False Sexual Assault Charges: What Can You Do About It?
Sexual assault is one of the most common crimes in the world. For example, the U.S. records over 463,000 rape cases yearly, and every 68 seconds, someone is sexually assaulted. The prevalence of false reporting is pretty low, with about 2% to 10% of rape reports being false. However, false rape allegations can have a significant negative impact on the lives of those accused for a long time.
False Sexual Assault Charges
A false allegation of sexual assault can be devastating and overwhelming. Nothing can prepare anyone for such a challenging situation.
False rape charges may arise when a victim wrongly identifies the accused person. Another situation that may lead to false reporting is where consensual sexual activity is misinterpreted as sexual assault. A defendant may also be falsely accused of sexual assault because of the alleged victim’s malicious intent. People may also falsely accuse others out of revenge or to cover up an embarrassing event. The list of scenarios that could lead to false sexual assault charges is not exhaustive, as new situations often arise.
However, regardless of the circumstances surrounding your case, you need professional legal assistance. Blank Law, PC is a leading law firm in Michigan specializing in sex crimes. We are dedicated to helping people fight the criminal charges against them.
Having successfully represented many defendants with false allegations, we can assist you with fighting false rape accusations. Our wealth of experience with rape, statutory rape, and other sex offenses can help you defend yourself and avoid being convicted of a false rape charge. Reach out to us for a free consultation today.
What Can You Do if You Face False Sexual Assault Charges?
If someone falsely claims that you sexually assaulted them and you now face rape allegations, you must act promptly to defend yourself. You should address the situation seriously, even though the rape allegations against you are false. Ignoring the false accusation will not make it go away. It would help if you thought of ways to beat the criminal charges of being accused of sexual assault and refute the accuser’s false memories.
Also, confronting the person who made the false allegation against you may not be a good decision. From the moment the false rape allegations have been filed, whatever you say may be used as evidence against you. So, you must be careful with your social media posts and conversations with family members, co-workers, and friends. Also, steer clear of public emotional outbursts.
Hire a Criminal Defense Lawyer
If you are accused of false rape, hiring a sex crimes defense lawyer is the most crucial step. Criminal defense lawyers are familiar with the complex criminal justice system and can provide guidance and necessary legal aid. Many people assume that hiring a criminal defense lawyer is expensive, so they would rather defend themselves, especially if the rape allegations against them are false. However, doing so would be detrimental to your success in fighting the criminal charges against you. Learn how much a sex offender lawyer costs here.
Hiring the cheapest criminal defense lawyer you find could negatively affect your chances of proving your innocence. So, you must choose your attorney carefully to beat the false rape charges against you. Many criminal defense lawyers give free consultations, and some may also be willing to provide discounts. So, ensure you explore your options carefully and choose a rape defense attorney that can provide excellent legal representation.
Make a Recollection of the Incident
Another vital step to take once you learn that you face a false accusation of rape is writing your recollection of the event leading to the false allegation. Make a detailed account of everything you remember about the incident, including the date, clothes you wore that day, what the victim wore, where you were, the activities you did, and the sexual encounter, if any.
Also, make a list of potential witnesses who may be able to corroborate your side of the story. Their testimony may help you debunk the complainant’s false memories. Once you make a list, ensure to share it with only your lawyer, not police officers or relatives.
Provide Your Lawyer All Forms of Supporting Evidence
If the incident leading to false sexual assault allegations occurred in a place with surveillance cameras and CCTV footage of the event, then you should let your lawyer know about it. Also, if pictures were taken on the day of the incident, you should give them to your attorney. Such concrete evidence will invalidate all the accuser’s false memories.
Ensure you give all the evidence to your lawyer, not law enforcement officers, family members, or friends. Your attorney will evaluate the evidence provided and deliver relevant ones to police officers. Learn exactly what to do if a detective calls you here.
What are the Definitions of Sexual Assault Under Michigan Law?
In Michigan, rape and other sex crimes are referred to as criminal sexual conduct (learn more about what criminal sexual conduct means here). Criminal sexual conduct (CSC) is a broad term for any form of unwanted or non-consensual sexual contact that may be obtained through force or coercion, intimidation, or the threat of force. Under the laws of Michigan, there are four CSC degrees, which cover a wide range of sex offenses and levels of intimidation or coercion.
Criminal sexual conduct 1st degree covers offenses involving sexual penetration, such as child molestation, forcible rape, and sexual assault (learn what is sexual penetration in the terms of the law here). Any crime involving force or domestic violence during sexual intercourse falls under CSC 1st degree. Being convicted of first degree CSC has tragic consequences, such as life imprisonment and hefty fines (see CSC 1st degree Michigan penalty). You may also be required to maintain a criminal record with the Michigan Sex Offender Registry.
Criminal sexual conduct 2nd degree covers offenses involving unwanted sexual contact (learn what is offensive touching here). Any crime involving touching another person’s private parts without their consent and the alleged victim is a child below 13 would be classified as CSC 2nd degree. You can be sentenced to prison for up to 15 years for a criminal sexual conduct 2nd degree charge (see CSC 2nd degree Michigan penalty).
Criminal sexual conduct 3rd degree also covers offenses involving unlawful sexual intercourse. If the victim of the forcible rape is a person 13 thru 15 years old or is physically or mentally incapacitated, then it would be classified as CSC 3rd degree. Also, in situations where the offender and alleged victim are closely related, or the defendant is in a position of authority over the victim, it would be classified as criminal sexual conduct to the third degree. Where the unlawful sexual act involves force or domestic violence, it would also amount to 3rd degree CSC. It is punishable by a maximum prison sentence of 15 years, and Michigan lifetime electronic monitoring (see CSC 3rd degree Michigan penalty).
Criminal sexual conduct 4th degree is similar to 2nd degree CSC as it covers offenses dealing with unwanted sexual touching. It carries the least severe charge of all the degrees. CSC 4th degree involves non-consensual sexual contact with another person’s breasts, vagina, anus, penis, or inner thigh. The victims of criminal sexual conduct to the 4th degree are usually adults, mentally or physically incapacitated people, or close relatives. It is punishable by a maximum sentence of two years and a fine of up to $500 (see CSC 4th degree Michigan penalty).
Should You Speak with Law Enforcement if You Face False Sexual Assault Charges in Michigan?
If you are being investigated for false sexual assault charges, you should not talk to a detective without a lawyer; that goes for the police too. You have the right to remain silent. You will not be punished for refusing to speak with a police officer. With that said, refusing to speak with law enforcement agents will not prevent them from arresting you for the charges filed.
It would be best to speak with your criminal sexual conduct attorney before speaking to a police officer or law enforcement agent. Your lawyer must be trustworthy, abiding by the attorney-client relationship’s confidentiality. You should talk with your lawyer honestly so that they can provide sexual assault defense startegies tailored to your specific case. No case of false allegations of sexual assault is the same, so you need to provide your lawyer with all the information required to evaluate your case correctly.
Can False Sexual Assault Charges Have a Negative Impact on Your Life Permanently?
Rape charges can have a lasting, adverse effect on your life, even if false. If you face false allegations of rape and a complaint is filed against you, you may be arrested and tried in court. If you do not establish an aggressive defense to prove your innocence, you may be found guilty even though you did not commit the crime. Being convicted of false rape allegations is punishable by a lengthy prison sentence.
Even if you are found innocent, the stigma of being considered a rapist may still negatively affect the quality of your life. For example, you may be suspended or fired from your job due to the allegations. When false reports against you exist, you may also be denied opportunities such as housing and future employment. You may lose your license to practice if you are a professional, like a doctor or nurse.
In addition, you may be denied a visa if you are an immigrant in the U.S. You may also lose child custody arrangements as a parent. Dealing with false reports of rape allegations can also affect your physical and mental health due to the stress and strain it may bring to your life, finances, and relationships.
A classic example of how false rape allegations can have a lasting, adverse effect on the accused person’s life is the case of a female student at Hofstra University. She accused some men of raping her in 2009. Eventually, video evidence showed that she had consented to the sexual activity, debunking the false allegations. However, by that time, the men had been labeled as rapists.
Another example is the case of Brian Banks. In 2002, his classmate Wanetta Gibson accused him of raping her in a stairwell. He was eventually tried and found guilty. He spent almost six years in prison and another five years under supervision after release until she admitted that she had lied. Although he was eventually exonerated in 2012, the false allegations against him had significantly impacted his life.
Therefore, you need to take false rape reports seriously. You should contact and have a Michigan criminal defense attorney free consultation immediately if you or your loved one is arrested because of false rape allegations. Blank Law, PC can help you beat the rape charges against you. Contact us today or visit our law office for a free consultation.
Are There Viable Legal Defenses Against False Rape Allegations Under Michigan Law?
If false rape allegations have been made against you, you need to put up a criminal sexual conduct defense to prove that you are innocent. The criminal law of Michigan requires the prosecution to establish the guilt of the accused person beyond a reasonable doubt. However, you are also allowed to defend yourself.
Technically, the burden of proof is not on you to establish your innocence. All you need to do is weaken the prosecution’s case and cast substantial doubt on the integrity of the evidence they provide.
If you or your family member faces false allegations of sexual assault, the legal defenses available to you include:
Proving the Victim Gave Consent
Generally, the law does not prohibit consensual sex between adults. Where the alleged victim consented to the sexual activity, it will not amount to sexual assault. So if you can prove that the alleged unlawful sexual act was consensual, it may serve as a legal defense against the false accusation.
However, if the victim is below the legal age of consent in Michigan, any consent would not serve as a defense. A child below 16 cannot give consent under the law. Also, if the victim is an adult, but is mentally or physically incapacitated, any consent would be deemed invalid. Thus, consent only serves as a valid defense when the victim is an adult who is physically and mentally sound.
Testimony of Witnesses
If there are witnesses to corroborate your version of the story, their testimony could serve as a valid legal defense to the sexual assault allegations against you. You may also call character witnesses to testify about your character to prove that you do not have a pattern, nor can be reasonably suspected of sexual assault.
In some situations, the victim may wrongly identify the accused. This inaccurate identification may be due to intoxication or drunkenness. Sometimes DNA evidence could be confusing, particularly if it is not handled correctly, and can lead to a case of mistaken identity of the perpetrator. A case of mistaken identity is a valid legal defense to false allegations.
If there are false accusations of rape against you and you were not at the scene of the alleged offense, and can provide sufficient evidence backing it up, the alibi defense may exonerate you from the false allegations against you.
There are other defenses that could help you with fighting false accusations. So, if you have been falsely accused of rape, you should speak with a defense attorney to determine which legal defenses are available to you.
Will You Be Punished for False Rape Charges Under Michigan Law?
Most rape cases typically attract harsh punishment. The penalties range from lengthy prison sentences to hefty fines, community service, probation, and electronic monitoring. The severity of the penalty depends on the seriousness of the crime, the victim involved, and if force was used, among other factors.
However, you will only be punished for a rape charge if you are convicted of the offense. If the criminal charges against you are false and you can prove that you are not guilty, you will not be punished.
Will You Be Required to Register with the Sex Offender Registry for False Rape Charges?
If you face false rape charges, you will be tried in court to determine if you are guilty. If you do not put up an excellent defense, the court may find you guilty and convict you of sexual assault. Consequently, you would be required to register as a sex offender.
On the other hand, if you are found innocent you will be discharged and acquitted. Also, you will not be required to register with the registry since you were acquitted of the offense. Therefore, whether you would be required to maintain a criminal record with the registry for false sexual assault charges depends on if you are convicted for the alleged offense.
Hire Rape Defense Attorney Nicole Blank Becker to Defeat False Rape Allegations
You should act fast if you or your loved one face false rape accusations. The first and most essential step is to hire a rape defense lawyer. Attorney Nicole Blank Becker is a top sex crimes defense lawyer with decades of experience fighting false rape charges. She can help you clear your name and reputation from false accusations. Reach out to her at (248) 515-6583.