As more victims feel empowered to come forward about their experiences with sexual assault, rape, and harassment, there are others who worry that one mistake could result in the end of their professional careers. While one would hope you'd never require assistance from a sex crimes defense lawyer, it's entirely possible that an incident from your past could derail your entire future.
If you or someone you know ends up facing sex crime charges, it's essential that the situation be taken seriously. Being charged with a sex crime is no laughing matter, and it's certainly not something you can afford to handle on your own. In today's post, we'll delve into some of the most commonly used strategies that your San Francisco sex crime attorney might use to fight on your behalf.
The Defendant Is Innocent
The most basic defense your attorney might use is that you are completely innocent of the charges you face. If you have a strong alibi that proves you couldn't have possibly committed this crime or there's a lack of physical evidence that ties you to the crime, this may be a viable option. Your sex crimes defense lawyer could also argue that you've been misidentified by witnesses or even bring evidence to show that the supposed victim has fabricated the entire account. While that last possibility isn't as common as you might think -- false sexual assault allegations represent only 2% to 10% of all reported claims, which is on par with just about any other type of crime -- the fact is that they dooccur. If there are accounts to suggest that the victim has lied to police before or their story doesn't add up, this can strengthen your defense.
The Act Was Consensual
In cases where denying a sexual encounter would be detrimental to your case, your sex crimes defense lawyer may admit to the encounter but stress that consent was granted. Even if you did obtain consent from the other party during this incident, that's not always easy to prove. And in some cases, this defense would not apply (e.g., if the victim was underage or was intoxicated). If the victim was not forced or threatened or if the victim openly lied about their age, it may be possible to argue that a defendant is not guilty of the charges they face. However, this can still be a difficult battle to wage, particularly if the case mainly rests on a "he said/she said" platform.
The Defendant Was Mentally Incapacitated
Your sex crimes defense lawyer could also argue that you are not guilty of the charges filed against you due to mental disease or defect. This type of defense may be appropriate in cases wherein the defendant's mental health issues prohibited from understanding the gravity of their actions. Your lawyer could propose treatment in lieu of incarceration or could ask for leniency in your case. Involuntary intoxication could also be used as a defense, provided that there's evidence to support the claim.
Each sex crimes case involves different conditions and considerations. If you're facing these kinds of charges, you deserve an attorney who will mount the best defense for your situation. To find out more or to schedule a consultation, please contact our firm today.