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6 Steps to Take If You Are Falsely Accused of a Sex Crime

6 Steps to Take If You Are Falsely Accused of a Sex Crime

False allegations of a sex crime can cause significant damage to an individual’s personal life and professional reputation—even though there hasn’t been a conviction by a criminal court. Due to the recent #MeToo movement and the amount of influence social media has on our daily lives, there has been an influx of sex crime accusations committed by those in entertainment, politics, education, religious institutions, and just about every type of industry.

If you have been falsely accused of a sex crime, there are certain steps you must take to avoid being charged and ultimately convicted. Although you may believe the justice system will take its course, taking a proactive approach can soften the damage done by sex crime allegations and perhaps clear your name of alleged wrongdoing.

Steps to take if you are falsely accused of a sex crime include:

  • Understand how much legal trouble you are in – Most sex crimes in Illinois and in all states are considered felony offenses. Not only does a conviction lead to a prison sentence and fines, but also registration as a sex offender. Being a registered sex offender can make it difficult to get a job, find a place to live, and take advantage of other opportunities in life. Do not ignore these accusations and take action right away.
  • Hire a lawyer – You need an experienced criminal defense lawyer who can protect your rights, reputation, and freedom. While people believe hiring an attorney may seem like you are guilty, you need someone who can assess your situation, figure out your available legal options, and create a defense strategy to mitigate the damage caused by the allegations. In addition, if your accuser’s claims are revealed to be false, an attorney can help you file a defamation lawsuit in civil court to recover monetary damages on your behalf.
  • Collect evidence – Gather any forms of correspondence and communications with your accuser, including text messages, e-mails, social media messages, phone call logs, etc. Also collect physical evidence in your possession such as photos, videos, clothing, and other items. Create a timeline of every encounter you had with the accuser and write down as many details as possible—no matter how insignificant they may seem.
  • Create a witness list – Any individual who was with you at the time the crime occurred, has information about the accuser, or has a close relationship with both parties could be considered witnesses. Whether they will testify for or against you, this will help you lawyer prepare if they happen to take the stand.
  • Do not talk to the police – Unfortunately, there are many instances where individuals accused of sex crimes voluntarily speak with law enforcement officials in an effort to disclose “their side of the story.” Since anything you say can and will be used against in you at trial, the only person you should discuss your case with is your lawyer.
  • Do not contact the accuser – Many people also try to reach out to the accuser to settle the matter without involving the authorities. However, this may seem like you are making threats against the victim, which could prompt police intervention sooner than later.

For more information about sex crime allegations in Illinois, contact our Chicago criminal defense attorney at Ahmad Law Firm today.

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