What Should You Do If You’re Charged With Sexual Assault?
Any form of sexual assault is a serious felony offense with the possibility of severe penalties, not to mention the long-term devastating effects to your social, personal, and professional life. Defendants can also have their names entered in the official registry, where the accusation can be revealed to any entity conducting a background check. If you’re facing such charges, the first thing to do is contact a sexual assault lawyer who can provide valuable advice to build a strong defense and exonerate you.
Proceed Cautiously Even if You Know You’re Innocent
Even if you’re innocent and confident that the charges cannot be proven, it is critical that you proceed with caution. Whatever you do, never contact the victim, provide an explanation, or communicate with them regarding the case. If you’re questioned by law enforcement or other investigating officers, politely request to have your lawyer present before you say anything.
On no account should you provide any evidence, like submitting to or asking to take a DNA test, before checking with the attorney. If you’re arrested on sexual assault charges, refrain from talking about the case on the phone. Remember that all calls made from jail are recorded, and you might inadvertently provide evidence that can damage your case.
Gather Any Evidence That Can Help
Your criminal defense attorney will advise you to gather all the evidence that can prove your case, such as the clothing you were wearing at the time of the reported incident, photographs, videos, and any objects on the scene. If you have any proof or an alibi that you were elsewhere when the incident took place, collect the evidence. Phone records, email time and location stamps, computer records, and GPS locations can prove your case.
List the Possible Witnesses
Make a list of the witnesses who can affirm your version of the incident and vouch for your innocence in a court of law. Anyone who can provide details about the incident or the accusations the victim has made is a potential witness, and you must gather their contact information. Having an investigator is essential to avoid the possibility of the witnesses changing their statements on the stand.
Explore Possible Defenses With the Lawyer
Your attorney will go over the facts of the case with you and explore added details like the possibility of the victim lying, being mistaken about the perpetrator’s identity, or deliberating lying to frame you. Consider the chance that the victim had been taking drugs or drinking heavily, and they don’t remember exactly what occurred. In some cases, the victim is mentally unstable, and their credibility can be challenged in court.
Facing criminal charges for sexual assault is a serious situation. It is critical that you have an experienced attorney representing you, even if you’re confident that the accusations cannot be proved in court. Follow their advice when gathering the necessary evidence that can prove your innocence during the trial.