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If you are falsely accused of rape, you should contact an experienced criminal defence solicitor for help. A solicitor can represent you throughout proceedings, and will apply their expertise to establish your innocence.
If you have been accused of rape, contact us now at Ashmans Solicitors. We are one of the country’s leading law firms and have an excellent track record in defending sexual offence cases. Our criminal defence solicitors are on hand to offer practical legal advice and representation. We are available to take your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Have you been falsely accused of rape?
We understand that being falsely accused of rape is one of the most frightening allegations you could possibly face. Rape carries a significant penalty if convicted. There is also stigma attached to the charge, and defendants often suffer reputational damage before the case is even brought to court. No doubt you will simply want the matter to go away and never be talked about again.
Before that can happen, however, it is necessary to establish your innocence. That is where we can help. At Ashmans, we have a team of highly experienced criminal defence solicitors. We have represented numerous people who have been falsely accused of rape and other sexual offences. We can represent you too, working to get the charges dropped as quickly as possible.
What should I do?
If you have been falsely accused of rape, there are some things that you must (and must not) do.
1. Contact our solicitors before you speak to the police
You must speak to our criminal defence solicitors as soon as any rape allegations begin to surface. Rape cases unfold in different ways. You might be asked to attend the police station for a voluntary interview. You might be arrested and taken into custody. Or there may be an internal investigation first, such as at your university or your place of work. Whatever the circumstances, if someone is accusing you of rape, do not hesitate to contact our criminal defence solicitors. We offer free legal advice and free police station representation. We are available to take your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
If the allegations against you proceed, then at some point you will be interviewed by the police. As mentioned above, this may happen on a voluntary basis (known as an interview under caution) or you may be arrested. Either way, you must not answer any police questions without a solicitor present. We offer free police station representation 24/7, or you can ask the duty solicitor to represent you. The duty solicitor is a public service available to everyone under the Legal Aid scheme. A solicitor can advise you what questions to answer and how to answer them. A solicitor can also ensure that your rights are being upheld.
2. Do not speak to the complainant
The person who is accusing you of rape is known as the complainant. It is very likely that you will know the complainant in some capacity. It could be an ex-partner, a work colleague, someone you met on a night out, or a friend or family member. If so, it is possible that you will have their mobile phone number. You might even know where they live and work. This might give you the idea of contacting the complainant directly, in the hope of resolving the matter by yourself. However, it is vital that you do not contact the complainant either directly or through a third party – be it by email, text message, telephone calls or face-to-face conversations.
We understand that this is an incredibly frustrating position to be in, as you know full well that you have done nothing wrong. If only you could persuade the complainant to drop the charges and this whole episode could be put to an end. But if you contact the complainant, then it could actually hinder your case, rather than help it. Your behaviour could be construed as aggressive and even amount to harassment, especially in the context of a rape charge. If your case goes to court then it will be looked upon unfavourably by a judge and jury, who may view it as an indication of guilt, rather than innocence.
3. Keep evidence – do not delete or discard anything
Keep all the evidence that is related to your case, including text messages and emails between you and the complainant. Some of these may help to show that the sexual intercourse was consensual. You may worry that some of this evidence may work against you. However, the police may decide to seize your phone, laptop and other personal possessions as part of the investigation. If they do, then they will be able to recover any correspondence that you have deleted. This could actually make you look guilty, as it appears as though you are trying to cover something up. Therefore, do not tamper with the evidence.
4. Avoid raising suspicion
Finally, do not do anything else that would raise suspicions and damage your case. For instance, do not contact any witnesses or co-defendants and ask to ‘get your stories straight’. This could be considered witness intimidation or proof of your guilt. Instead, let your solicitor handle everything for you. An experienced criminal defence solicitor can apply their expertise to establish your innocence. That is their job – there is no need for you to take matters into your own hands, no matter how tempting it might be.
Do I really need a solicitor?
You might wonder why you need a solicitor, seeing as you are entirely innocent. You might even worry that instructing a legal professional makes you look guilty. However, you need not give these concerns a second thought. Everyone is entitled to legal representation and it is entirely normal to exercise this right. In fact, it is strongly recommended that you instruct a solicitor, or you will put yourself at a huge disadvantage.
Firstly, because a solicitor is allowed to request disclosure before a police interview. The police must then explain what evidence they have against you. Your solicitor will relay this information to you, before the interview takes place. You cannot request this disclosure yourself; only a legal representative can do this. This is very beneficial, as you will have a better understanding of the strength of the case against you. Your solicitor will use this insight to advise you what questions to answer and how to answer them. This ensures you are not misled by the police.
Disclosure levels the playing field, as the police will not be able to withhold information, thereby putting you in a weaker position. Or it might be that they have very little evidence and are hoping that you will accidentally incriminate yourself.
To prepare your defence
Secondly, a solicitor can work to bring the case to a swift conclusion. Where false accusations of rape are made, a solicitor can guide you through the police investigation, ensuring you do not accidentally damage your case. If the Crown Prosecution Service decides to formally lay charges, then there will be a hearing at the Magistrates’ Court, followed by a trial in the Crown Court.
Your solicitor will meticulously prepare your defence, drawing upon a range of sources to prove your innocence. This might include:
- Witness accounts
- Police reports
- Expert statements
- Medical reports
- Social Services statements
A barrister will be asked to argue your case in court. The prosecution has to prove your guilt beyond reasonable doubt, and your defence team will pick their case apart to ensure this test is not satisfied. Often in rape cases it is a matter of he said/she said. It is our duty to show that the allegations are unfounded, and that the prosecution’s case must fail.
Support and guidance
Being falsely accused of rape is a terrifying experience. Your solicitor will support you throughout the process, providing advice and guidance at every step. It is not recommended that you go through this alone, without the help of a defence solicitor. Although you may know that you are innocent, the real task is proving your innocence in court. An experienced defence solicitor knows how to do this in the most efficient and effective manner.
Contact us now
Have you been falsely accused of rape? Call us now on 0333 009 6275. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.