There is nothing more terrifying than being charged with a crime you didn’t commit, especially when it is as severe as sexual assault. While many crimes are black-and-white, sexual assault is in a continuous gray-area. What one person feels is perfectly sensible; another might feel it is assault.
This gray line can lead to a high number of charges against people for sexual assault, and you are ever one of those people, you must know what to do next, what not to do, and how a criminal defence lawyer can help you.
What To Do If You’re Charged With Sexual Assault
If you have been charged with sexual assault, you immediately hire a criminal defence lawyer to support your case. You should also do the following:
- Gather and preserve all the physical evidence relating to the victim and the incident, including clothing, photos, and objects.
- Gather all documents, such as texts, emails, and GPS records, computer records (as they will show you where you were at the time).
- Make a list of potential witnesses that saw you on the night. Their opinion will either help or hinder your case, so getting them down on a list will help you.
All these should be handed over to your Calgary criminal defence lawyer as soon as possible to ensure they can use it for your case.
What Not To Do If You’re Charged With Sexual Assault
Just as important as it is to preserve and build evidence to your case, there are certain things you should not do if you have been charged, including:
- Talk or try to talk to the victim in any way possible
- Talk to law enforcement or other investigators without your lawyer present
- Do not agree to a test that is not mandatory—such as DNA testing before your arrest—or give any evidence to law enforcement without consulting with a lawyer first
Undertaking of these can affect your case and result in your case suffering. If you have inadvertently done any of this, speak to your criminal lawyer immediately.
How A Criminal Defence Lawyer in Calgary Can Help You
A criminal defence lawyer is essential for being a defence case against your charge. Contesting the charge without a lawyer might see you fail in your case, resulting in jail time. Your sexual assault lawyer will prepare a defense that will typically explore specific issues, including:
- The complexity and difficulty of your case. Your lawyer will provide you with information on what is the best course of action of you – such as accepting a plea deal or going to trial
- Determining whether the victim is lying about what happened
- Determining if the victim has mistakenly or internationally identified the accuser (you) as the offender
- Whether the evidence against you (fingerprints, DNA, photographs, video, eyewitness accounts) establishes you as the offender of the crime, and if the evidence is misleading or incorrect. They will also counteract any DNA testing submitted before the arrest.
- If you have a reliable and trustworthy alibi on the day or night of the incident
At the same time, your sexual assault lawyer will help advise you on the right course of action to make sure you get the best defence possible. They will advise you on all your legal rights as a defendant so you are well aware of where you stand with everything.
An experienced Calgary criminal defence lawyer will be aware of the possible defenses for your case and will not the necessary steps to take for you to get it. They are your number one supporter and will help ensure that you are not charged and sentenced for a crime you did not commit.
Dunlap Law provides the legal support and representation you need for your criminal case. Dunlap law is experienced with impaired driving or criminal offence cases. Send an email to [email protected] or give us a call. Calgary: (403) 474-8222 | Edmonton: (780) 428-2267 | Toll Free: 1-866-247-2264.