An accusation of sexual assault is a very serious matter with widespread consequences if convicted. For this reason, when an innocent person is accused and charged with this crime, they must move into action quickly to ensure their innocence is protected. Discover the critical steps you should take if accused of this crime.
1. Innocent Until Proven Guilty
The justice system states that all defendants are innocent until proven guilty, but do not rest too heavily on this assertion. While the burden of proof rests on the prosecution, you should also fight to prove your innocence. For this reason, you must connect with an attorney who can start piecing together the accusation and your successful defense quickly.
2. Victim Contact
Again, a claim of sexual assault is serious, so it is normal to want to reach out to the accuser to ask them why they are making this claim but do not do it. Any contact with the victim can be perceived as a threat, contributing only to the narrative that you are an aggressor. Even if there is no protective order, you should avoid contact.
3. Statements and Evidence
Write down an account of how you remember the interaction with the accuser as soon as possible. As time passes, you might start to forget little details, but this description will serve as a reminder. You should also provide your attorney with the names of any people who might have witnessed your interactions with the accuser so that the attorney can collect their statements.
The investigators will likely request that you submit to testing as part of the process. Although it feels invasive, especially if you are innocent, it is best to submit to this testing. This scientific analysis can be used to help disprove the accusers' claim. However, never submit to testing without reviewing the request with your attorney.
Unfortunately, a statement of innocence will not make these accusations go away automatically. Instead, often this process must undergo the full path of the legal system before innocence can be proclaimed. As such, it is crucial that you are patient. If you get agitated or too stressed, you could do something that will hurt your case, such as contacting the accuser to ask them to recant their claim.
The importance of speaking with an attorney cannot be overstated. Contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to get to work on protecting yourself.