A person accused of sexually abusing a child faces critical damage to their reputation and severe legal penalties. This is why false accusations can be so devastating.
Many times, false accusations do not originate from the child. An adult such as an ex-spouse may instigate the child to make such allegations in order to get full custody. The child may also falsely accuse someone to get attention or punish a relative they are angry with. In other cases, it could be an unintentional false accusation as a result of confusion or mistaken memory.
The gravity of cases involving allegations of child molestation makes things harder for a falsely accused person. A jury is likely to believe unsupported claims of sexual abuse made by children, unlike in other criminal cases.
Therefore, if the proper steps are not taken quickly, false accusations could quickly lead to criminal proceedings and a guilty verdict.
5 Steps To Take if You Are Falsely Accused of Child Sexual Abuse
Calm Down and Understand the Situation
When you first hear the allegations, you may understandably be shocked, angry, frustrated, and hurt. However, amid all this, you need to ground yourself. Take a moment to understand the false allegation being made against you as well as the possible penalties.
Let this realization rationally and carefully inform the steps you take next.
Avoid Contacting Your Accuser
You may feel tempted to contact your alleged victim to resolve things. However, there is almost no chance that doing this will help your case. Cut off all communications with the family of your accuser and everyone affiliated with them in order to protect yourself.
This will reduce your chances of implicating yourself. The alleged victim could also claim that you threatened them if they have evidence that you contacted them.
Don’t Give Any Statements
While you may be eager to speak up and defend yourself, the wiser thing to do is remain silent. Don’t speak to law enforcement without any legal representation, and don’t answer questions posed to you by anyone else.
Whatever you say may be used against you later in the course of events. If avoiding questions could cost you your job, contact an attorney before it even gets to that stage.
Contact an Attorney
A skilled sex crime attorney is your best bet at overcoming the false accusations thrown at you and obtaining not guilty verdicts if the case goes to trial. With an attorney, you don’t have to worry about divulging confidential or sensitive information that you think may prove your innocence.
The attorney-client relationship is a confidential one, and nothing you say to them can be used to bring criminal charges against you or anyone else.
Gather All Possible Evidence
Your accuser is usually the one that has to prove that you committed the act. However, it does not hurt to have evidence in your defense. If you have receipts, live GPS coordinates, or witnesses that could help, make a list.
Gather the documents and take everything that you think could help your case to your defense attorney. Take even the ones that seem detrimental too. Your attorney will know how best to use them to your advantage.
In summary, your initial reaction to child sexual abuse allegations could decide how the rest of the case goes. If you need to talk to an experienced sex crime lawyer, contact the Missouri DWI & Criminal Law Center now.