What to do if you are wrongly accused of sexual assault
When falsely accused of rape or other forms of sexual assault, it is important to understand and protect your rights.
The Irish legal system presumes each individual is innocent until proven guilty, but this doesn't prevent someone from being falsely accused or potentially convicted. Even without a conviction, especially in the case of sexual assault, an innocent person's life and reputation can be destroyed by a false accusation.
So what should you do if you have been wrongly accused of rape or another form of sexual assault? Below are some guidelines for what to do, and not do, if you or a loved one face false accusations.
- Know your rights, protect yourself
- Don't say anything. The most important thing to remember is that you have a right to remain silent, even before the Gardaí explain your rights to you. Anything you say can be used against you in court. If the Garda show up at your door, don't panic. Don't try to explain anything or try to prove your innocence. Say nothing. Additionally, don't try to explain your side of the story to anybody, including family members. They could be subpoenaed to testify against you.
- Take accusations seriously. It is important to realise the importance of false accusations and deal with them immediately. Educate yourself about sexual assault charges, your rights and the legal system. Write down as many details of the situation in question as you can, compile a list of possible witnesses or, if applicable, consider any alibis who could help to discredit the accusations.
- Contact a solicitor who has specific experience dealing with sexual assault matters. Secure qualified legal representation as soon as possible. You are entitled to legal representation of your choice, and conversations with your attorney are protected under professional privilege.
Phelim O'Neill has experience dealing with the defence of allegations of sexual assault and rape he can help you to:
- Deal with your accuser's threats
- Advise you in relation to dealing with a Garda Station interview.
- Protect you from incriminating yourself
- Communicate with an Garda Siochanna and the Director of Public Prosecutions
- Help you to build a strong defense against charges
At Phelim O'Neill solicitors we provide clients with a strong defense and work diligently to ensure their rights are protected. Contact our office on (071)9633694 or anytime on (086)8386296 to discuss your situation and how we can help.