Being accused of a sex crime is a serious allegation. However, in some cases accusations may be entirely false and invented for the purposes of expressing jealousy, revenge, anger, or for obtaining custody of children in a divorce case. Even if the accusation is false, an individual may face severe penalties brought forth by the State of Minnesota. Such penalties include prison or jail time, counseling, probation, heavy fines, and/or sex offender registration.
The State will take the accusation seriously, and will likely devote extensive resources into investigating the allegation until it deems it has the evidence necessary to prosecute the accused individual. Below is a discussion of important things to consider if you or someone you know is falsely accused of a sex crime.
Your Right to Remain Silent
When one is accused of rape or a sex crime, it is crucially important that the accused individual understand their legal rights, including his right to remain silent. Even if that individual thinks he can explain and resolve the situation if the accusation is false, talking puts him at risk of saying something that could be misinterpreted by the State or jury members.
Further, even if an individual was not involved in the crime, speaking to law enforcement can demonstrate that the individual had knowledge of the crime, which the State could use against him. Instead of speaking with law enforcement, and individual accused of a sex crime should exercise his right to remain silent and contact an experienced criminal defense attorney.
Burden of Proof
An individual accused of a sex crime is innocent until proven guilty. In other words, it is the State’s burden to prove that the allegations against an individual are in fact true. If the State cannot corroborate evidence when an accusation is made, and an individual’s defense attorney is able to demonstrate reasonable doubt as to what actually happened, the State will have a difficult time obtaining a conviction. In some cases, the investigation may be dropped entirely.
Minnesota has some of the most severe sex crime laws in the country. As a result, adequate legal representation is often times essential to protect an individual’s future when sex crime accusations are involved. It is important to take immediate action when sex crime accusations arise, and retain an experienced criminal defense attorney.
Penalties of False Allegations
It is illegal to inform law enforcement that a crime was committed if the accuser knows that the allegation is false. In many cases of false sex crime accusations, criminal charges are dropped. Further, the accusers often face criminal charges brought forward by the State and/or defamation lawsuits by the falsely accused perpetrators.
The consequences of a sex crime charge are serious. If you or someone you know is falsely accused of a sex crime, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney to help determine the best course of action.