When you have been falsely accused of a sexual assault, it can feel as if the ground has opened and swallowed you up. Even if the action that led to the allegation took place years ago, the police will take this report as seriously as if it happened yesterday, so be aware that during the initial stages of the investigation, you may feel that all of the evidence is one-sided and benefiting the accuser.
While it may seem logical to avoid seeking legal representation on the basis of innocence, this is not a wise starting point. In fact, long-term, not seeking advice from a sexual offence solicitor may impact on the outcome of your case negatively, leaving you and your family with a social stigma. So, what should you do if you have been falsely accused of sexual assault? Read on to find out.
First and foremost, the moment that you are made aware that you have been accused of sexual assault, you need to contact a competent and reputable sexual offence solicitor. While it may feel embarrassing talking to a complete stranger about any actions that transpired between you and the accuser, don’t worry. A trained solicitor will have heard it all (and worse) before and it is vital that you tell them everything, so they can have the best chance of defending you should your case go to court.
Speak to the police
If you have not been arrested, it is vital that you attend your local police station as soon as possible to give your side of the story. Remember, sexual assault is a serious offence and nobody wants officers showing up at their place of work or at their home to arrest them, so it is best to get this step out of the way at the earliest convenience.
If the police have asked you to come in for an interview, contact a sexual offence solicitor to accompany you during the interview. This will not make you look guilty in the eyes of the officers; quite the contrary, it will make you look prepared and focused on proving your innocence.
Build you case
If you are charged with sexual assault and released from jail, it may be months before you stand trial in court. This can leave you in a limbo-like situation which is far from pleasant. During this time, it is important to be proactive in building your case with your legal team. This will involve multiple meetings and providing them with as much evidence as possible. As harrowing as this will seem, it will all add up to a stronger defence.
Your solicitor should work to keep your employment secure during this time. If you are concerned that you may lose your job, contact them as early as possible to liaise with your employer.
When it is all over and you are finally found innocent, you can ask your solicitor for this accusation to be removed from your police record.