What to Do If You Have Been Falsely Accused of Sexual Assault in New Jersey
The police, prosecutors, and the media in New Jersey take allegations of sexual assault seriously. While anyone accused of any crime should be afforded a presumption of innocence until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law, the court of public opinion often brands those who are accused of sexual assault as guilty automatically.
If you have been falsely accused of sexual assault in New Jersey, it is crucial to understand how serious this situation is. Don’t assume that you have nothing to worry about just because you know the truth. The police and prosecutors will aggressively seek to hold someone responsible to help the victim gain closure, and this overzealousness could mean that the wrong person or an innocent person will be convicted.
Being convicted of sexual assault carries particularly heavy penalties in New Jersey, including years or decades of incarceration, mandatory registry as a sex offender under Megan’s Law, and denial of many employment and housing opportunities.
At Clark, Clark & Noonan, LLC, our knowledgeable and aggressive team of New Jersey criminal defense attorneys understand just how serious these allegations are. We are prepared to do everything in our power to defend you against the charges you face. As former prosecutors with extensive experience navigating New Jersey’s justice system, we are highly skilled at defending our clients against false accusations of sexual assault.
To schedule a 100% confidential and free consultation with one of our knowledgeable criminal defense attorneys, contact our offices today. Together, we can discuss the details of your situation, and begin building a strong and convincing defense.
Steps to Take If You Are Falsely Accused of Sexual Assault in New Jersey
If you have been falsely accused of sexual assault in New Jersey, one of the most important first steps you can take is to seek the professional guidance of a highly experienced criminal defense attorney. Sexual assault cases are emotionally charged and extremely sensitive cases, and therefore must be navigated with skill and tact.
You may be asked to immediately tell the police investigators your version of the events or think that you can quickly clear up any misunderstanding, but it’s important to speak with your attorney before talking to anyone about the case. You could easily harm your defense by saying something that can be used against you, so be sure to consult with an attorney before making any statements.
Your attorney will likely ask you to create a specific timeline of the events that led to the charges against you. Be as specific as you can, as this can be used in your defense. You will also need to see if you can produce a list of witnesses who may be able to testify in court, and also consider any alibis that might assist with your case.
A seasoned criminal defense attorney can be by your side throughout the process and help you navigate the complex New Jersey criminal system.
How Many Sexual Assault Accusations Are False in NJ?
Because an estimated 63 percent of sexual assaults are never reported to police, it is extremely difficult to gauge exactly how many sexual assault allegations are false in New Jersey.
However, researchers agree that instances of false allegations are relatively rare. According to the NSVRC’s 2012 report, researchers found that “the prevalence of false reporting is between two and ten percent.” This means that out of every 100 reported sexual assault cases, false allegations may only represent between two and ten of those cases.
Although false sexual assault allegations are statistically rare, they still cause very real – and often irreparable – damage to the life of the accused. Even if a wrongfully accused defendant avoids criminal charges, they may still have to live the rest of their life burdened with the stigma of those false accusations.
Additionally, multiple studies have shown that the psychological effects of false accusations are just as damaging. These effects include depression, anxiety, loss of self-worth, suicidal thoughts and behaviors, and more.
What Causes People to Make False Accusations?
There are several reasons why people may misrepresent themselves as victims of sexual assault. Traditionally, false accusers are depicted as scorned, ex-lovers searching for revenge – and while cases like this have occurred in the past, this does not necessarily mean that they are the norm.
Some false accusers will place blame on another party in order to avoid revealing who their true abuser is – oftentimes, a close romantic partner, a supposed friend, or even a family member. Other false accusers may simply misremember events because of impairment, intoxication, or a number of other factors.
Make no mistake, sexual assault cases are complex and must be navigated with an extreme level of skill. Thankfully, the experienced attorneys at Clark, Clark & Noonan, LLC are prepared to help with your case.
Consequences of False Accusations in New Jersey
According to New Jersey state laws, any person who knowingly files a false accusation of sexual assault can face criminal charges – including paying thousands of dollars in fines and serving jail time.
Our NJ Criminal Defense Attorneys Fight False Sexual Assault Accusations
If you or someone you care about is facing false sexual assault allegations in New Jersey, you have every right to feel frightened, confused, and overwhelmed – especially because those allegations carry the potential to irreparably damage your life, freedom, relationships, mental wellness, financial security, and more.
At Clark, Clark & Noonan, LLC, we believe that no one should have to suffer the psychological trauma of dealing with false sexual assault or false rape allegations for the rest of their lives.
As former prosecutors for the state of New Jersey, our attorneys understand how the prosecution will likely approach their case against you. Because we’ve seen these types of cases from both sides, we know how to help you fight back and clear your good name.
We’ll challenge the evidence presented, question the narrative they create, and present our own evidence to demonstrate your innocence. Remember, the burden is on the prosecution to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you’re guilty – and we’ll do everything in our power to help create that doubt to win your case.
To discuss your situation in detail and complete confidence for free, contact us today by phone or reach out to us online. You don’t have to face these false sexual assault charges alone. At Clark, Clark & Noonan, LLC, we’re here to support you in your time of need.