The Reality Of False Criminal Accusations
In the United States over the last few years, we have seen changes in our society that have highlighted the prevalence of sexual harassment and sexual assault. You have undoubtably see many stories on the news related to the “Me Too” movement as person after person falls from grace. The person accused is usually, but not always, a man. This movement has encouraged other sexual assault victims to come forward and for that we are grateful.
One thing we do recognize, though many people do not talk about it, is someone being wrongfully accused. In our legal system, a person is innocent until proven guilty. What we are seeing though is that anyone accused of sexual assault is immediately assumed to be guilty.
Studies have shown that anywhere from 2-10% of rape allegations are proven to be false. This does not include people accused of other sexual assaults or attempted rapes.
What do you do if you are accused of something you did not do?
Why Someone Would Be Accused
There are many scenarios in which a person could be wrongfully accused. Today, we want to talk about a few of them, but please do not consider this a complete list. If you or someone you know has been accused of sexual assault, please see help from a qualified attorney.
- If you are going through a breakup or have gotten into a serious argument with your partner, they could falsely accuse you of sexually assaulting them.
- There are times when cases of mistaken identity lead to individuals being falsely accused.
- You were intimately involved with someone in a consensual encounter but that person later says it was not consensual.
The Deck Is Stacked
As we mentioned above, simply being accused is enough for most people to assume a person is guilty. If an arrest is made based on false accusations, the police will treat it just like they would any other case because they have to do their job and investigate. Unfortunately, law enforcement and prosecutors will often bring unwarranted charges against people accused of sexual assault, whether they match the crime accused or not.
Right off the bat, your mugshot is out there along with a list of your charges. Before you even have a chance to contact an attorney, the case against you is being made.
You cannot be hesitant in a situation like this because your reputation and future are on the line. When you secure a skilled and experienced attorney, every aspect of an accusation will be investigated. This will include:
- Reviewing all evidence presented by law enforcement and prosecution
- Obtaining affidavits from all parties involved
- Securing communication between you and the accuser
- Looking into your accuser’s background
- Building a case to show your true character
What You Can Do Now
We understand that the vast majority of sexual assault claims are real and we never want to silence sexual assault victims. If the “Me Too” movement has taught us anything, it is that there needs to be a change in the way these issues have been handled historically.
However, we need to be aware that there are times when a person has truly been falsely accused and need to be exonerated. Their reputation can only be restored if the justice system works the way it is supposed to.
Remember, those 2-10% of rape accusations that are proven to be false likely ruined people’s lives. Even though they were found to be innocent, it was probably a tough fight. That is why you need an attorney who is just as tough so you can get through this.
Click here for information on accused of domestic violence but innocent in Arizona.