Being falsely accused of any crime can be a nightmare. But perhaps no type of crime has as much stigma around it as sex crime. Even a rumor that someone has committed a sexual assault or similar offense can permanently brand them a monster in the minds of their friends, relatives and co-workers. Even worse is the prospect of criminal charges, a long prison sentence and being forced to register as a sex offender in Minnesota.
This social disgrace might be proper when the person actually did what they are accused of. But what if you have been falsely accused? It happens more often than you might believe. Mistaken identity, police mismanagement of evidence and an accuser misusing the criminal justice system to “get” somebody are just three ways an innocent person in Mankato can find themselves charged with a sex crime they did not commit.
If this ever happens to you, there are things you can do to fight for your reputation, rights as a defendant and freedom. Here are a few tips.
- Don’t ignore the accusation just because it’s false. Though the police investigation should clear you, you cannot assume that the matter will go away on its own. The stakes are just too high, and there is still a chance that you will be arrested and charged.
- Invoke your legal rights if you do get arrested, including your right to remain silent. It can be tempting to try to talk your way out of charges, especially since you have the truth on your side. But the police are trained to get people to incriminate themselves. Until you have had a chance to talk to a defense attorney, invoke your Fifth Amendment right not to answer questions. You also have your Sixth Amendment right to be represented by an attorney during police questioning.
- Work with an experienced defense attorney. A strong lawyer will thoroughly examine the evidence and interview witnesses to get a clear picture of how you came to be falsely accused. Then they can advise you of your options for dealing with the charges.
Things can be very scary right now, but you don’t have to go through phony sex crime accusations alone. Your defense attorney can provide a range of services to help you through this difficult period.