A specialized team that deals with sexual assaults in Calgary says it saw a 23 per cent increase in cases last year — which might be more positive than it appears.
“It’s my hope that these numbers are going up because people are feeling more supported and are more aware of the resources that are available to them,” said Dr. Rabiya Jalil, a physician on the team.
However, there is also the possibility that some people have been falsely accused of sexual assault.
What to do if you are falsely accused of sexual assault
If you or a loved one has been charged with a sexual assault crime that you did not commit, it can be a devastating experience. We all think that the legal system guarantees that we won’t be falsely convicted, but unfortunately, as demonstrated above, false accusations are more common than we think. So what should you do? The following are some suggestions:
- Secure the services of a qualified and experienced criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible.
- Don’t assume that because the charges are false, you don’t need to deal with them.
- Write down as many details as possible about your case, whether or not you consider them important.
- Compile a list of possible witnesses.
- Know your rights. If you are questioned by police, you are not required to say anything.
Why You Need an Experienced Criminal Lawyer
It is so very important to retain an experienced criminal defence lawyer before you talk to the police about a current or historical sexual assault allegation. You likely won’t be able to talk your way out of a police interrogation. In many cases, the police have already decided to charge you, and they only want to talk to you to get you to confess, or to lie about a fact that will be used at your trial to discredit your testimony.
If you are accused of or suspected of having committed a sexual assault, it is important that you know your right to remain silent and your right to consult with legal counsel before giving any statement to the police, whether this be verbal or written or statements electronically recorded in any manner. The police will not cease questioning you just because you exercise your right to remain silent.
If you have been charged with sexual assault in Calgary and would like to discuss your situation in confidence with an experienced criminal lawyer, please contact Maureen Maureen McConaghy. She has where Maureen has successfully defended many clients charged with sexual assault and other sex offences.