Being accused of a sexual offense like rape is a big thing. This is one of the most serious of crimes, and, as a reflection of this, it has one of the most severe sentences. Even if you are found innocent, your social image may be damaged, which can lead to issues with job opportunities and even family life. Even though it may seem hopeless, it is always important to seek the defense advice of an experienced legal team, who will work to prove you are innocent, even in these extreme cases. They should be able to help you in numerous ways.
Hiring a lawyer is always the best thing you can do; with their knowledge, you can defend yourself fairly and justly. If you need help supporting consent in an allegation against you, be sure to contact sexual offence solicitors for help. They may defend the following:
One of the most common defenses in rape cases is that the alleged victim consented to the sexual activity. This defense can be particularly difficult to prove or disprove, as it often comes down to the word of the accused versus the word of the accuser. Also, if the person who has been raped is under the age of 18 or has neurological issues, it will not matter if they consented, as they will have been deemed unable to give consent.
- Mental Health Issues
This is another area that is difficult to prove, but it can be one that is looked into if it is justified. If you have a diagnosis of a severe, long-term mental health issue, such as schizophrenia, psychosis, bipolar type 1 or type 2, or even disassociative identity disorder, then this can be used as a defense against any legal redress, including those that surround sexual assault.
Of course, this will need to be backed up by experts on the side of the defense, such as psychiatrists or psychologists, and, preferably, you will need to have this mental health issue on your medical records prior to the assault. This is not a defense to jump onto lightly.
- Mistaken Identity
In some cases, the accused may claim that they did not commit the crime and that they were mistaken for someone else. This defense is more commonly used in cases where the victim did not know their attacker. However, this is going to be more complicated if you and the accuser were known to each other before the alleged incident.
But, as before, this can be an area to build on in your defense, so seek advice from a defense solicitor who has expertise in areas relating to a sexual offense.
Uncover and Showcase a Lack of Evidence
Your lawyer will work hard with you to build a case that can defend you in court if it comes to it. The defense team may look into whether there is insufficient evidence to support the charges. This could include a lack of DNA evidence, eyewitness testimony, or other physical evidence. The motive may also be lacking.
Suppose you are someone who had no contact/knowledge of the person who is accusing you of rape, and you have no previous incidents of such an offense on your legal record. You also have no history of drug abuse or substantial mental health issues; there is simply no motive! This can be beneficial in helping to defend you against sexual assault allegations.
Dig Deep for Procedural Errors
The defense will dig into whether there were errors in the police investigation or in the handling of evidence, which may cast doubt on the reliability of the prosecution’s case. This can once again be tricky to prove and may involve a longer time period for this to be investigated.