Allegations of sexual crimes are very serious. If a person in Virginia is convicted on sexual assault charges, not only may they face fines, incarceration and a criminal record, but they may also have to register as a sex offender. This could significantly limit where they can live or even what occupations they may pursue. Thus, it is essential that they formulate a strong defense strategy that will clear their name.
There are several defenses that a person can use to argue that they should not be found guilty of sexual assault. Two of these defenses are innocence and consent. Let’s look at these defenses in greater detail, to gain a better understanding of them.
One defense to the crime of sexual assault is innocence. In this defense, the accused will argue that they were not in the place where the crime occurred — that is, they have an alibi. To successfully argue one has an alibi, the accused must present credible evidence that he or she was not with the person accusing them of sexual assault when the alleged acts occurred. Another type of innocence argument is that the accused was not the perpetrator of the crime. To successfully argue that one was misidentified as the assailant, there must be evidence that proves so, such as DNA evidence.
Another defense to the crime of sexual assault is consent. In this defense, the accused will state that sexual acts took place, but that the person accusing them of sexual assault agreed to engage in said acts. For sexual assault to take place, it must be shown that the acts were forced upon the alleged victim against their will. However, consent is not always easy to prove. There may be no direct evidence that the alleged victim agreed to engage in the sexual acts at issue. The accused might try to argue that the alleged victim’s sexual past shows he or she agreed to the acts at issue, but this might cause the jury to view the accused in an unfavorable fashion.
In the end, it is best to work with a professional when formulating a defense against sexual assault charges. This general overview of the topic cannot replace the advice of a dedicated criminal defense attorney. With the right help, those accused of sexual assault can develop a strong defense strategy against the charges they face.