Published in Criminal Law by Ben Jaffe on June 6, 2024.

Accusations of sexual assault are highly complex and sensitive matters. Being accused of a sexual assault offense can have profound consequences.

The social stigma attached to accusations alone often leads to lasting reputational damage and personal isolation.

More importantly, a criminal charge for sexual assault of any type could ultimately lead to lengthy imprisonment, and compulsory registration as a sex offender.

Decisions about arrest, charges, or even guilt often rest on subjective assessments by investigators, prosecutors, judges or jurors who often base their conclusions on personal perceptions of the individuals involved, especially regarding their credibility.

Knowing what protections are available can significantly influence the outcome and potentially mitigate some long-term consequences.

What to Do When Accused of Sexual Assault

When accused of sexual assault, it is imperative to act swiftly and judiciously.  There are several actions that can be taken to assist in fighting the allegations:

  • Avoid making statements to the police or others without legal representation; 
  • Preserve evidence supporting your case, including texts, emails, and witness information;
  • Contact a reputable Indianapolis sexual assault lawyer immediately to protect your rights and begin crafting your defense; and
  • Maintain confidentiality and avoid discussing the case with anyone outside your legal team. 

Thoughtful, composed action and professional legal guidance are your best tools for navigating this challenging situation.

What Are My Rights If I’m Accused of a Sex Offense?

If you have been accused of a sexual offense in Indiana, it is critical to understand important legal rights. These rights protect you throughout the legal process and ensure fair treatment under the law.

Right to Remain Silent

The right to remain silent allows you to avoid self-incrimination. You are not required to speak to police or investigators without your attorney present. 

Additionally, you can choose not to testify at a trial, if the case proceeds to that point. This right is crucial as it prevents you from providing information that could inadvertently harm your defense.

Right to Legal Representation

Under Indiana law, you have the right to be represented by an attorney at every critical stage of the criminal process, from the initial arrest through all court proceedings.

An attorney can defend your interests, challenge the prosecution’s evidence, and help strategize your defense

REQUEST A CONSULTATION

Right to a Fair Trial

You are entitled to a fair trial by jury. This right ensures that a jury of your peers will hear your case and decide based on the evidence presented.

Your attorney can question jurors, challenge biases, and seek a fair and impartial jury, which is fundamental to achieving a just outcome.

Right to Be Presumed Innocent

The most fundamental right for the accused in a criminal case is the presumption of innocence. Under the law, you are innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

This standard ensures that the burden is on the prosecution to establish your guilt with compelling evidence, rather than on you to prove your innocence.

Right to Confront Witnesses

You have the right to confront and cross-examine all witnesses who testify against you at a trial. This allows your attorney to challenge their credibility and the accuracy of their testimony.

You can also challenge the validity of evidence presented against you by presenting your own witnesses or evidence.  This is essential in cases where physical evidence may not support allegations.

Right to Appeal

If convicted at trial, you can appeal the decision to a higher court. An appeal gives you the ability to address errors during the trial that may have affected the outcome. 

Understanding and exercising these rights can significantly impact the outcome of your case. It is imperative to consult with an experienced attorney who can guide you through the legal process, advocate on your behalf, and help protect your future against the consequences of a wrongful accusation. 

Is There a Difference for False Sexual Assault Claims?

A false accusation denotes a claim of sexual assault that did not occur, neither as an attempt nor as a completed act. Several motivations can lead to someone to make a false sexual assault accusation.

These may include a personal vendetta, a desire for attention, mental health issues, or even confusion during a high-stress situation.

In some cases, miscommunication or misunderstandings between the parties involved might also lead to accusations later shown to be false. 

Ultimately, false claims still have the same risks as any other allegation. They may be even MORE terrifying. 

Recognizing the potential consequences of such allegations, and hiring skilled, experienced attorneys to appropriately challenge those allegations is of vital importance.

Facing Sexual Assault Accusations Means You Need a Real Attorney

Even if the allegations against you are baseless, any investigation can lead to charges being filed. If charges are filed, a conviction could hinge on what a jury ultimately believes happened. 

You need an experienced attorney to represent your interests and defend your rights. At the Indianapolis criminal defense law firm of Eskew Law, LLC, each of our attorneys has spent their careers protecting their client’s best interests, and striving to achieve the results you are looking for.

It is essential to choose a law firm known for having highly rated, reliable, accessible, and trustworthy attorneys. These professionals simplify the legal process, ensuring you fully understand your rights and the defenses available.

Engaging the right legal counsel provides the necessary support and advocacy to address these sensitive charges diligently.

We take a comprehensive approach to every sexual assault case we handle; scouring the record to uncover every possible defense before working with you to develop a defense strategy that minimizes or eliminates any consequences you may face. 

If you find yourself in this daunting position, promptly seeking competent legal assistance is your key to navigating these accusations and safeguarding your future.

To learn more and to schedule a free consultation today, give us a call or fill out our online contact form, and one of our attorneys will soon be in touch.

Author Photo
Ben Jaffe

Ben Jaffe is one of the most experienced trial attorneys in Indiana, handling some of the most difficult high-profile cases in the State. Ben’s impressive trial record includes more than 110 jury trials, with 95 at the major felony level. He has a well-earned reputation for being a respected and persuasive litigator. Ben’s strengths are his outstanding ability to understand all sides of a legal issue and to present well-thought-out arguments that strengthen his client’s position. This, coupled with his gift for communicating effectively with jurors and judges, has led to a track record of impressive results in the courtroom.