Individuals find they have fallen victim to a false sexual assault allegation more often than people realize. When a person ends up in this situation, they need to take action quickly. Why would someone make a false accusation, and what should the accused do when this happens?
Reasons for False Accusations
A person might be accused of sexual assault when consensual contact is mischaracterized by one of the parties. At times, an alleged victim misidentifies their attacker, or a person might maliciously accuse someone of sexual assault when no assault occurred. Regardless of why one arrives in this situation, they need to hire a sex crime attorney right away.
Researchers have spent years trying to determine how many sexual assault complaints are false. Results vary from 1.5 percent to 90 percent, depending on the study. However, one study published in 1994 stated 41 percent of these allegations were false. To determine this, they reviewed the records from one police department and found that the investigating detectives came to this conclusion. The review looked at 109 allegations made over a nine-year period. However, many people discount these results, as the detectives were the ones making this determination, rather than other parties being involved.
This serves as only one reason the results from the study have been questioned. Others include the use of polygraph tests, which have been shown to intimidate victims. As a result, many people believe the actual number is between two and eight percent of all sexual assault complaints, although the estimates vary greatly. How can someone defend themselves when this is the case?
Why an Attorney is Needed
If a person did nothing wrong, why should they have to hire an attorney? A person wants to tell their side of the story to clear up any confusion. They believe doing so will protect them from harm. Unfortunately, it’s not that easy.
People often underestimate the ramifications of a sexual assault conviction. They never imagined finding themselves in this situation and are in denial about what is happening. A person needs to act proactively to prevent the case from going further and protect their rights if the case does make it to court.
A person might make what appears to be an innocent statement only to have their words construed a completely different way by the other side. That’s why it is critical to have legal representation from the moment you learn you will be charged or are charged with a sex crime. The attorney works with the client to ensure nothing is said that could do harm to the client’s case unintentionally.
Finding the Right Attorney
Individuals facing a sex crime charge need an attorney that regularly handles these types of cases. Never hire an attorney who guarantees an outcome or one who promises an easy and quick resolution without knowing the facts of the case. Always have an attorney by your side when talking with law enforcement to protect your rights.
When working with this attorney, document all interactions with the accuser. Share all details, regardless of how irrelevant they may seem. Furthermore, share information with the attorney about any witnesses to these interactions. The attorney will determine which witnesses need to play a role in the case and which won’t.
If you have been accused of a sex crime, do not speak to the police until you have an attorney by your side. A conviction comes with severe consequences, ones no innocent person should face. With the right attorney, the chances of a conviction decrease significantly for innocent individuals, so reach out to a lawyer today for help with your case.