Sex crimes are taken very seriously nationwide. What some people don’t consider, however, is that some individuals face false accusations of sexual assault and have to unfairly live with harsh collateral consequences.
It’s easy to think that everyone who is accused of a crime like rape or sexual assault is guilty; however, the criminal justice system must assume that everyone is innocent until proven guilty. Society’s perception is often another story though, as many people equate a sexual assault charge with being guilty of the crime, regardless of legal proceedings.
The societal effects of a sex-related crime
Being accused of a sex-related crime can have serious and long-lasting repercussions. The accused could be removed from their social circle, fired from their job or lose the opportunity to participate in community events. Others may even be shunned by their family as a result of mere accusations.
The general public tends to lump all sex-related crimes together. Television teaches society to equate violent sex crimes like rape with non-violent sex crimes like prostitution. Unfortunately, this lack of distinction can exacerbate the overwhelming fear and anxiety caused by being charged with these types of crimes. The crippling pressure that one experiences when they are accused can even damage their own ability to fight for their innocence.
Life following a conviction
Following a sex crime conviction, life can be difficult. This is especially true for individuals who are required to register as a sex offender. Registry restricts everyday life, triggering limitations on basic needs like housing and even employment.
One of the best ways to minimize the collateral consequences of a sex-related crime—whether you are facing real or false accusations—is to build a strong legal defense. Working closely with a qualified attorney from the onset is critical for making the best of your case.