Posted on: 9 June 2016
For many parents, their worst nightmare is their child suffering some sort of serious physical harm. A close second may be the prospect of their child being charged with a serious crime. For young men, especially, a sexual assault accusation can have severe long-term consequences. A conviction can be devastating. If your son is accused of sexual assault, there are right and wrong ways to support him. Below are a few tips on how to respond:
Objectively look at the facts of the case. Your first inclination may be to assume that your son could never commit such an act. You may feel compelled to prove his innocence. That feeling is understandable. However, you can provide your son with the best guidance and advice by objectively examining the facts. Have a conversation with your son about what happened. Talk to his lawyer about the evidence.
If it appears likely that your son did commit the crime, or that he will be found guilty in court, your best advice may be for him to reach some sort of guilty plea or settlement with prosecutors. Many judges come down hard on the accused in sex crime cases if they take the case to trial and are subsequently convicted. Often, alleged victims must testify in the trial. In many cases, they feel victimized all over again.
If it appears that your son actually committed the crime, he may be best served by avoiding trial, taking responsibility for his actions, and eliminating the need for the victim to testify. That approach could result in a lesser sentence.
Avoid contact with the alleged victim. If your son insists his innocence or that the sexual contact was consensual, you, your son, or other friends and family may be tempted to make contact with the accuser. This could be especially true if the accuser is a friend of the family or is in the same community. Maybe you feel there's some kind of misunderstanding that can be cleared up through conversation.
This is usually a mistake. Further contact with the accuser could result in added legal troubles. If your son is innocent, that will likely be established through the legal process. Avoid the accuser at all costs and let the process play out.
Get a lawyer for all police interaction. Sexual assault accusations are too serious to risk handling on your own. Every word that your son says to police will be analyzed and possibly held against him. He will likely be asked to submit to numerous tests, including DNA, blood, and possibly even a lie detector. He will probably be interviewed many times by investigators. Hire a skilled attorney from the outset to ensure that these requests and interviews stay objective and fair.
Some people don't hire an attorney because they think that makes them look guilty. However, proceeding without an attorney is often far more dangerous.
Contact an experienced sex crime attorney for more information. He or she can help guide your son through the process and work for a fair outcome.Share