What happens when you are falsely accused of rape? False rape accusations are very rare. Only 5% of rape allegations turn up to be false. However, considering that many incidences of sexual assault remain unreported, the figure is likely so much lower.
But, false rape accusations happen and when they happen, the victim, usually a man, gets their reputation ruined. Worse, they will have to spend years in prison, getting punishment for a crime they did not commit.
The first thing you need to do is to find a lawyer to advise and, if needed, represent you in court. Rape is a criminal offense. If proven guilty, you will be sentenced to one year in prison at the lowest and life as the maximum.
The person convicted of the crime will also have to face penalties in addition to jail time. The court may order them to undergo treatment and/or be in the sex offender registration program. In short, you will be in a lot of trouble if you are convicted of rape. That is why you need to find a criminal lawyer as soon as you hear about the accusation.
Your lawyer will investigate your case and help you clear your name. They know how to navigate the criminal process and, therefore, would be able to defend you in court.
Find a lawyer who has expertise in criminal law. Ideally, they have worked on similar cases before and have successfully kept their clients from receiving jail time. Visit multiple firms where you can talk about your situation and seek advice. Usually, the first meetings are free. It is a way for lawyers to make their pitch and discuss how they will approach your case.
Avoid Hitting Back
When the accusation is made public, it can be tempting to defend yourself or, out of fear and anger, hurl insults toward the accuser. That likely will not end well and may further aggravate the situation.
What you need to do is seek advice from your lawyer. Stay quiet unless you have received a greenlight to issue a thoughtfully written response that was approved by your legal team. Most importantly, avoid the accuser at all costs. Do not storm to their home and demand to speak to them.
Be Honest to Your Lawyer
As part of the case, your lawyer will ask you to recount the events leading to the alleged rape. Do not leave out any detail. Tell your lawyer everything so they can find the information they can use to prove that the rape did not happen.
If you have an alibi, meaning, you were not present at the time and place the rape allegedly took place, it can successfully be used to clear your name. However, you will need to provide proof, like a document or a witness, to back up your claim.
Do this as soon as possible. Your memory can get murky if you delay telling your version of the story. Write them down so that you can so that you do not leave out any information that will help you or may be used by the accuser against you.
Rape is a serious crime that can land you a lengthy stay behind bars. Although innocent people do get imprisoned for false accusations, trust that your lawyer will give their all to prove that you are innocent.