Being accused of any crime is a traumatic experience, and this feeling is even more intensive if the offense is of a sexual nature.
The following steps provide a clear path forward for anyone who finds themselves in this position, so don’t panic and stick to this advice to improve the likelihood of a favorable outcome emerging.
Consult an expert sex crimes lawyer
If you are facing charges for sexual assault, having a criminal defense law firm on your side from the very beginning is a must.
Working with an attorney who specializes in this type of case is crucial, as the law is a complex thing, and you can’t expect non-experts to serve you as well as someone with experience and a proven track record.
A sex crimes lawyer will be able to guide you through the next phases, so don’t delay in contacting a pro in this field from a reputable firm.
Collect evidence to prove your innocence
One of the first things that your lawyer will ask you to do is get together any evidence that supports your case and which can ideally demonstrate that you are not guilty of the crime of which you are accused.
In the digital age, this usually means gathering together things like emails and text messages, as well as any other media that is helpful to have to hand.
You can expect to have to hand over certain devices, such as your smartphone and laptop, as part of this process. The good news is that data stored within them, including things like your location as recorded via GPS when the crime was committed, might get you off the hook without any need for a trial.
Set out your recollection on paper
Another helpful thing to do is to sit down and go through what you remember of the events which took place, ideally with as much detail and rigor as it is possible to recall from memory.
Begin with the current date, and go back through the relevant period one step at a time. This might jog your memory of some key tidbit of information.
Don’t worry about whether what you write or type is irrelevant at this point; just pour it all out and your lawyer will sift through it to find what you need.
Don’t speak to the police without first talking to a lawyer
This is excellent advice for all situations in which you are accused of a crime, and is doubly important in the case of a sex crime accusation. Police officers are not on your side, and will use advanced interrogation techniques to try and put you in a difficult position during the interview.
That doesn’t mean you should be completely mute, or act in anything other than a polite manner. What it does mean is that you should simply ask to speak to your lawyer and only agree to talk about the accusations after you have done so.
Steer clear of social media
While social media is the platform via which we all express ourselves today, you shouldn’t use it in the wake of a sex crime allegation.
A surprising number of people have made the mistake of publishing posts relating to a criminal charge, which have later come back to bite them, because this can be evidence that’s used by the prosecution if the case goes to trial. Even voicing controversial opinions when you are not in this situation is unhelpful.
In short, do not make a move without the say so of an experienced sex crimes attorney, and be as careful as possible in order to protect yourself.