Sexual contact with children is a serious crime. An accusation can change your entire life, and a battle in court could lead to job loss and the more serious consequence of jail time. Accusations can be made from anyone and at any time. Should you ever be accused of child molestation, it’s critical you seek experienced legal counsel.
What to do if you are falsely accused of child molestation
Avoid making statements
First and foremost, be sure to avoid making a statement if any person — even someone you know personally — questions you about or accuses you of having inappropriate interactions with a child. Avoid discussing anything related to the crime for which you’ve been accused until you have consulted a lawyer. Even a statement of denial can put you on a dangerous path if you have not obtained legal advice, because statements can easily be misinterpreted. Remember, any statements can be used against you in the future.
Gather and preserve documents or records
You will want to preserve any documents or records that might relate to the accusations. These communications or documents could be in the form of letters, emails, proof of your whereabouts, phone records, and computer records.
Make a list of possible witnesses
If you believe there were potential witnesses or individuals who may have been with you at the time the alleged crime was committed, make a list so that you can remember their names when your lawyers ask. They will be pivotal in your defence, should the case go to court. A witness could also be any person who you think has information about the child or your relationship with the child.
Hire a criminal lawyer
If you are accused of sexual involvement with a child, even if the law is not involved yet, you should hire a criminal defence lawyer. While an accusation may seem insignificant at the time, the issue could become much more serious and result in a conviction. As soon as you hire a lawyer, your legal team will begin preparing for a potential trial, thereby ensuring a solid defence is made on your behalf, should it come to that.
Preparing a defence
Your lawyer will have extensive knowledge of the possible defences to a charge of sexual interference and the issues that need to be explored. A lawyer will:
• Advise you of your legal rights
• Advise you on whether to give information to the police and whether to agree to law enforcement requests
• Give you information about the possible consequences
• Represent you in all of the criminal proceedings and assist you in deciding whether to accept a plea offer
What to avoid
If you have been accused of sexual interference, you should not:
• Initiate conversation with the victim or their family, especially to convince them that the accusation is false
• Talk to law enforcement or investigations without an lawyer
• Give evidence to law enforcement without consulting a lawyer, even if that evidence proves your innocence
If you've been accused of sexual interference involving a minor, don't delay! Contact our team now.