There is no denying the fact that sexual violence is rampant in the US. Every year, over 400,000 people experience sexual assault in the country. Still, people know very little about sexual assault cases and have several misconceptions about how the criminal justice system handles them. In fact, that is largely due to the way TV shows and movies portray such cases.
In this post, we have debunked four of the most common myths associated with sexual assault cases.
Myth: When It Comes to Sexual Assault Cases, We Should Always Believe the Victim
Fact: Data shows that 2% to 10% of sexual violence allegations tend to be wildly exaggerated or downright false. While there is no doubt that alleged victims of sexual violence must be encouraged to speak up and must be listened to, there is not any need to believe them in the absence of tangible evidence. People accused of sexual violence have the right to tell their side of the story too. And, only the court can decide whether they are guilty or not.
Myth: Hiring a Lawyer Is an Admission of Guilt
Fact: Hiring a sexual assault defense attorney is not an admission of guilt. In fact, not being represented by a skilled attorney can significantly increase the risk of getting convicted based on false allegations. The quality of your legal representation could be the difference between a felony conviction and walking away with your freedom and reputation intact.
Myth: If the Victim Says They Did Not Consent to Sexual Activity, the Defense Lawyer Cannot Argue Against It
Fact: Consent in sexual assault cases can often be a tricky issue. In the absence of medical evidence, it might come to one person’s word against the other. Remember – it is the prosecution that needs to prove that the alleged victim did not consent to the sexual activity.
Depending on the alleged victim’s behavior after the sexual act occurred, the communication between you and the alleged victim afterward, and inconsistencies in the victim’s statement (if any), your lawyer might be able to make the argument that the victim did consent to the sexual activity and recanted it later due to guilt, shame, or for other reasons.
Myth: You Can Sort Out False Allegations by a Friend of Family Member Privately
Fact: Trying to reason with an alleged victim – even if they happen to be your friend or family member – is a bad idea. It can make you look like an aggressor who is trying to pressure the alleged victim into retracting the allegations. It can also lead to additional charges. So, it is in your best interest to avoid any kind of contact with the alleged victim. Of course, this includes phone, email, or in-person.
Choose the Best Criminal Defense Lawyer for a Strong Legal Representation
If you are facing charges of sexual assault, the criminal defense attorneys at Hines & Holub can help you. We have over 85 years of combined experience. And, we have defended thousands of clients accused of sexual crimes over the years. We can represent you, challenge the prosecution’s case against you, and defend you aggressively against all the allegations. Also, we fight spiritedly to get the charges against you dropped, dismissed, or reduced to the extent possible.
To find out how we can help you, call us today at 512-883-5386 or contact us online and schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced Austin sexual assault defense lawyers.