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Accused of Sexual Assault? Here's What to Do

A false allegation of sexual assault can have a devastating impact on your personal and professional reputation, even though you are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. But in the eyes of the public and the media, especially during the #MeToo movement, mere accusations can be a nightmare to deal with.

If you have been falsely accused of sexual assault, you must protect yourself and plan for your defense as soon as you suspect you are under investigation. Although you may feel compelled to let the legal system play itself out since if you didn’t do it, it is wise to take preventative action regardless of the merits of the charges against you.

The following are the proper steps to take after being accused of sexual assault:

  1. Understand the amount of trouble you are in – It is not uncommon for those accused of sexual assault to go into some form of denial and minimize the trouble they face. However, failure to take any action in your defense can result in even deeper legal issues than at the beginning of the case. A conviction for a sex crime can result in prison time, fines, and registration as a sex offender for a long period of time.
  2. Do not speak with police – If you are questioned by police, you are not required to say anything. Unfortunately, many people believe it is their opportunity to tell “their side of the story” and try to “talk their way out of it.” Remember, anything you say can and will be used against you. What you say can be misinterpreted and be used as evidence to convict you.
  3. Document your case – Write down as much as you can about your case, even if you don’t think certain details are relevant. Make sure you mention the series of events that transpired, a description of each person’s behavior during the incident (including your own), and any other details. Collect any physical evidence in your possession and preserve any documents that may benefit your case.
  4. Compile a list of potential witnesses – Contact anyone who could corroborate your story and ask if they are willing to share their side of the story with you.
  5. Stay away from the accuser – Although it may be tempting to set the record straight directly with the other person involved, an attempt to work things out and amicably solve the matter can be misconstrued by the prosecution and use any contact with the accuser against you.
  6. Hire a lawyer – The most important step you need to take as soon as you find out about the alleged allegations is to get an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side. A skilled lawyer can ensure that all you follow all of the steps above and help you develop an effective defense strategy to protect your rights and future.

For more information about our legal services, contact our Denver sex crime attorney at the Law Offices of David L. Owen, Jr., P.C. today.