One of the first things to do if you have been falsely accused of rape is to contact a law firm that has defended people against the same or similar crimes. You should also exercise your right to remain silent and politely decline to give any statements until you have legal representation. A Philadelphia rape defense lawyer can figure out what is happening in your case, investigate the charges against you, and seek evidence that shows you are not guilty.
As your case proceeds, your criminal defense attorney can continue to give you advice on how to behave, who to talk to, and what to say (or not say) to others about your case.
Rape Defense Attorneys Protect People Like You Against False Allegations
It is normal to feel a wide range of emotions—confusion, anger, betrayal, fear, grief—when facing false rape accusations. Just know that you do not have to go through this alone: there are rape defense law firms in your area who can defend your rights and work to prove you are not guilty.
Before Hiring a Rape Defense Lawyer
The police may try to question you about the rape or extract a confession even before you get a chance to consult a law firm. You have no obligation to speak to them under such circumstances. What you can do is:
- Invoke your right to remain silent
- Invoke your right to an attorney
- Get in touch with a lawyer immediately
- Do not say anything else to the police until you have spoken with your lawyer
If you do not know any rape defense attorneys, you can ask to consult with a public defender. You are free to hire a different lawyer later on, once you have had a chance to do more research.
Benefits of Hiring an Attorney to Fight False Accusations of Rape
Among the benefits of hiring a criminal defense lawyer are the following:
- It is your representative’s job to handle your entire case. You would not have to worry about filing paperwork, trying to learn about legal procedures, or representing yourself against criminal charges in court.
- They can tell you what to expect at a preliminary hearing, a trial, and, if necessary, a sentencing hearing.
- They can explain all of your defense options and provide advice and updates whenever you need them.
- They are familiar with the legal system and can navigate it much more smoothly than you could alone. That includes speaking with your accuser, the accuser’s legal team, and the judge on your behalf.
Finding the Right Rape Defense Lawyer for You
A simple internet search will probably yield a good number of law firms that take rape cases in your area. How do you know which of these firms is the right one to tackle your case? You can figure that out by:
- Searching online for reviews, testimonials, and case results regarding the firm you are considering
- Requesting a free consultation from the firms that seem most promising
- Preparing a list of questions before you meet each attorney for the first time, including topics like how they approach rape defense cases and how they would confront specific obstacles or challenges
- Selecting an attorney who seems to you to be the most trustworthy, intelligent, and competent
For a free legal consultation, call 215.515.3360
Other Things to Do If You Are Facing False Rape Allegations
Hiring a criminal defense lawyer can protect your rights. Not only can they represent you throughout your case, but they can also tell you about other steps you can take to avoid unnecessary delays or setbacks. Such steps include:
- Watching what you say: Unless your lawyer approves it, do not speak about your case with anyone else, not even close friends and family. Avoid posting about it on social media as well. The prosecution may monitor your online activity for material they can use.
- Preparing you for interviews and questioning: The prosecution and the judge will need to speak to you eventually. Your lawyer can tell you what kinds of questions to expect and how to respond to them.
- Preserving evidence: If you possess any information or materials that could boost your defense—for example, cell phone photos or texts that show you were not at the scene of the crime—keep hold of it and show it to your lawyer.
- Being completely honest with your lawyer: While you should watch what you say around others, you must open up completely to your attorney. Even if you think the truth makes you look bad, your legal team needs to know that truth to mount the most effective possible defense.
False Reports of Rape Are Very Serious
Most, if not all, states classify rape as among the most serious crimes that a person can commit. In Pennsylvania, for example, 18 Pa. C.S.A. § 3121 classifies rape as a first-degree felony. If convicted of such a felony, you face up to 20 years in prison.
You Could Face Even Worse Penalties If Found Guilty of Rape Charges
The 20-year prison sentence applies only to a standard situation, as defined in the statute above. If there are other considerations, you could be looking at tens of thousands of dollars in fines and many more decades behind bars. Other considerations include:
- If this is your second or third accusation rather than your first
- If the alleged victim is a child
- If you allegedly used a drug to render the victim insensate or pliable
Let a Rape Defense Attorney Protect Your Rights
It is easy to feel overwhelmed and emotional when you have been falsely accused of rape. When you feel that way, you are more likely to make mistakes or miss something vital to your case’s defense.
Instead of trying to juggle everything alone, you can allow your defense attorney to do the legal work on your behalf. Their professionalism can serve as a welcome, calming influence in the face of so much uncertainty.
We Protect Clients Against False Allegations of Rape
If you face false rape accusations, call the Law Offices of M.J. Snyder, LLC. Our team fervently believes in the idea that everyone is innocent until proven guilty, and we can help you figure out what to do as your case moves through the legal system.
False reports of rape are serious, and our team is ready to advocate for your rights and build a strong defense. Get started with a confidential consultation today.