Falsely Accused of Rape
Sept. 7, 2022
Being accused of rape can ruin your life in an instant, even if the accusation is false. However, just because an accusation of rape is false does not mean that you do not have to take the situation seriously. In fact, it is imperative that you act quickly to keep the situation from spiraling out of control.
If someone has made a false rape accusation against you, your freedom and future are on the line. At Bryan J. Jones, LLC, we understand the devastation rape accusations can cause. That is why Bryan Jones is committed to fighting hard on your behalf to vigorously defend you and prove your innocence.
From our office in Charlottesville, Virginia, we offer compassionate and personalized representation to clients facing sexual assault charges.
Rape in Virginia Criminal Law
Under Virginia law, rape is a serious felony offense. The law defines “rape” as having sexual intercourse with another individual under any of the following circumstances:
The sexual intercourse occurred through the use of physical force, threats, or intimidation;
The perpetrator took advantage of another person’s mental or physical incapacity or helplessness; or
The victim was aged 13 or younger at the time of the offense.
In most cases, rape can be proven through the alleged victim’s testimony, physical evidence of sexual intercourse, forensic evidence, witness statements, or DNA evidence. If the defendant is wrongly accused of rape, they need to prepare a strong defense strategy to prove their innocence. However, doing so will require the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney who would gather enough evidence to cast doubt on the alleged victim’s accusations.
Possible Consequences of a Rape Conviction
As rape is a felony offense in Virginia, possible penalties for a rape conviction can be devastating. Depending on the facts of the case, the defendant may be facing life in prison if convicted. In addition to imprisonment, anyone convicted of rape in Virginia must register with the state’s sex offender registry.
After the conviction, your name will appear on the registry for the rest of your life, which can affect you in numerous ways. Having a rape conviction on your record can create barriers to job prospects, housing, and public benefits, among other consequences.
Given the severe penalties associated with a rape conviction in Virginia, it is critical to begin working on your defense strategy as soon as possible. Even if the accusations of rape are false, you still need to take the situation seriously and reach out to a criminal defense attorney.
Defenses to Rape Accusations
Depending on the circumstance surrounding the false accusations of rape, there may be several defenses available, including:
Consent. When you assert that sex was consensual, you do not deny having sexual intercourse with the accuser. However, consent can be revoked during intercourse, which is why the “consent” defense may not always work when defending against rape accusations.
Alibi. If you did not rape the accuser, you could present evidence—known as an alibi—to prove that you were at a different location at the time of the alleged offense.
Witness statements. In some cases, using witness statements may be appropriate to prove that the alleged victim’s rape accusations are false.
DNA. If your DNA was not found at the scene of the alleged crime or on the accuser’s body, you might argue that the lack of DNA evidence suggests that you did not commit the crime.
Insanity. If you suffer from a mental illness that impairs your ability to differentiate between right and wrong conduct, you may be able to use the “insanity” defense.
If you are wrongly accused of rape, you want to clear your name and prove your innocence. The criminal justice system punishes people convicted of rape very harshly, which is why you’ll need a knowledgeable and skilled attorney to help you fight back and defend you against the allegations in the most effective way possible.
Steps to Take If You’ve Been Falsely Accused
Being accused of raping someone can be an overwhelming and terrifying experience. False accusations can have long-lasting consequences if you do not take the situation under your control. If you have been falsely accused, take the following steps to protect your rights:
Contact an attorney as soon as you can
Do not speak with the accused, their friends, and family members
Do not mention anything about your case or the accuser on social media
Gather as much evidence as possible to prove your innocence
False accusations of rape can tarnish your reputation and affect your future. That is why it is critical to obtain legal representation to protect yourself against criminal charges.
Skilled & Compassionate Advocacy
If you have been falsely accused of rape in Charlottesville or other parts of Virginia, our compassionate and results-driven attorney at Bryan J. Jones, LLC, is here to help. We are dedicated to working diligently on your behalf to clear your name of false allegations and help you avoid the life-altering consequences of a conviction. Contact our office today to talk about your case.