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What Defenses Are There to Sexual Assault Charges?


Sexual assault allegations cannot be taken lightly. Prosecutors jump at the chance to throw someone accused of this serious crime behind bars and the social stigma can cause the judge and jury to act out of unfair biases. A single conviction of sexual assault in Ohio can land you behind bars for years, cost you thousands in fines, and jeopardize your career and educational opportunities. In short, if you are facing sexual assault charges, you need to know how to defend yourself.

Innocent Until Proven Guilty

It might seem like an obvious answer, but many criminally accused individuals seem to forget that they cannot be declared guilty until they are given a fair trial. The first thing you need to do when accused of sexual assault is plead innocent. Even if you feel you have engaged in some sort of inappropriate sexual behavior with your accuser, it does not necessarily constitute something as serious as sexual assault.

Consent Was Given

This argument is perhaps one of the most powerful you can use to defend yourself but is also surrounded by a great deal of legal fog and controversy. Does intoxication of the alleged victim automatically mean that no consent was given, even if they clearly state that they are interested in sexual conduct? If they say ‘no’ but proceed to seemingly give consent through their actions, can it really be defined as rape? The specifics of your individual case will weigh heavily on the legitimacy of your claims of consent. In some cases, you may be able to use the accuser’s history of sexual promiscuity to your advantage.

Lack of Mental Capacity

Some defendants can claim that they were temporarily insane at the time the alleged sexual assault took place. The more common defense is to state that you did not have the mental capacity to comprehend the situation due to intoxication, either from drugs or alcohol. If your better judgement was hindered during the sexual interaction, it could be entirely possible that you honestly felt that consent had been given. In that case, the claims of the defendant might still be true but your actions would most likely not be viewed as criminal or malicious in nature.

Retain a Lawyer

Above all else, the wisest choice you can make when trying to defend yourself against accusations of sexual assault is to find a trustworthy lawyer as soon as possible. With a Columbus sex crimes attorney from The Meranda Law Firm in your corner, you can rest assured in knowing that your case is being handled by a professional with more than 15 years of experience and a dedication solely to criminal defense cases.

Contact us today to request your complimentary case evaluation.