When facing false allegations of sexual assault, you may feel overwhelmed. Whether you did have contact with the victim or you’ve never seen the accuser before, discovering they’ve accused you of something you did not do can be devastating. Because rape and assault are heinous crimes, the law takes these allegations very seriously. While this is essential for victims of these crimes, it can be harrowing for the falsely accused. The following blog explores what you should know about these crimes and how an Oklahoma City sex crimes lawyer can help you navigate these charges.
Why Do False Allegations of Sexual Assault Happen?
Unfortunately, there are a number of reasons that someone may falsely accuse another person of sexual assault.
In some instances, someone may create a false memory leading them to believe they were sexually assaulted. This often occurs with children who may be coerced by a parent or adult to accuse another person of rape or molestation. Unfortunately, this can be traumatizing for both the child and the accused party.
However, more commonly, false allegations arise when a person intentionally and knowingly lies about being the victim of unwanted sexual advances. Though heinous, these false accusations do occur. Not only does this impact the wrongly accused, but it also makes it more difficult for real victims to come forward.
People may lie about sexual assault because they want revenge against another person or because they are looking to gain full custody of their children. Similarly, someone may use sexual assault as a means of denying a consensual encounter.
What Are the Penalties for Sexual Assault?
In Oklahoma, sexual assault is taken very seriously. First and second-degree rape are both felony charges. If convicted of first-degree rape, you can face, at minimum, five years in prison. Oklahoma also utilizes the death penalty in these cases, but they are outlawed by the Federal Government, meaning you could face life in prison if convicted. Second-degree rape is punishable by one to fifteen years in prison.
What Should I Do if I’m Falsely Accused?
As you can see, false allegations of sexual assault in Oklahoma can be life-altering. If you have been accused of sexual assault, taking the necessary steps to protect yourself is vital.
The most important thing to do is to remain silent when taken into custody. Unfortunately, many try to defend themselves only to end up accidentally incriminating themselves. You have the Constitutional right to remain silent, so be sure to invoke it.
You should also refrain from contacting your accuser. Though you may be hurt or upset, especially if they are a friend or loved one, contact can seem like intimidation. As such, it’s in your best interest to avoid them at all costs.
Though the statistics show that false allegations are low, they do occur. In the event you have been falsely accused of rape, the Jones Firm, PLLC can help. Our dedicated team will do everything in our power to assist you through these challenging times. Contact us today to learn how we will fight for you.