If you have been charged with sexual assault and you are innocent, you could be facing a world of trouble. It’s one of the most serious criminal charges in Canada and can result in severe penalties, such as jail-time, fines or court-mandated courses.
What you do after you’ve been charged is pivotal for your case’s success and any potential issues that might arise from it. In this guide, we highlight the things you must avoid when charged with sexual assault.
Five Things You Must Do When Charged With Sexual Assault
Realize The Trouble You’re In
Sometimes people think that their charge is nothing major, a simple blip that they can overcome. Most people go into some level of denial and minimize the trouble they are in. But with sexual assault, that’s the wrong way to approach it. This is a big deal and you have to realize the amount of trouble you’re in.
That doesn’t mean that you go into your shell – far from it. You have to be proactive and support your case, while ensuring that you abide by the restrictions and the laws placed on you. Consider the ramifications of you being convicted or commit any more crimes – you could spend decades in jail. Acknowledge what you did wrong and start working on your case.
Hire An Attorney With Experience In This Field
Once you have been charged, it’s best to start searching for a lawyer who has experience in sexual assault cases, such as the experts at Dunlap Law.
It’s best if you have a team of people that understand the finer dynamics of sexual assault cases, and can use their knowledge and experience to help you with yours.
Make sure you consider the lawyer’s experience in sexual assault cases, their success rate and their approach to supporting you and aiding your case. You want the best for your case, so you can get the best result possible for your charge.
Find Key Evidence For Your Case
It’s best to start this process by collecting information that can support your case. We’re talking about text messages, emails, voicemails, eyewitnesses and so forth. The more information you can provide to your lawyer, the better they can work with your case.
While you can expect the lawyer to do the work themself, it’s better coming from a strong source like yourself, as you’ll have direct access to all this type of evidence. Your lawyer can turn it into a valuable piece of evidence that can help you avoid any conviction.
Avoid Committing More Crimes
You’ve already been charged with one serious crime; why get another one attached to your name? Beating the sexual assault charge is difficult enough on its own, so having another list of charges to your name, such as domestic violence or being caught on a DUI, can only result in you losing your cases.
It looks bad to the judge and jury (if it goes to trial) that you’re still committing crimes despite being charged for one. It plays into the part that you’re a sexual abuser – despite the fact that different cases don’t overlap.
Do Not Contact Your Accuser
It doesn’t matter what has been said about you – true or not – you must avoid contacting the accuser of your case. It can seem like you’re harassing them or threatening them with violence, which will be against you in the eyes of the prosecutor.
In many situations, there could be a restraining order set against you, denying you close contact with them. But even if there isn’t, you’re tempting faith if you try to conversate with them. And if you do break the restraining order, that could result in worse penalties than before. Stay away from them at all costs during the initial charge and the trials.