What Are the Consequences of a False Sex Allegation?

June 7, 2024 Criminal Defense, Sex Crimes

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False Sex Allegations in Florida: Information to Help the Falsely Accused

If someone is accused of rape or sexual assault in Florida, it can have life-altering consequences. This includes the emotional toll, incurring reputational damage, harsh and severe legal repercussions as well. Understanding potential avenues for recourse if accused is critical for anyone who is facing such a situation. Contact attorney Don Pumphrey, Jr. owner and founder of the Pumphrey Law Firm with 27 years of experience, a former prosecutor, who is aggressive and trusted. (850) 681-7777.

Devastating impacts of false sex allegations may include but are not limited to:

  • Loss of freedom: Prison time. Post-conviction lengthy prison sentences including but not limited to years and sometimes decades in prison. This does not include pre-trial detention which can disrupt employment, relationships, and create tremendous mental stress. Having an aggressive, highly experienced criminal defense attorney with many years of experience is vital to minimize the likelihood of this outcome.
  • Social stigma: Even if these charges are dismissed, an accusation can continue to hang over the head of the defendant, which may damage their reputation among friends, family, and community members.
  • Psychological trauma: Anxiety, depression, and PTSD in many cases.
  • Legal consequences for the falsely accused include but are not limited to:
    • Criminal Arrest Record: Depending on the alleged offense, there may be serious criminal charges brought like sexual assault, rape, sexual battery or even attempted allegations of any sexual allegation up to formal charges and lifelong record.
    • Sex offender registry: In the event of a conviction, someone who has been accused may be forced to register as a sex offender.
  • Immigration issues: A false allegation for a non-citizen may lead to deportation.

Challenges with fighting false allegations may be numerous. While defendants don’t have to prove they are innocent – they must be proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt – evidence raising doubt about the veracity of the charges may be necessary in some cases.

“He said, she said” scenarios are dangerous for the falsely accused. The alleged victim could be viewed by law enforcement as more credible than the falsely accused individual. Sometimes, a false accuser is still believed even when a falsely accused person cooperates and submits to a lie detector test, if there is no corroborating evidence to either disprove or verify the falsely accused person’s account.

Law enforcement may focus their investigation on the accusation itself rather than determining whether it is true. Due to confirmation bias or any bias in an investigation, the falsely accused person in a criminal investigation could be a victim of police overlooking exculpatory evidence (evidence that shows innocence and/or attacks the credibility of the accuser). Exculpatory physical evidence and impeachment evidence is commonly known as Brady/Giglio evidence. A lack of true objectivity may be detrimental to someone who has been falsely accused.

What Can I Do If Falsely Accused?

Seek Legal Counsel Immediately: Contact Criminal defense attorney Don Pumphrey, Jr., owner and founder of Pumphrey Law Firm with 27 years of experience, and former prosecutor, who is aggressive and trusted. (850) 681-7777. An experienced Tallahassee criminal defense attorney can advise you on your rights and explore legal options.

Even if there is a chance that an accusation may be made, hire an aggressive, experienced attorney immediately. Do not wait, things are not going to get better. If you are a student and are falsely accused you will be subject to a Title IX investigation. This could also lead to allegations of violations of the Student Code of Conduct.  

False accusations are no joke. This is not a situation that will get better on its own. Don’t take a bad situation and let it get out of hand. Hire an aggressive, experienced attorney to protect you and your rights. 

Maintain Innocence: Remain silent. Assert your innocence by remaining silent at all times and requesting an attorney from the outset. Remember to always be polite and physically calm as possible. Do not make any statements at any time without an attorney present. Remaining silent is not lying and lying only takes a bad situation and makes it worse. Cooperate with the investigation only at the advice of an attorney you have retained.  

Gather Evidence: Any evidence such as alibi witness and documents as well as video surveillance may be of great help. Importantly, stay calm.

Consequences for False Accuser

If someone is found to have made a false report of a sexual offense, they may face various punishments. These can include:

  • Perjury charges if they have lied under oath
  • Misdemeanor charges for filing a false police report
  • Civil lawsuits for defamation by the accused to seek damages for a tarnished reputation

False sex allegations can be devastating and continue to be a serious issue in Florida. While fighting a false allegation may be difficult, understanding your options and contacting a trusted and experienced attorney is the best thing you can do if falsely accused. The attorneys at Pumphrey Law have decades of experience fighting for clients in these difficult situations and will fight for you if you have been falsely accused.  

A person who is falsely accused needs someone who is a straight shooter, understands the nuances of the criminal investigations and prosecutions, and fights to win. Making the right choice is not just important in this moment, but for the rest of your life.

Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney in Tallahassee, Florida

Being arrested in Florida can be extremely stressful. Being charged and “formally charged” by information in Tallahassee or Leon County, Wakulla County, Jefferson County, Gadsden County, Quincy, Crawfordville, Florida State University, Tallahassee Community College, or Florida A&M University can be life changing. Given the possibility of a lengthy jail or prison sentence and hefty financial penalties, it is important to contact an aggressive, trusted and experienced criminal defense lawyer in Tallahassee, FL as soon as possible.

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