being falsely accused of sexual harassment can turn your life upside down. All of your past and future behavior will be placed under a microscope and examined harshly.
Even if you aren’t guilty of any crime, you have to make sure you’re on your best behavior moving forward. Any indication of inappropriate behavior during a trial, if it gets to that point, can ruin your case. Make sure you’re also staying as calm and collected as possible and refrain from saying or doing anything that can be misconstrued.
Whatever you do, never reach out to your accuser. You might think that by speaking to them you’ll be able to clarify any miscommunication between you but you can actually make the situation worse. Always speak to your lawyers about any concerns you may have.
What You Should Do If You’re Accused of Sexual Assault
Being accused of sexual assault is a serious matter. If you’re being falsely accused this article will guide you on the right steps you should take. Check out some of our other blogs to learn more.