Since the start of the #MeToo movement, sexual assault allegations have significantly increased within the past year. Unfortunately, mere accusations—even before criminal charges are filed—can cause immense damage to a person’s life and reputation. During an investigation, there are several mistakes people often make which can harm their case.
The following are the most common mistakes people make when accused of a sex crime:
- Ignoring the matter altogether – When people are falsely accused of sexual misconduct, some of them don’t take the matter seriously enough to take legal action to protect themselves, allowing the criminal justice system to take its course. However, ignoring the criminal investigation can leave you vulnerable to being charged. A conviction for a sex crime not only results in prison time and fines, but also register as a sex offender—potentially for the rest of your life.
- Speaking with law enforcement – Many people believe the police will help them if they cooperate with the investigation. In fact, they believe not talking to law enforcement makes them appear guilty. If you have the urge to tell “your side of the story” to the police, do not act on your impulses. Remember, anything you say can and will be used against you as evidence in a trial. If the police want to ask you questions, invoke your right to remain silent and only speak to them with an attorney present.
- Talking to the accuser – While it may be an opportunity to set the record straight, do not communicate with your accuser. Whether you reach out to the person or he/she reaches out to you, your conversation may be recorded in an attempt to gather evidence which supports the accuser’s claims.
- Sharing your investigation on social media – From posting photos and videos to staying connected with friends and family, social media has become a part of our lives. However, your criminal investigation should be kept out of platforms like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Do not attempt to plead your innocence online, it will only make matters worse.
- Not hiring an attorney – Due to the severity of such accusations, you need to hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer on your side. Your attorney can protect your rights throughout the criminal justice process, conduct his/her own investigation into your case, and build an effective defense plan to fight the charges against you. Although you can also obtain legal representation from a public defender, they often have a massive caseload to work with and do not have enough time to properly handle your case.
If you have been accused of a sex crime in Las Vegas, our skilled legal team at Turco & Draskovich handles nearly half of all sex crime allegations in Clark County. With more than four decades of combined legal experience and an excellent track record of success, we have what it takes to protect your rights and future.
Contact us and schedule a free consultation for more information today.