Being accused of sexual assault is a terrifying experience. In many cases, the people who are accused feel like these allegations are coming out of nowhere and want to take immediate action to defend their good name – and their future. As someone accused of sexual assault, it’s important to know that the things you say and do after an accusation of sexual assault can have a significant impact on the outcome of your case.
It’s important to familiarize yourself with Wisconsin’s laws after you are accused of sexual assault. For more information, call us today to schedule a consultation with a Madison criminal defense lawyer.
Call a Lawyer
If you are accused of sexual assault – either by someone else or formally by the police – the first thing you should do is call a lawyer. The things you say and do after you are accused can have a significant impact on the way your case is resolved. Once you have an attorney, the police cannot question you without your lawyer present. In addition, your lawyer can deal with any other communications that may come from other parties, including the alleged victim or the media.
Do NOT Communicate with the Alleged Victim
One thing you should absolutely NOT do after being accused of sexual assault is reach out to the person accusing you. Whether you think the other party is fabricating the entire story or believe that it may just be part of a misunderstanding, talking to the alleged victim is much more likely to make your situation worse than making it better. In fact, in some cases, it may even result in additional criminal charges related to witness tampering.
Do NOT Give the Police “Your Side of the Story”
If you have been arrested or contacted by the police for questioning in relation to an alleged sexual assault, you may be tempted to explain yourself and give them your side of the story. Do not talk to them; instead, tell them you want an attorney and call one as soon as you can. If the police have arrested you or are questioning you, there is a good chance that they firmly believe that you are guilty. When they ask you questions, they are not trying to figure out whether you “did it” or not – they are trying to get evidence to make it easier for the prosecutor to convict you.
Once you tell the police you want a lawyer, they are required to stop questioning you until your lawyer is present. In addition, if they continue to question you after you ask for a lawyer, anything you say will likely be inadmissible, meaning it cannot be used against you. For these reasons, asking for a lawyer is the best way to protect your rights after an arrest or during questioning.
Schedule a Free Consultation with a Madison Criminal Defense Lawyer Today
If you have been accused of sexual assault, your next phone call should be to an experienced criminal defense attorney near you. Lawyer Christopher T. Van Wagner has focused his legal practice on criminal defense for the past 25 years and knows how to bring sexual assault and other criminal cases to the most favorable resolution possible. To schedule a consultation with Mr. Van Wagner, call our office today or contact us online.