Being charged with sexual assault is a big deal. Under Texas penal code, sexual assault is classified as a second-degree felony. A conviction for this kind of crime can lead to serious legal and personal consequences.
If you are accused of rape or any other sex crime, there is a pretty good chance your mind will be occupied by two issues: what to do and pitfalls to avoid while safeguarding your interests. With so much at stake, it is in your best interest that you avoid mistakes that can hurt your defense. Here are some of these mistakes:
Ignoring the accusation altogether
Sex crimes can be quite complex, especially if there was no one else present when the alleged crime happened. Besides, you may be accused of rape for a variety of reasons. Perhaps, the sexual encounter was consensual and your accuser is trying to blackmail you thereafter. Or, you were not even present at the scene of the alleged rape in the first place. No matter the motivation, ignoring the accusation can leave you vulnerable to being indicted and charged.
Here are two things you need to do as soon as you learn about the rape accusation against you:
- Gather your evidence – these can include eyewitnesses and alibi
- Start working on your defense
Speaking to your accuser
As soon as you learn about the accusation, it might be tempting to reach out to your accuser with the goal of clearing things up. However, this can be a very costly mistake. First, your interaction with the plaintiff can be recorded and used against you. Second, this may amount to an attempt to defeat justice, and this can lead to an extra charge.
When you are indicted and charged with rape, your actions before, during and after the indictment can greatly impact the outcome of your case. Knowing your legal options can help you safeguard your rights and interest while facing rape charges.