Few criminal accusations carry a heavier burden than sex crimes. False allegations are harmful and life-altering. At best, a false claim can destroy your reputation and relationships. At worst, it can result in years behind bars and a lifetime of being a wrongfully accused sex offender.
The National Registry of Exonerations reports that 7% of exonerations in 2022 were for people accused of sex crimes. These numbers highlight why you cannot take false accusations lightly. If you are facing false charges, take these steps to launch the best defense.
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Don’t Talk to the Police
Many people learn of the false claims against them after being arrested. They will be taken to jail, charged with a crime, and eventually questioned by the police.
An innocent person’s natural reaction is to tell the police that there must be a mistake. However, this is never a good idea.
The police are experts at getting people to talk. Anything you say to the police can be used as evidence. Also, the police can use psychological tools like lying and manipulation to get a false confession.
If the police attempt to question you, remain silent. It is your right and can help your defense.
Speak with an Attorney
Call an attorney as soon as possible. They offer incredible help for those who are falsely accused of a sex crime. Sex crime cases are notoriously complex, involving intricate legal procedures and rules. An experienced attorney understands the nuances of these cases. They know the signs of a false accusation and how to respond. Most importantly, you will never be alone.
Your attorney will be by your side throughout the process.
The prosecutor needs to prove that you committed the crime. If not, the jury can’t find you guilty. But you still need to defend yourself even if you think there isn’t evidence to support the false accusation. Juries sometimes convict people based on flimsy evidence and personal feelings.
Acting swiftly is essential to ensure that evidence is not lost or destroyed. Your attorney will help you collect anything that can prove your innocence. This may include surveillance footage or witness statements that prove you didn’t commit the crime.
But it can also include other documents like text messages, phone records, or medical reports.
Never doubt the value of evidence, and never stop fighting to get evidence that can support your case. Even decades after a conviction, lawyers can offer help for wrongly convicted sex offenders by showing evidence that leads to exoneration.
Establish Your Alibi
An alibi can serve as a concrete shield against false accusations. An alibi shows you were in a different location or engaged in a different activity at the time of the alleged crime.
Common evidence to support your alibi includes time-stamped receipts from restaurants or surveillance footage from stores. These establish that someone is in a physical location at a specific time. A jury can review your alibi and see that you were not at the scene of the alleged crime.
Witnesses, such as friends, family members, or colleagues, can also help to establish your alibi by attesting to your whereabouts or activities during the alleged incident.
For example, imagine you are accused of a sexual assault that allegedly took place during a social gathering. A friend who can confirm that you were not at the party during that time can be a witness in your favor.
By meticulously collecting and presenting alibi evidence, you build a compelling narrative that casts doubt on the credibility of the accusations. This strengthens your defense and can lead to a favorable outcome in court.
Stay Private and Silent
Maintaining radio silence is vital when falsely accused of a sex crime. Anything you say to others or post online can and likely will be used against you in court.
Prosecutors and law enforcement scour social media profiles and online activity for any evidence that can bolster their case or hurt your credibility. Even seemingly innocent posts or comments can be twisted and presented out of context to paint you in a negative light.
Imagine that you decide to vent your frustration online or engage in a heated argument about unrelated topics. A prosecutor can portray this as aggressive or hostile behavior, potentially undermining your character in the eyes of a judge or jury.
So don’t discuss your case with friends, family, or anyone else besides your attorney.
Prepare for Legal Proceedings
Sex crime cases often unfold in a multi-stage legal process.
After the investigation, you may have pre-hearing proceedings or a preliminary hearing. During these stages, the prosecution presents evidence to determine if there is sufficient cause to proceed with the case.
Your attorney will challenge any evidence and arguments presented by the prosecution. If the judge agrees with your attorney, you may be able to beat your case without ever going to trial.
However, many wrongfully accused sex offender cases still go to trial. This is the moment that your attorney will be most useful. They will present evidence, witnesses, and legal arguments before the jury. They will explain why the prosecutor’s evidence isn’t sufficient and why you must be acquitted.
Keep in mind that trials can be emotionally challenging. They often involve explicit details and intense cross-examination. Your attorney will prepare you for this battle and never leave you feeling alone.
Penalties for Your Accuser
It is illegal to file a false police report under Minnesota law. The police can sometimes charge your accuser with this crime. Depending on the circumstances, this can be a misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor.
If the accuser is convicted, the court can order them to pay up to a $3,000 fine and serve up to one year in jail.
Work with the Attorneys at Arechigo & Stokka
Our law firm has spent decades helping innocent people defend themselves in court. We understand the pressure of being a wrongfully accused sex offender and always fight our hardest to beat these charges.
One of our clients was falsely accused of inappropriate touching and faced severe penalties. But with our strong defense, the prosecutor dropped the charges because the accuser was not credible. Arechigo & Stokka is here to help. Call our law firm today to fight back against your charges.
Attorney John Arechigo has a passion for criminal defense in St. Paul, MN. John received his J.D., from Hamline University School of Law and also carries a Bachelor of Arts from, The University of Minnesota. John was named Attorney of the Year for 2019 by Minnesota Lawyer. Additionally, John was also named as a 2019 Rising Star and was selected to Minnesota Super Lawyers in 2021. He devotes nearly 100% of his practice to defending individuals charged with a crime.