Being accused of a crime is hard to handle in general. Being accused of a sexually based crime is significantly worse. Accusations of this nature alone are enough to alienate friends, family, and employers. In America, everyone suspected of a crime deserves a fair and competent defense. If you should find yourself dealing with an accusation of a sex crime, remember to follow some simple advice: stay quiet, get a lawyer, and stay calm.
When dealing with such accusations at academic institutions, issues beyond legality might come into play. Suspensions of employment or pay can be instituted with just an accusation. A rigorous and competent defense is necessary to maintain career prospects and reputation.
There are different levels of sexually based crimes and the specific statutes affecting the accused will depend on the state where the incident occurred. If someone is accused of crimes involving the Internet or multiple states, the process will most likely take place in federal court, which can be a lot more expensive to properly handle. At an academic institution, faculty members or students will be subjected to internal rules and investigations that have different rules than traditional American courts.
Though sex crimes can be categorized as either misdemeanors or felonies, they are serious charges to handle. Sex crimes encompass a wide swath of activity including solicitation of prostitution, sexual battery, or indecency with minors. Many institutions of higher education have some power to investigate these crimes and act upon their conclusion.
Beyond termination or suspension, committees at these institutions can also contact law enforcement with their findings. Their recommendations could lead to jail time or fines. There is also the possibility individuals accused of sex crimes can be forced to register as a sex offender. This classification can greatly limit an individual’s residency options, long term employability, and even their mental health.
When approached by school administration or law enforcement officials about a possible sexual offense, an accused person needs to remain quiet. Under the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, a person cannot be compelled to provide evidence that can be used to convict them of a crime.
It might be tempting to try and explain the situation. The authorities will give a suspect ample opportunity to present their side of the story ultimately to use that information against them in court. When facing a possible indictment for a sex crime, a suspect needs to remain quiet until arrested and informed of their right to counsel.
Exercising your rights might not save your job however. Refusing or failing to answer questions from a committee investigating such allegations might result in termination or suspension.
Get a Lawyer
Hatred for attorneys is widespread. The moment that hatred subsides is the moment a person needs one. When accused of something as heinous as a sex crime, a good lawyer is a necessary first step. From bail and evidence discovery to witness depositions and potential plea bargains, lawyers for those accused of sex crimes have a lot of work to do. The ordeal might involve months of work for legal staff and result in thousands of dollars in fees. Bottom-dollar shopping for attorneys when facing serious charges is not a smart idea. Attorneys can also help save or regain employment if accusations of sex crimes lead to termination.
Every day spent dealing with a sex crime accusation will be frustrating and difficult to endure. The overwhelming desire for the process to end can make a suspect act irrationally. This can take the form of premature plea bargains or even pleading guilty before consulting a lawyer. It’s the right of every American to confront accusations of criminal activity to the best of their ability. A suspect can greatly assist their own defense by allowing an attorney to do their job.