Accusations of sexual crimes can be a life-changing thing. In many cases, there is no concrete evidence, but even a “not guilty” verdict can’t erase the stigma of the accusation.
It’s understandable that survivors of a traumatic event like sexual assault shouldn’t have to jump through hoops to get justice. But it’s just as important for the accused to have a fair case without the assumption of guilt tainting the investigation.
For that reason, anyone who is facing charges of a sex crime should use a group of experienced sex crime lawyers to help them. Together, they can work together to deal with the burden of proof against them.
When Outside Influences Are Involved
When drugs and/or alcohol are involved in a sex crimes case, the case can get even more complicated. The burden of proof becomes a matter of whether the substances were voluntarily consumed or given to them against their will.
Certain drugs, like Rohypnol, also called “the date rape drug,” are pretty clear-cut evidence. But if regular alcohol and street drugs were involved in the accusation of the sex crime, the burden of proof is placed on the prosecution.
These types of cases are very sensitive because “being intoxicated” looks different to everyone. If the accused thought the victim consented, and they were too intoxicated to do so properly, it’s a difficult situation to tread through. If both parties were intoxicated, it becomes even harder to prove the crime was intentional.
The right sex crime lawyer knows all the ways the burden of proof can be disputed.
With sexual crimes, forensics is a huge factor. If one of the parties can gather enough forensic evidence to prove their story is true, it makes a huge impact on the case.
If there were drugs involved, a blood test can show exactly what drug and how much was present at the time of the alleged crime. It’s also important in cases where a victim claims an act was performed, but the accused denies it occurred.
Sometimes, evidence is as simple as a witness or video footage. The attorneys on both sides will be scouring the scene and the events before and after the crime supposedly occurred. They will look for evidence that helps support or refute their claims.
Not Guilty? You Can Still Have Fallout
When a “not guilty” verdict is obtained, that doesn’t mean the event is over for the accused. Even without a conviction, they can still find themselves dealing with the emotional fallout of the roller coaster ride of fear.
Additionally, it’s nearly impossible to keep sexual crimes out of the headlines in the newspapers and online. It’s much more sensational to report the charges than it is to admit there was an acquittal.
Part of the role of an attorney is also to be your guide. If you were accused of a sexual crime, you need someone who can help you get to a “not guilty” verdict. They should also be able to point you where you need to go to recover from the traumatic experience.
Being accused of a sex crime when you know you’re innocent is terrifying. Make sure you have someone on your side who can support you through this difficult time.