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What to Do If You’ve Been Falsely Accused of a Sex Crime

There are few things worse than being falsely accused of a sex crime. A sex crime accusation creates a stigma that is hard to shake—even if you’re found innocent of the crime. Studies have shown that approximately ten percent of all sex crime accusations are false. A sex crime conviction has serious consequences, including jail time, probation, fines, and registration as a sex offender. Therefore, if you’ve been falsely accused of a sex crime, you must act immediately to prove your innocence. 

Reasons for false accusations 

There are many reasons that people make false sex crime accusations, including: 

Embarrassment: Sometimes, an accuser’s embarrassment regarding a consensual sexual encounter results in a false sex crime accusation. 

Mistaken Identity: Sex crimes often occur in dimly lit places or involve the use of drugs or alcohol. This can lead the victim of an actual sex crime to point the finger at the wrong person.

Revenge: Sadly, it’s not uncommon for a person to attempt to get back at an enemy by making a false sex crime accusation. 

Steps to take

If you’ve been accused of a sex crime, you must take prompt action—even if you haven’t been formally charged with a crime. Steps to take following a false sex crime accusation include: 

Create a Timeline: Following a false sex crime accusation, you should immediately create a timeline of the events surrounding the incident. Memories fade as time goes on, so it’s important to do this as soon as you are aware that you’ve been accused of a sex crime.

Create a witness list: Potential witnesses include anyone directly or indirectly involved with the alleged incident (including any alibi witnesses). Additional witnesses include people who can vouch for your character and people who can speak on the character of the accuser. 

Don’t communicate with the accuser: Although it may be tempting to contact your accuser to attempt to work things out, this can make matters worse. After you’ve been accused, cease all contact with the accuser. 

Don’t talk to the police: If you are innocent, it only makes sense that you’d want to clear your name and explain yourself to the authorities. However, you should never speak to the police without an Arizona sex crime defense attorney present. Remember, anything you say to the police can later be used against you. 

Contact an Arizona Sex Crime Defense Attorney 

A sex crime conviction can result in a lengthy prison sentence, fines, registration as a sex offender, and more. Therefore, if you’ve been accused of a sex crime, you must contact an experienced sex crime defense attorney as soon as possible to protect your rights. At the Arizona Lawyers, we have been defending clients against Arizona sex crime charges for over 25 years. We offer our clients extensive legal knowledge and a proven track record of sex crime defense success. Please contact us immediately to schedule a consultation.