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If you have been falsely accused of sexual assault, you must speak to a sexual assault solicitors straight away. Do not answer any police questions until you have a lawyer present. Speak with an experienced rape solicitors.
Being falsely accused of sexual assault is nothing short of a nightmare. We understand just how devastating this situation is for you. We will work quickly to establish your innocence and get the charges against you dropped. Contact us now for a free initial consultation. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
What to do if you’re accused of sexual assault
If you are accused of sexual assault, there are certain things that you must – and must not – do. These apply, even if you are entirely innocent of the allegations made against you.
Do not contact the complainant
Firstly, do not contact the person who is accusing you of sexual assault (called the ‘complainant’). In lots of sexual offence cases, the accused and the complainant know each other. You may be acquaintances, former partners, work colleagues or even housemates.
Whatever the situation, do not speak to the complainant, whether in person or via the phone, text message or email.
Why? Because attempting to communicate with the complainant could damage your case. The police may say that you are trying to pressure him/her into retracting the allegations against you. This will raise suspicion and could adversely affect your case. If you become angry, you will also cast yourself in an unfavourable light. All of these things are aggravating factors that could go against you.
Speak to a sexual abuse solicitor immediately
Do, however, speak to a sexual offence solicitor straight away. You need to choose a criminal defence solicitor who specialises in defending accusations of sexual assault – like the criminal defence solicitors at Ashmans. We offer a free initial consultation and free representation at the police station. Subsequently, you may be eligible for legal aid. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
A sexual assault solicitor from our team can accompany you to the police station and advise you during police interviews. The advantage of this is that you will not accidentally incriminate yourself by saying the wrong thing. Also, the police are obliged to disclose evidence before the interview. This only happens if you have legal representation. You can then gain an insight into the information held by the police, allowing you to better explain your side of the story. Even if you think you are not guilty if the court decides there was sexual intent you could be prosecuted.
Preserve any evidence
Lastly, preserve any evidence. If you have text messages or emails from the complainant, be sure to keep them. They could help to prove the issue of consent, which is often a central argument in sexual assault cases. On the flip side, do not destroy any evidence either. This could be seen as cynical behaviour on your part, indicating that you are trying to cover something up.
Due to the nature of sexual assault cases, it is unusual for there to be any witnesses. However, if there is someone who can testify in favour of your defence, you must let your solicitor know. Your solicitor will approach this witness (or witnesses) for a statement. Do not interact with any witnesses yourself. This could suggest that you are ‘getting your stories straight’, which may then have a detrimental impact on your case.
Why do I need a solicitor if I’m innocent?
Instructing a sexual offence solicitor does not mean that you have something to hide. You might think that you do not need a lawyer because you have done nothing wrong. But while you know that you have been falsely accused of sexual assault, the real task is to prove this to the police. A sexual offence solicitor has an understanding of the law and can apply this expertise to undermine the allegations against you.
This can be difficult to achieve on your own. Partly because you have probably never been in the situation before, and partly because this is a highly charged experience. You may find it difficult to remain calm and apply reason. A solicitor can do this for you, working on your behalf to get the charges against you dropped. A solicitor can also help to minimise any other consequences, such as reputational damage.
When should I contact a solicitor?
The police may invite you to the station for a discussion. This means you have not been arrested and are attending the station voluntarily. Other times, you will be arrested and held in custody. Either way, do not answer any police questions until a solicitor is present. The police may say they simply want a ‘chat’, but make no mistake – this amounts to a police interview and anything you say can be used as evidence against you.
Therefore, you need to contact a solicitor at the earliest available opportunity. This means as soon as you are aware that you are released under investigation. You should also be prepared for the fact that the police may also seize your personal items, including your phone and laptop. These will be sent to a laboratory for further analysis. A solicitor can request that your possessions are returned as soon as possible.
Accusation Of Sexual Assault
As experienced criminal defence solicitors, we know just how terrifying an accusation of sexual assault can be. The effects are far-reaching and may impact your family life, your career, and your physical and mental health. Even if you are found not guilty, the trauma of being falsely accused can be significant. It can also cause problems moving forward, particularly if you have suffered reputational harm.
We are all too aware of just how frightening it is to be falsely accused of sexual assault. We are here to help you and will act quickly to show that the allegations are false. This will see that the charges against you are dropped, allowing you to continue with your life. In the meantime, we will protect your right to privacy and anonymity, acting with the utmost confidentiality at all times.
What will happen to the complainant?
If the accusations made against you are shown to be false, you might wonder what will happen to the complainant. No doubt you will be relieved at having the case against you closed. But you may also be angry about what has happened. The next steps depend entirely on the circumstances. It is possible that the complainant will face charges of wasting police time and/or perverting the course of justice.
The charge of wasting police time is more likely to be laid if:
- Public/police resources were diverted for the purposes of the investigation for a sufficient period
- A substantial cost is incurred, such as expensive scientific examination
- Considerable distress is caused to you (the accused) by the reporting
- The false report alleges that a particularly grave sexual assault has been committed
- There was significant premeditation in the making of the report
- The complainant persisted with the allegation, even when challenged
The charge of perverting the course of justice is more likely to be laid if:
- A false complaint is motivated by malice
- A false complaint is sustained over a period of time (particularly where there were opportunities to retract the accusations)
- The accused was charged and remanded in custody
- The accused was tried, convicted and/or sentenced
- The suspect has previous convictions or out-of-court disposals relevant to this offence, or a history of making demonstrably false complaints
- The accused was in a vulnerable position or had been taken advantage of
- The accused has sustained significant damage to his or her reputation
Related: Rape prosecutions under review.
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Contact us now
To speak to a sexual abuse solicitor, call us now on 0333 009 6275. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.