Being falsely accused of rape can have devastating consequences for the accused. It is never to be ignored or taken lightly. Whether a false accusation or allegation of rape, it is of utmost importance to take immediate action. The first step is to hire a criminal defense attorney. The attorney will advise on how to handle false accusations. If the accused goes to jail, a judge will determine the bail amount. In most states, the defendant can hire a bail bond agent. The bondsman will put up the entire bail. The accused pays a nonrefundable percentage to the bondsman, typically ten percent, and also provides agreed-upon collateral. If the defendant misses the court date, the bonding agency calls in the collateral. It is essential not to miss a court date. A defense attorney can recommend a bonding agency. Or one can be found by searching online or contacting the Better Business Bureau. Make sure that the bonding agency is licensed.
How to Defend Yourself If You Are Falsely Accused of Rape
If the defendant ended up in jail, the complainant had enough compelling proof to involve the justice system. It is essential to understand the difference between an accusation and an allegation. Sometimes the terms are used interchangeably. Both have serious consequences. An accusation means that there is enough proof to warrant criminal proceedings. An allegation means there is an assertion of wrongdoing without the necessary burden of proof. Both false accusations and false allegations of rape will be tried in the court of public opinion and negatively affect the defendant’s ability to hold a job or find work. An accusation is tried in criminal court to punish the perpetrator. An allegation is tried in civil court to compensate the victim.
Strictly follow the defense attorney’s advice on how to handle a false charge. An initial reaction, particularly with Falsely Accused of Rape, is to try to reach out to the accuser in an attempt to “work things out.” Never do this. Trying to contact the complainant may be misconstrued as intimidation. Instead, keep quiet and let your attorney do the talking. Do not discuss the case with others and never post comments on social media. The prosecuting attorney will be looking for discrepancies in the defendant’s statements to solidify the claim. Prosecutors are looking for language to corroborate their client’s stories. Working with an experienced attorney will prevent unintentional comments from harming the case.
Take a proactive stance and become educated on the case and the process. With the help of the attorney, identify witnesses to strengthen the case. Do not submit to DNA or other tests without consulting with your lawyer. The attorney will conduct a pre-trial investigation. Legal representatives will counter-interview witnesses and review evidence. In cases of false accusations of rape, the attorney may be able to get the prosecutor to drop the case or revise to a lesser crime, such as harassment. Discuss with your attorney the possibility of submitting to a private polygraph. This option can only help. Polygraph tests results do not have to be revealed to the court unless they support the case. Another tactic is to challenge the victim by showing discrepancies, past inappropriate behavior, and ulterior motives. All actions taken should be under the guidance and advice of an attorney.
A 2001 study published in the Polygraph Journal on false rape allegations found that they served three primary purposes for the complainants: to provide an alibi, for revenge, or to seek attention or sympathy. If the accuser has falsified charges, the accused may countersue for defamation in civil court. At that point, the defense attorney may recommend the client hire a defamation lawyer to assist with the civil case.
Being Falsely Accused of Rape is traumatic. However, it does not have to ruin a life. Finding a qualified attorney and following sound legal advice is the best course.