Accusations of rape and sexual misconduct are taken seriously in California, and the repercussions following a conviction are comparatively severe. Assault has many physical, emotional, and psychological implications that may last a lifetime, and the assailant should face the appropriate statutory consequences as a result of their wrongdoing. However, when these types of accusations are false, it's natural for the innocent defendant to feel an incredible sense of frustration. After all, the negative stigma attached to sexual assault charges may quickly destroy reputations while tearing apart families and livelihoods.
With so much on the line personally and professionally after a false accusation, it's vital that you find an experienced Santa Barbara criminal defense lawyer who may be able to represent you and protect your interests. Whether the accusation was made from misidentification or malicious intent, don't risk your future. Instead get help from a legal professional who specializes in fighting for the rights of those charged with sex-related crimes. Likewise, there are a few additional steps to keep in mind after contacting a lawyer.
5 Steps to Take After a False Accusation of Rape or Sexual Assault in California
If you've been charged with any kind of sex crime in California, you should be prepared to act quickly to build your defense. Consider the following steps:
Hire a Sex Crimes Lawyer
Before you do anything else, it's vital that you hire an experienced Santa Barbara criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible after the accusation. You'll want to do so before you talk to the police, if possible. If law enforcement contacts you before you have legal representation, note that you have the right not to speak under the Fifth Amendment. Your lawyer will diligently develop a strong pre-file defense argument to delay or dissuade prosecutors from filing charges.
Avoid Speaking to Others Involved in the Case
It's important to play it safe and avoid discussing the case with any involved party, especially the person accusing you of rape or sexual assault. Indulging in the emotions associated with a false accusation—which may include anger and confusion—may create legal dilemmas if you attempt to confront your accuser. Likewise, stay off social media until your case has been safely resolved.
Write Down the Sequence of Events
While the events are fresh in your mind, it's crucial that you create a detailed account of events that transpired and write them down for your attorney. The longer you hesitate, the less detailed your memories will be. By noting precisely what occurred as soon as the allegation is made, you have a better chance of remembering something that may discredit the allegations against you.
Gathering and preserving any evidence relating to the alleged victim and the incident is crucial, as is collecting any documents that could play a role in the case, such as letters, text messages, emails, GPS records, or anything else that might show where you were at the time of the alleged incident. Of course, your lawyer will help you take charge of this step.
Make a list of possible witnesses. This could be any person you think has information about the incident, the accusations, or the alleged victim. Once you do so, your attorney may be able to help you obtain their contact information.
Contact an Experienced Sex Crimes Defense Lawyer at The Aron Law Firm
For questions about the ramifications of your sex crime under California Law or to discuss defense strategies with one of our Santa Barbara criminal defense lawyers, contact the Aron Law Firm today. Our experienced attorneys are committed to protecting your rights by investigating your case in detail and building a robust defense. Our legal team is well versed in sex crimes defense law and may help you avoid the consequences that stem from this false accusation.
At the Aron Law Firm, we have experience helping clients with a variety of criminal charges. We take a client-centered approach to make the legal process as straightforward as possible. To speak with a seasoned criminal defense attorney, schedule a consultation by calling (805) 618-1768 or completing our online contact form today.