Accused sex offenders face an uphill battle, sometimes for the rest of their lives. Regardless of whether the allegations are true or false, a person labeled as having committed sexual assault may face massive social consequences. You may have difficulty getting a job, you may lose custody of your children, and your spouse may choose to divorce you.
That’s not all the suffering you may face if you’re not ready to fight back. If you’ve been arrested for sex crimes in Dallas-Fort Worth, it’s important to contact an experienced Fort Worth sexual assault lawyer. They can help defend your rights during an investigation or trial. The attorneys at Hoeller McLaughlin PLLC are here to help you get those charges reduced or dismissed.
What Happens After You’re Accused of Sexual Assault?
The first thing that happens when you are accused of sexual assault is that law enforcement gets involved and starts investigating your case. The police will gather any evidence from the location of the incident, witnesses, and other sources to determine what happened. Here are just a few of the steps they may take when you’re accused of sexual assault:
- Interview witnesses
- Interview you
- Put you in a police line-up
- Speak to your employer and family
- Do forensic testing
If there has been a line-up and the victim has pointed out multiple possible suspects, the police may also arrest other people who are suspected of committing the sexual assault.
Once the police complete their investigation, they typically present their findings to a prosecutor who will decide whether to pursue charges. If they don’t have the evidence necessary to build a case, they may choose not to prosecute.
If the prosecution decides to move forward, a warrant will be issued for your arrest, if it hasn’t been already. At this point, it’s important to contact a sexual assault lawyer if you haven’t already. Your lawyer can arrange a discreet arrest and prepare you for your arrest before you’re taken in and booked.
We know how difficult it can be to be accused of sexual assault. You may feel like there’s no way out, but your lawyer will work hard on your behalf and identify weaknesses in the prosecution’s case so we can help you get your charges reduced or even dismissed.
Sexual Assault Defined
The specific charges depend on the facts of the case, but in general, people accused of sexual assault typically face charges of:
- Sexual battery (defined as unwanted, non-consensual touching)
- Rape, or forced sexual intercourse
- Aggravated sexual assault (rape committed with the use of a weapon or rape that causes serious injury to the victim)
Rape allegations may involve physical violence, but other forms, such as emotional blackmail, can also be considered rape. In fact, the definition of sexual assault in Texas can cover a broad range of behavior.
This approach is supposed to protect both the victim and the accused. Sadly, it can make the whole process seem unfair and turn it into a matter of who said what. That’s why it’s so important to have a sexual assault lawyer with the experience you need on your side.
Getting Your Charges Dismissed or Reduced
Many people don’t realize that in many cases, sexual assault charges can be reduced or dismissed. This is because there are many factors involved in determining whether an assault took place and the circumstances surrounding the incident.
One of the most common ways for a lawyer to get your sexual assault charges reduced or dismissed is by pointing out that there was no force involved in the incident.
For example, you may have been accused of forcing someone to have sex with you without their consent, but both you and the other party were intoxicated. In these cases, neither party may remember the incident clearly, which means physical evidence may be more important to your case.
Another option may be a mistake of identity. If you weren’t the only suspect, the offender may just look like you. Your lawyer may rely on DNA evidence or a strong alibi that places you at a different place when the incident happened.
Seek Legal Counsel with a Sexual Assault Lawyer
The attorneys of Hoeller McLaughlin PLLC have helped many people achieve justice and avoid conviction. Your Fort Worth sexual assault lawyer will bring decades of experience to your case and provide high-quality legal services in a compassionate environment.
Ready to get help from a lawyer you can trust? Call 817-334-7900 or fill out our online form for a consultation about your case.