Being falsely accused of sexual can be frightening, overwhelming and devastating. The consequences of a conviction can impact your life in multiple ways.
It is important that you know how to protect your rights, reputation and freedom if you are facing false sexual assault charges. Under Texas law, a sexual assault is classified as a second-degree felony offense that is punishable by up to 20 years of prison time. Sometimes, sexual assault may be charged with a first-degree felony.
So when can you be accused of sexual assault?
There are a number of reasons why you can find yourself facing a false sexual assault charge. Common scenarios that can lead to a false sexual assault claim include:
- A consensual sexual encounter that is later mischaracterized by the other party as a sexual assault
- A former intimate partner out to seek revenge following a breakup or an upper hand during the divorce process
- An estranged partner who is seeking an advantage during child custody dispute
- Mistaken identity
Here are two things you should do if you are falsely accused of sexual assault
Treat the accusation with the seriousness it deserves
All sexual assault claims should be taken seriously. When you learn that someone is falsely making claims of sexual assault against you – whether there is a formal complaint or not – it is important that you figure out how to safeguard your rights. Remember, there is no such thing as “just kidding” when it comes to sexual assault claims. An accusation can potentially result in an arrest and prosecution.
Never confront your accuser
It is understandable that you may want to talk directly to your accuser once you have learned of the accusation being leveled against you. However, confronting your accuser, especially without legal representation, can do more harm than good to your case. Once you have learned of the allegation, it is important that you seek professional support going forward.
A conviction for a sexual offense can affect your life in various ways as you will have to deal with a potential prison time, fines, a registration as a sex offender and loss of reputation, among others. Simply put, the stakes cannot be any higher, which is why you need professional help to walk with you through this difficult time.