A false allegation of sexual assault can be devastating. Unfortunately, there are a wide variety of circumstances and situations which can result in this terrifying scenario—such as consensual contact that is now being misclassified as sexual assault after the fact, malicious intent on the part of the alleged victim, or even being wrongly identified by an alleged victim.
If you have been falsely accused of sexual assault, you must protect yourself and plan for your defense as soon as you suspect you are under investigation. Although it is natural to believe that if you didn’t do it, you will be found innocent of the charges. However, even mere allegations can result in damage to your personal and professional reputation.
The following are several steps to take if you are falsely accused of sexual assault:
- Understand the importance of false allegations – Ignoring the problem does not make it go away. Since your reputation and livelihood are at stake, it is not wise to underestimate the legal ramifications for your life if you make the wrong decisions.
- Know your rights – If you are questioned by police, you are not required to say anything. It is often in your best interest to not answer any questions or make any statements before consulting with a criminal defense lawyer. If you attempt to explain your innocence, your statement may still be misinterpreted and used against you. So either inform the authorities that you cannot discuss the matter until a later time or until you have spoken with a lawyer.
- Hire an attorney – You must seek legal representation from a qualified lawyer who is experienced in handling sex crime cases. It is imperative to ask for the attorney’s resume and his or her results in cases similar to yours.
- Document your case – You can create a timeline of events that prove your innocent, just make sure you write down as many details as possible, even if you do not consider them important. Collect any physical evidence, such as clothes and photos, which may relate to your case. Preserve any documents or records which could relate to the accusations.
- Compile a list of potential witnesses – Write down the names and contact information for any individuals who can vouch for your whereabouts and who was at the scene. They may have additional information about the scene or your relationship with the alleged victim.
For more information, request a free consultation with our Rhode Island criminal defense attorneys at The Law Office of Thomas C. Thomasian, Esq. today.