Nobody wants to find themselves on the receiving end of a rape allegation, and while the easiest thing to do if you find yourself in this situation is to panic, this is not the best course of action. If you have been told that you are going to be accused of rape, have been accused, or are currently being held at the police station or need to attend an interview, the best thing you can do is contact a sexual offence solicitor for legal advice.
However, once you have access to this legal defence, what questions should you ask in the first instance to make sense of what is happening to you? Here are some ideal queries to ask your legal representative.
What are the specific charges that have been brought against me?
There are different types of sexual offence charges in the UK, and even if you have been accused of a set type, such as rape, you will want to know exactly what you have been accused of doing.
Your solicitor will have access to this information and be able to advise you on the next steps that need to be taken.
What is the likely outcome of my case, based on the evidence?
Obviously, if someone has accused you of committing rape but has no evidence at all, this is a serious allegation. But, it would be more complicated if they were also able to produce photographs and had forensic evidence too.
So, be sure to ask as much as you can about the evidence that the prosecution has, and ask about what the most likely outcome is for you based on this.
What are my options for defending against the charges?
Concerning rape, there are a few defences.
If the alleged victim gave their consent, then it is not considered rape; this can be complicated if the person in question has a diagnosed severe mental health issue or severe learning disabilities. If you can provide evidence that the victim was not at the location of the alleged rape at the time it is alleged to have occurred, then your solicitor may be able to use this defence. Moreover, if you can show that the alleged victim fabricated the rape allegation, your solicitor may be able to further strengthen your defence.
How can I minimise the potential consequences of a conviction?
You should aim to be as honest and as open as you can with your solicitor, the police and any other investigating parties.
This will show a willingness to cooperate, which will likely bode well in your favour, even if you are convicted.
What do I do if I am contacted by the police or any other authorities?
This will only apply if you have not already been contacted.
Your solicitor will likely advise you to cooperate with the police if they contact you regarding the allegation. But, if you are called to attend an interview, you should ensure that you have the appropriate legal defence there with you.