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If you are facing accusations of sexual or child abuse:
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If you suspect you may be accused of physical or sexual child abuse, it is important to get experienced knowledgable experts on your side promptly if it appears the accuser is going to counselors, professionals or authorities. This is not legal advice. Seek competent legal advice and consider an investigator of such cases to help you understand the scope of the situation and perhaps offer methods to help defend yourself.
To acquire legal advice, you should educate yourself and consider a professional defense investigator with experience and knowledge of these matters and use checklists to acquire and manage a good lawyer. Even if not guilty, talking to ANYONE before knowing the law might be a mistake. Only your lawyer allows you to retain "privilege" to discuss anything confidentially. Anyone else can be subpoened as a witness to your statements.
NOTE: We have updated the page regarding "Possible Guilt" which might have a slightly different course of action than "Falsely Accused". It also lists several crimes which many people may not even know are crimes. However, ONLY a lawyer can advise in the final assessment. There are RARELY any "ignorance of the law" excuses, but there have been some. As strictly NON-legal opinion, we doubt any of those would work for these kinds of "offenses" where almost everyone, including judges and juries are biased to some extent toward guilt and not wanting to hear ANY excuses. That is where a lawyer comes in. Someone else can "take up" for someone more credibly than just the accused.
As already mentioned, real or even false allegations can result in many severe impacts upon everyone involved and even those not involved. Repeating from the previous page:
You must realize this is often a very serious, life-changing matter that may result in someone serving many years in prison, ruined marriages, destroyed families and relationships, high legal and financial costs, inability to find employment, years or lifetime of registration as a sexual offender who may be targeted by anyone. There are severe emotional costs and worry involved. It can be perilous to ignore accusations or procrastinate in preparing a defense.
In the final analysis, probably no one can give practical advice (a lawyer MIGHT) that might not be only legal advice. Some lawyers are good at that; Many are not, at being more of a counselor to avoid a legal situation or formal case.
Such non-legal advice could take MANY forms and NO ONE can predict the future or outcomes of interpersonal situations involving these matters. Whether to wait and hope it "blows over" or to more actively protect innocence or even to try talking to likely hostile neigbors, family members or the false accuser)s) could be dangerous or beneficial.
An already bad situation could get much worse for example if you suggested the accuser "get some counseling" (although they may need it), because the false allegations may not be retracted. In that case the counselor MUST report the accusation to authorities. As in the "possibly guilty" situation, quiet apologies (not admitting) for other causes of ticking off the false accuer might work, or like Appeasement, might just encourage more of it, as a heady means of Power. All kinds of people love power, including children and teenagers and others. Only you, maybe with advice of legal counsel can decide what MIGHT help, but may not. Some people might choose to leave a note that "didn't do anything" or similar and go away for a while. That could have repurcussions too.
Anyone making false allegations probably had SOME cause to start with, even unconsciouisly: anger, jealously, fear of separation, feeling neglected, not listened to, etc.. Usually, if younger than 15 or 16, they may have NO idea of the seriousness of the accusation. Someone (???) should probably explain it to them, unless perhapd the accuser just has a very mean streak, which a few people have. They might think causing someone to go to prison or have to spend all their money is cool. Only you would know their true pesonality (or should know).
Not only criminal but civil cases and costs may result from allegations. The word of a single person may cause these severe results, even if untrue. The word of a minor may be presumed to be true in a court unless proven untrue. At early stages of a case, interviews, testing and polygraphs (lie detector) may be involved for all parties. There are risks even that a below average polygraph examiner may misread your chart or perform the exam incorrectly. It is imperative you have a competent, intelligent examiner chosen by you.
Anything an accused person would do or say should be taken very seriously and only after study, perhaps consultation with a lawyer. Understand that some people are required to report abuse or seek assistance for a suspected victim by law. It may not be anything personal against you, but perhaps a misguided perception of events. The resources of the prosecution can be formidable.
This article is not intended for actual abuse victims who require professional assistance and counseling. Many web sites and support organizations exist for victims of abuse.
An accuser (alleged victim, mother, relative?) should have at least the word of a person with first hand or near first hand knowledge of the "event" as well as some evidence, such as major behavioral change, inappropriate behaviors, and hopefully other evidence. If there is someone who claims to have directly observed you, then you may have even more serious problems. The truthfulness of a person can be tested by a polygraph lie detector and by other evidence of the person’s unreliability.
You and the accuser need to be well-informed and educated about child development and behaviors that may simply be developmental. For example, major hormonal changes at puberty in adolescents can cause major behavioral changes and extreme behaviors, particularly emotional instability and rebellion. If this allegation came up just after some big family fight when a teenager is showing much rebellion and statements about hating living at home, that may suggest other possibilities, as some teens have made false accusations in anger. Therefore, you should educate yourself and seek the advice of an expert. Professional counselors, caregivers and educators are required by law in most states to report virtually any suspected child abuse.
A false child abuse allegation can also greatly affect the life of the victim, especially if there is no evidence and the possibility that the victim may not want to testify or may fail a polygraph or other exam. A competent investigator or expert in these accusations might help educate you and provide checklists regarding what to expect. If you are innocent and the alleged victim is weak, unstable or afraid, you may have a better chance to have charges dropped.
It is always a good idea to be careful and brief and mostly ask questions when discussing such matters. These are legal matters and a lawyer should be consulted if it appears this matter might become a formal charge or civil case.
You need expert advice and suggestions and checklists in preparing for educating yourself, acquiring a lawyer and defending yourself and to be aware of how you may be investigated and how the other parties may be investigated by public or private investigators. You also need suggestions and checklists on how to choose and deal with a lawyer from people with experience and knowledge. You further should do research and self education as much as possible.
Criminal cases can arise from civil cases, and vice versa. There can be so many costs, financial , emotional and otherwise that you must not take these matters lightly or make false accusations.
If someone makes an unfounded or false accusation, they may be investigated, tested, sued for large sums of money, possibly criminally charged with perjury possibly resulting in prison time of years. It is usually unwise to reveal your strategy to the opposition unless you are fully prepared, investigations by your private investigator are near complete and after consulting with an attorney.
Be aware that some authorities may over-react to weak evidence or inadvertent mentioning of possibilities, where other authorities may fail to follow up entirely to strong accusations. It is not uncommon in some jurisdictions that sexual child abuse allegations may be given little real attention. You should consider investigating the reputation of the law enforcement organization and even the police detective. A professional investigative firm can assist in these matters. Sometimes investigating the police detective or officers may be difficult.
Abuse may be physical, emotional, sexual, or combinations of these. It unwise to resort to threats or manipulation. If the victim recants or retracts or denies the accusations, the case is likely ended.
You may consider suing the accuser, but threats are seldom wise.
Emotional abuse may be extremely difficult to prove, and criminal charges are unlikely for such forms of abuse unless there is strong evidence of severely damaging actions. However, you should seek legal advice on such matter, as we can not offer legal advice.
Prosecutors are extremely unlikely to bring charges or seek an indictment, or may even drop charges in many situations. You need expert advice and checklists to understand these situations.
Criminal charges mostly likely require the sworn statement of the accuser and others. Be aware that you must tell the truth or say nothing to the police, as your lawyer will advise, or you may be subject to criminal prosecution and jail time of years for perjury. Before you testify or make a statement, it is likely advisable to have carefully selected a lawyer and know how to handle a lawyer, which most people do not. One misspoken statement can easily be interpreted later as not exactly what you meant to say.
This is not legal advice. Seek competent legal advice and follow their instructions or ask questions. Typically they will advise a client to not discuss a case with anyone except them or approved agents or staff thereof. However, professional investigative and polygraph firms are integral part of a defense and a good lawyer accepts and encourages that. They are important for producing leads and evidence for rebuttals, and except for outright admission of a crime, statements are confidential unless a subpoena is issued by a court. Therefore, it may be advisable to be very brief and cautious in any statements.
Your private investigator should be able to offer suggestions, help and education and help gather evidence and references. A good investigator will have suggestions for you make to your lawyer to help be sure your lawyer will consider the many approaches possible in your defense.
Your investigator should be associated with a polygraph lie-detector firm. Your willingness to prove your statements with a lie detector (or at least be found inconclusive) can be a crucial factor in avoiding criminal prosecution. Although not admissible in most courts in a trial, passing results of an exam can influence some prosecutors to drop charges.
Understand that the criminal justice system does not work very well and your actual innocence may not matter to the prosecutor. Many are more interested in conviction statistics than truth and justice. A policeman’s word is also presumed to be truth until disproven. Some police may lie. If you claim they are lying and can not prove it (they have more people on their side), you may be further charged with perjury or obstruction of justice.
You should read about the numerous large cases of suspected sexual abuse in some day care centers. Several of these have been widely publicized and then found to be near completely false after ruining the lives of numerous people. If you have a history of being overly friendly with children or seeking positions which bring you into contact with children or teenagers, any allegations will likely be considered carefully by police.
Before you hire a lawyer is probably the best time to hire your private investigative firm to help you select and manage a lawyer. Be aware there are very few good lawyers. You must seek assistance and education in this matter. An investigative firm can help in this are for as little as a few hundred dollars.
Be aware that some children or minors are easily influenced and imaginative and "leading" questions can ultimately ruin a real case of abuse. This area should be explored with a knowledgeable investigator and is mentioned in checklists about such cases.
If you a case of rape or molestation is suspected, you may be faced with a very serious problem, particularly if there is a claim by the victim or other evidence. It is wise to seek competent investigative opinion and legal advice.
Particularly in such cases, a careful investigation by a private investigator may assist in determining if the accuser has any tendencies to lie or be unstable or even whether the accuser may have other behavior, statements or relationships that you should know.
In summary, accusations of child abuse are extremely serious, legally and otherwise. You should make yourself aware of all the implications and possible repercussions. Many people are passive victims of false accusations and it is an extremely difficult area to defend against or to find any sympathy or benefit of the doubt from anyone.
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