Defining Sexual Assault
Sexual assault, as per Section 271 of the Criminal Code, encompasses all forms of non-consensual sexual contact or behavior. It involves engaging in any sexual acts without the explicit agreement of the other person involved. This definition is not limited to specific body parts but rather centers around sexual actions that violate the victim’s sexual autonomy.
Consent, as outlined in Section 273.1 (1) of the Criminal Code, is the voluntary and informed agreement to partake in a particular sexual activity. It’s essential to note that individuals cannot provide legal consent if they are underage, under the influence of substances impairing their judgment, or otherwise incapable of comprehending or expressing their choice.
Avoiding Mistakes When Confronting a Sexual Assault Charge
- Refrain from Speaking to the Police without Legal Representation: It is crucial to avoid speaking with the police before consulting an attorney. Anything you say can be misinterpreted and used against you. This means declining DNA samples or providing any information until you have sought guidance from an experienced sexual assault lawyer who can provide legal counsel.
- Cease Communication with the Complainant: Cut off all direct and indirect communication with the alleged victim, even if you believe the situation is a misunderstanding. Any form of communication can be used against you in court and may be perceived as harassment or intimidation.
Next Steps After a Sexual Assault Charge
Understand the Seriousness of the Charge
Acknowledge the gravity of a sexual assault charge and the potential severe consequences it carries. It is essential to remain composed and manage your case with the assistance of a criminal defence lawyer who specializes in sexual assault cases. Their expertise will help you navigate this intricate situation.
Document a Timeline of the Events
Keep detailed notes and create a timeline of the events surrounding the incident(s). Make copies of relevant documents or records that could assist your lawyer in building a defence. Consult your lawyer before disposing of anything that may be considered evidence. Preserve screenshots of text messages, emails, and social media content that could be pertinent.
Compile a List of Witnesses
Identify potential witnesses who may provide evidence or information related to the alleged victim and the sexual assault. Retain their names, contact details, descriptions, employment information, and any other relevant data for your case.
Gather Relevant Evidence for Your Defence
Collect all relevant records, such as text messages, voice recordings, emails, social media communications, computer records, and GPS data. These records can help establish the nature of your relationship with the alleged victim, provide evidence regarding consent, or support an alibi if you were not present during the alleged sexual assault. Additionally, preserve any physical evidence, such as clothing, photographs, or surveillance footage from the location of the incident, in a secure manner.
Seek Legal Counsel from an Experienced Sexual Assault Lawyer
The most crucial step when facing a sexual assault charge is to consult an experienced lawyer specializing in sexual assault cases. They will guide you through the legal process, protect your rights, and build a strong defence.
Benefits of consulting a sexual assault lawyer include:
- In-depth knowledge of sexual assault laws and legal procedures
- Proficiency in managing and presenting evidence
- Navigating potential penalties and unfavorable outcomes
- Effective negotiation skills
- Familiarity with local courts and legal experts
When selecting a criminal lawyer for your sexual assault charge, consider their experience, reputation, and expertise in handling similar cases. Consult with a lawyer who possesses the necessary skills and knowledge to handle the unique circumstances of your situation.
Hire a Sexual Assault Lawyer to Fight Your Sexual Assault Charge
Call (855) 585-1777 to speak with an experienced sexual assault lawyer who is dedicated to crafting client-centred solutions. We will guide you through the legal process and help you with the steps to take when dealing with a sexual assault charge.