What Should I Do If I’m Falsely Accused of Rape?Published: Jun 09, 2017 in Criminal Defense, Sex Crimes
While being the subject of any criminal accusation can be incredibly stressful, if you have been accused of something as serious as sexual assault, and more particularly, the crime of rape, the consequences can be exceptionally dire. Even more difficult is the case when you have been falsely accused of rape. It is sad, but true that accusations of rape and subsequent convictions sometimes happen when the rape did not actually occur, or when the wrong person has been charged with the crime.
If you have been accused of rape – a crime which you did not commit – you should not assume that the system will always work out in your favor. Law enforcement and prosecutors have a vested interest in closing these cases as quickly as possible, and tragically, sometimes innocent people pay the price. Instead, allow an experienced Houston sex crimes lawyer to build a solid case in your defense to help secure your freedom. With over two decades of combined hands-on legal experience as a criminal defense attorney and state and federal prosecutor, attorney Ned Barnett knows what it takes to defend you vigorously against the charges against you.
The crime of rape in Texas is defined as more than only sexual intercourse. It includes unlawful sexual penetration or intercourse of the mouth or anus, in addition to the vagina, of a person by using a sexual organ, another body part, or a foreign object with or without force, in the case when the victim does not provide their consent or is unable to provide consent to the act.
Defending Against False Rape Accusations
Due to the highly serious consequences of a rape accusation and subsequent conviction, it’s important to take the allegations against you seriously. Regardless of how baseless the accusations are, the consequences regarding your freedom are at stake. If convicted, you may be found guilty of a second or first-degree felony depending on the circumstances. As part of your conviction, you may also be required to pay a steep fine. An additional consequence beyond statutory punishment can be the loss of your employment.
If you find yourself falsely accused of rape, one of the very first steps you need to take is to contact a seasoned Houston sex crimes lawyer who can effectively respond to the allegations against you and intelligently and vigorously defend you against the charges you are facing.
Evaluate Possible Motives or Reasons for the False Rape Claim
As a victim of the false rape charge, it is important for you to understand the possible motive(s) or reasons behind the accusation against you in order to help build an effective defense. There is no shame in defending yourself in the legal system against an untrue accusation, and much more so in the case of such a serious charge as rape. Below are several reasons why false rape allegations are sometimes made by individuals:
- To exert revenge based on jealousy or some other reason
- To hide fidelity
- To gain sympathy
- To cover up or make an excuse for licentious behavior
- Due to the influence of drugs or alcohol affecting the memory of actual events
These or other possible motives/reasons may be involved when you have been falsely accused of rape. Work with your attorney to evaluate any possible reasons why your accuser is alleging the crime of rape against you. The knowledge of possible or likely motives that your attorney gains in this process can help in either the negotiation process with the prosecution or during a trial.
Provide an Account of Events and Possible Witnesses
It is important for you to provide your criminal defense lawyer with as much detailed information as possible of your version of events leading up to your rape accusation. Make sure your attorney knows all of the details – even those that may not seem highly relevant. Skillful attorneys are often able to utilize even the smallest details in your favor that could determine the outcome of your case.
Do you know of any witnesses or possible witnesses to the interaction or contact you had with your accuser? If one or more witnesses can be used as alibis, this can be very advantageous to your case. As well, do you have character witnesses for you, your accuser or both, who can serve to corroborate your motives and/or the motives of your accuser in the case? If so, share this information with your attorney.
Stay Away From Your Accuser
If possible, it is advisable to steer clear of the person who has accused you until you are in a position to legally defend yourself. You may have the opportunity to present your side of the story at an evidentiary hearing. Until that hearing occurs, you may want to stay away from this person to avoid any opportunity for further accusations to be made against you.
If you find yourself in a position where you been falsely accused of rape, it’s important to take the next step necessary to protect your freedom, rights, and future. Houston sex crimes lawyer Ned Barnett has considerable experience with both the defense and prosecutorial sides of the legal system. He knows how to defend you vigorously against the charges you are facing.