As many as 10 percent of sexual assault allegations that are filed are false reports, a report by the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) found.
Refuting allegations of sexual assault can be challenging for many reasons. For one, because most encounters happen in private, the statements made by either party often cannot be corroborated by witnesses. Also, it can be difficult for the accused to refute such claims, since law enforcement, the media, and others in society are often biased and may approach the case with the perspective of “guilty until proven innocent.”
Below, I’ll discuss what you should do if you’ve been falsely accused of sexual assault in Connecticut, the laws in our state, and where to turn for help.
What to Do Immediately After Being Falsely Accused of Sexual Assault in Connecticut
The first thing that you must do when you are confronted by a false allegation of sexual assault is remember that you always have the right to remain silent. You will never harm your case by refusing to say anything to a police officer.
You also have the right to an attorney. You should exercise that right and let me, Connecticut criminal defense lawyer Erin Field, defend you against any criminal charges.
Make sure to save any kind of evidence that you think could possibly prove your innocence, such as electronic communications with the alleged victim, like text messages or social media messages. Take screenshots of any helpful social media posts and also collect any other evidence (receipts showing you were elsewhere at the time they stated you were together, etc.) that could help prove that you were not at the scene of the alleged offense.
Sexual Assault Laws in Connecticut
Connecticut has six different degrees of sexual assault crimes:
- Sexual assault in the first degree under Connecticut General Statute § 53a-70 can be a Class B felony or Class A felony
- Sexual assault in spousal or cohabiting relationship under Connecticut General Statute § 53a-70b is a Class B felony
- Sexual assault in the second degree under Connecticut General Statute § 53a-71 is a Class C felony or Class B felony
- Sexual assault in the third degree under Connecticut General Statute § 53a-72a is a Class D felony or Class C felony
- Sexual assault in the third degree with a firearm under Connecticut General Statute § 53a-72b is a Class C felony or Class B felony
- Sexual assault in the fourth degree under Connecticut General Statute § 53a-73a is a Class A misdemeanor or Class D felony
Connecticut also has two degrees of rape crimes.
The degree of sexual assault crime a person is charged with can depend on a number of factors, including the age of the alleged victim, whether an alleged offense involved the use or threat of force, the alleged offender’s relationship to the alleged victim, and injury to an alleged victim.
Risks of Not Getting Help After a False Sexual Assault Accusation
You are entitled to a presumption of innocence, but the authorities handling your case will not be patient when you are not willing to help them in their investigation.
People often make the mistake of trying to explain themselves to police. This can be catastrophic from a criminal defense perspective. Without the guidance of an experienced defense attorney, it is too easy to get confused, flustered, or be coerced into saying something that might accidentally harm your case.
People who try to fight false allegations on their own usually don’t have the training or skill to build a persuasive defense that a seasoned criminal defense lawyer will. Without a lawyer, you might not be able to successfully present a convincing defense, question the accuser and identify errors in their story, or identify problems with law enforcement’s procedures or the prosecution’s case.
Contact Erin Field for Help with Your False Sexual Assault Allegation
As soon as you learn that you are suspected of an alleged sexual assault offense in Connecticut, contact me, Erin Field at Field Law Office, LLC. I can immediately step in and deal with the police and prosecutor on your behalf and ensure that you do not say anything that harms your case.
You deserve to have a dedicated and experienced criminal defense lawyer protecting your rights in these types of cases. I’m prepared to fight to get your criminal charges reduced or dismissed. Call me or contact me online to today to set up a free consultation.