Being accused of a felony can be terrifying, and if found guilty it can leave you with a permanent criminal record and significant detriment to your life. Arguably more catastrophic than any other accusation is one for serious sexual misconduct. Simply being accused of sexual misconduct, whether baseless or not, can shatter an individual’s image because people tend to jump to the absolute worst conclusions. If you’ve been accused of serious sexual misconduct and need to know what steps to take, read on we guide you through the motions.
Get An Attorney
Immediately after being accused of serious sexual misconduct, you need to hire an experienced sex crime attorney who will treat you fairly and fight your case. Accusations are often based on the word of the alleged victim, with no supporting evidence. Having someone in your corner from the get-go will be vital.
Upon receiving allegations, criminal investigators will attempt to contact the accused informally. They may knock on the door in an attempt to ask about some information they have received. Other tactics include controlled phone calls, in which the accuser (or representative) confronts the accused with the charges to see if they are denied or admitted. Further, the accused can be subject to uncontrolled phone calls where the police will ask the accuser to record calls with the accused, to get them to incriminate themselves.
The Right to Remain Silent
Even though you have not been arrested, you have the right to remain silent. The best thing to do is not answer any questions until you have consulted with your attorney. Some of the things that investigators manage to find out through the above tactics are:
- Admissions of location – which will damage you later if you remember having an alibi.
- Alluding to having engaged in innocent or accidental touches – this would sound heavily incriminating next to an allegation.
- Admitting to having access to any devices that can later be seized and searched to gather a timeline, and pinpoint locations.
All of these will be used in evidence against the accused, so the best practice is to say nothing and contact your lawyer as soon as initial police contact has been made.
Be Careful Who You Trust
Being accused of sexual misconduct can have a huge impact on a person’s mental health. Being able to talk to someone will be extremely helpful. When choosing who to talk to, be mindful that anything you say to them could end up seeing the light of day. A friend may be a friend until they know you’re under investigation. Society has a stigma towards people accused of sexual offenses, and they often don’t see the person behind the offense.
Being accused of serious sexual misconduct is a frightening ordeal. The most crucial things you need to do are hire an experienced sex crimes attorney, stay silent, and consult your lawyer before making any comments, and remember to be careful when talking to supposedly close friends.