There is perhaps no criminal charge that carries the scorn and resentment of others more than rape. If you or someone you care about is accused of this crime, taking the following 10 actions immediately could make the difference between spending years in prison and being free.
Hire an experienced sex crimes defense attorney
Nothing is more important than choosing an experienced defense attorney to fight for you. Defending rape charges is technical and challenging, which is why you should look for an attorney who has experience specifically defending people against charges of rape.
You need someone who will use every legal tool available to defeat the allegation, including fighting to suppress illegally obtained evidence, and investigating the accuser’s background and motives to determine whether he or she is credible as a witness. You need an attorney who is capable of discrediting the evidence against you while being able to show the court that your version of the incident is the truth.
Exercise Your Right to Remain Silent
You should never speak to investigators or authorities while your case is pending. When you speak to police, you are putting yourself at risk of incriminating yourself. Instead, politely but firmly decline to answer questions without your attorney present.
Explain Your Side of the Story to Your Attorney
When you hire an attorney, every conversation between you and your attorney is completely confidential. You should tell your lawyer exactly what happened, because the more information he or she has, the better your defense strategy can be.
Do Not Talk to the Press
Rape allegations often are hot topics in the news. If the media wants to discuss your case with you, treat the press like the police and exercise your right to remain silent. Tell your friends and family to do the same. Speak to your attorney first if you wish to make any appearances on the news.
Make Bail Arrangements
At your arraignment, the judge will set bail in your case. Rape is considered a violent felony in California, which generally means that bail is set at $100,000 or more.
Typically, you can arrange for a bail bond company to post bail for you, usually for a fee that is 10% of the bail amount. However, if you hire an attorney who can refer you to a bail bondsman, you will be able to receive “attorney-referred bond,” which would require you to pay only 8% of the bail amount.
Find a Temporary Living Arrangement
A rape charge often is coupled with a restraining order that requires you to maintain a minimum distance from the alleged victim. If the accuser is a person with whom you live (spouse, roommate, live-in partner, etc.), you may have to leave your residence until the case is resolved.
Create a Witness List
As we said before, you need to tell your attorney as much as you can so that he or she can prepare your defense. In addition, you should provide your attorney with information about potential witnesses who were either present at the scene or with you prior to the incident, as well as those who can serve as character witnesses that are willing to give an account of your good character.
In order to develop a winning defense strategy, you will need to be an active participant in your defense. To help your rape lawyer build your defense, give him or her any evidence that could help show that you could not have committed the crime. This could include records, receipts, text messages and photos that prove you were not at the scene of the crime when it was committed.
Consider Your Expenses
In addition to hiring a skilled criminal defense lawyer, your defense may require the services of expert witnesses, forensic specialists and medical or psychological examinations. With this in mind, make sure your finances are in order immediately. If you have to ask friends or family members for help covering costs, make sure you do not discuss the details of your case with them.
Prepare for the Fight
Being accused of a rape may be the most difficult thing you will ever have to experience. Your name and picture might be in the news, and the prosecution could attempt to slander your name.
This will be a daily fight that can be emotionally and mentally exhausting. It can be easy to get frustrated, so prepare for this and try to keep a positive mentality.
Contact the Rape Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich Today
A serious accusation like rape requires a serious defense. At Wallin & Klarich, our attorneys have over 35 years of experience successfully defending people accused of rape and other sex crimes. We have helped thousands of clients in their time of legal need. Let us help now.
With offices in Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Los Angeles, San Diego, Torrance, West Covina and Victorville, an experienced Wallin & Klarich rape defense attorney is available nearby no matter where you work or live.
Call us today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free phone consultation. We will get through this together.