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What to Do When You Are Falsely Accused of a Sex Crime

OKABE & HAUSHALTER Feb 23, 2019 San Francisco Sex Crime

Last week a San Francisco Lyft driver pleads no contest to a felony sexual battery charge. He was accused of sexual battery of a passenger who had fallen asleep in the backseat of his Lyft vehicle when he was giving her a ride. When she woke up he reportedly apologized and she called the police. He now faces up to one year in jail.

Weighing the risks in sex crimes cases

San Francisco sex crimes defense attorneys know that cases like these are sometimes hard for prosecutors to prove due to lack of evidence. On the other hand, even if prosecutors do not have a great case, the defendant may have decided to plead no contest because he did not want to risk being convicted of a more serious crime with stiffer penalties. Sex crimes charges are often balancing and negotiating act, but good defense attorneys will be able to analyze the case facts and evidence and weigh them against the risks, in order to develop a solid defense strategy.

False accusations

Our defense attorneys at Okabe & Haushalter believe that victims deserve to be heard, but we also know that sometimes the defendants in sex crime cases are falsely accused. False accusations may come from scorned lovers or people who have regrets about sexual conduct they engaged in. Other times it may be that illegal images were viewed on someone’s computer by another person who had access to the computer. Regardless of how it happened, if you are accused of a sex crime, it is a serious matter that should not be taken lightly.

What you should do and not do

If you are falsely accused of a sex crime, you should take the following steps to protect yourself and your potential defense case.

  1. Do not say anything that could be misconstrued or misrepresented as an admission. For example, the Lyft driver in the aforementioned case reportedly apologized to his passenger accuser. While that may be used as evidence of an admission, what if he was apologizing to the woman because she seemed upset and he did not know why she was upset?
  2. Call a sex crime defense attorney immediately. You need an experienced, knowledgeable, and skilled attorney who can handle your case and offer you the best advice.
  3. Do not speak with anyone about the accusations prior to consulting with an attorney. It does not matter if it is a college representative, employer, friend of the person making the allegations, police, or anyone else; the first person you should talk to about the claims is an attorney.
  4. Preserve any evidence that could help you, such as text messages, emails, or voicemails that may be relevant to the case.

San Francisco sex crimes defense attorneys at Okabe & Haushalter know that sometimes defendants are falsely accused. They also know that sometimes good people make mistakes, but those people should not have to pay a higher price for their mistakes than is appropriate. If you have been accused of a sex crime, contact our attorneys to schedule a consultation.