What to Do If You’re Falsely Accused of a Sex Crime
June 2nd, 2016 by Tad Nelson in Sex Crime
There are many reasons why someone might make a false accusation of rape, sexual assault, child molestation, or a similar sex crime: A parent looking to gain the upper hand in a custody battle, an angry ex-partner seeking revenge, or just someone looking to extort money. Whatever the reason, if you have been falsely accused of a sex crime, you need to take the matter seriously.
Get an Attorney
The single most important thing you can do if falsely accused of a sex crime is to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney. Under no circumstances should you ever speak with police, prosecutors, or any representative of law enforcement until you are represented by counsel. Do not assume that a false sex crimes charge is a “misunderstanding” that you can straighten out by talking to the police yourself.
In most cases police and prosecutors are inclined to believe an accuser, especially a woman or a child. If the police decide that an accuser is credible, they will not be looking to hear your side of the story—they will try to get you to confess. Do not allow yourself to be placed in such a position.
Gather Any Relevant Evidence
Once you hire a criminal defense attorney, the next step is to gather any evidence that may be useful for your defense. For example, if you have been accused of committing sexual assault at a particular time and location, your attorney should speak with anyone who may have been a witness. You and your attorney should also compile evidence that might cast doubts with a prosecutor or jury as to the accuser’s motives or credibility. You may also seek expert testimony, such as a psychologist who can offer a qualified opinion as to whether an accuser may be been coached or coerced into making a false allegation.
In Texas, a prosecutor must obtain a grand jury indictment against anyone accused of a felony. Although prosecutors control the evidence and witnesses that the grand jury sees, your attorney may be allowed to submit information useful to your defense. You may even testify before a grand jury, but you are not allowed to have your attorney present during the examination.
Prepare to Fight
If a grand jury returns an indictment, you will have to stand trial. A prosecutor may offer a plea bargain. While you may want to take a plea just to put an end to the matter, please keep in mind that a plea is an admission of guilt. If you are innocent of any crime, you should not accept a plea that will permanently label you as a felon. While the prospect of a criminal trial may seem overwhelming, it can be a small price to pay if it results in an acquittal.
Ideally, a false sex crimes allegation never gets that far. While no attorney can ever guarantee a favorable outcome, an experienced Houston sex crimes lawyer can ensure that police, prosecutors, and courts respect your rights and give you a fair trial. Contact the Law Offices of Tad Nelson & Associates today if you require immediate legal assistance.