Have you been accused of committing a sexual assault? Do you feel that seeking legal advice on your own behalf would look bad?
This is a serious allegation and when it comes to legal representation you need to seek it as soon as possible within this area of the law. Not doing so could be devastating.
So, what are some of the myths that people need to stop believing about sexual offence allegations in the UK? A sexual offence solicitor answers below.
Myth 1- Seeking legal help is a sign of guilt
It isn’t at all.
As with all criminal accusations, the sooner you seek legal advice, the sooner your legal team can begin building your defence and conducting research into your case. If you are being held in custody, the sooner you contact a solicitor, the sooner you will be released. Or the sooner the charges will be dropped.
Also, if your case goes to court, it may be held against you as to why legal advice was not sought earlier. So, as soon as you discover that you are going to be accused (or have been accused) of a sexual offence, seek legal help.
Myth 2- It is my word against theirs
Not in all cases.
There may be forensic evidence. It may have been collected if they attended their doctor or a hospital. There may be witnesses such as a passerby or there may even be footage from a CCTV camera.
In short, do not take any accusation of sexual offence lightly, as it is rarely an open and shut case.
Myth 3- Only women can be sexually assaulted
This is not true. In the UK, 10% of sexual assault victims are men. And a large number are children.
So, if you have been accused of sexually assaulting a man, this should be treated with as much urgency in your mind as if you had been accused of conducting a similar action on a child or woman.
Myth 4- Being arrested for sexual offences will ruin my life
Being arrested for any alleged offence will not ruin your life. If you are charged and found guilty, this may differ, especially if it is for sexual assault or related offences.
However, if you are found to be innocent and there are legal repercussions, you may be able to seek legal recourse. For instance, if your boss fires you from your job for being arrested, this can be grounds for an unfair dismissal case. Seek out the advice of a solicitor for more information on this.
It is also worth noting that in some jobs, it may be more excusable for you to lose the position due to a sexual offence charge. If you work with children or vulnerable people, it may be harder to gain a successful case against your former employer.
Myth 5- Historical cases aren’t as urgent as recent ones
If anything, recent events in the media have highlighted that this is not the case at all. If you are accused of committing a sexual offence, even if it was 10 or 20 years ago, you still need to seek legal representation. Not doing so could be detrimental and you could still go to jail.