3 Ways To Defend Against Sexual Assault Charges

3 Ways To Defend Against Sexual Assault Charges

by Aug 7, 2018

If you are facing sexual assault charges, there are typically three different strategies that any prosecutor will likely try to employ to clear you of those charges. There is never any guarantee of course, but by working closely with your attorney and providing them with as much information as possible, you can increase your chances of being found innocent.

Demonstrating Innocence

In some cases, sexual assault charges may have been brought against you even if you are completely innocent. If you were in a different location when the person accusing you of sexual assault claims you attacked them, then your attorney can prove your innocence by providing evidence of you being somewhere else when the assault occurred.

Evidence that can help prove you were somewhere else might be things like:

  • Point-of-sale receipts
  • Security camera footage
  • Images or video recorded on a mobile device
  • Witnesses who saw you at that location
  • Phone records and/or GPS data

Any one of those pieces of evidence may be enough to prove your innocence.

Another common issue when facing sexual assault charges is that the victim has misidentified the attacker and accused the wrong person of a crime. While it may sound implausible that a victim wouldn’t be able to identify the person who attacked them, it’s actually more common that many people think.

One of the best defenses against misidentification in a sexual assault case is DNA evidence, if it’s available. If the person who attacked the victim left any sort of DNA on the victim or at the crime scene, it can be compared against your DNA and prove that you were not there.

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Consenting Parties

It is possible, in some cases, that after a consensual sexual encounter one party may feel regret, anger, or guilt and decide to file sexual assault charges against the other person.

One of the elements of proving sexual assault is that the sexual behavior must have occurred against the will of the victim. Thus, if you and your attorney can demonstrate that the victim consented to the sexual contact, it will provide a solid defense to the allegations of sexual assault.

The challenge, however, is that proving the encounter was consensual is often very difficult. It often comes down to one person’s word against the other, and in those cases credibility is often determined by each party’s past behaviour and testimony as to their character by people who know them.

Furthermore, in certain circumstances, consent is impossible to prove. When the alleged victim is a minor, was somehow incapacitated, or is mentally challenged and incapable of understanding the sexual nature of the behavior–it is impossible for the victim to have consented to the sexual encounter in question.

Mental Incapacity Or Insanity

Under very rare and extenuating conditions, your attorney may claim that you were suffering from a mental disease or defect at the time the attack occurred and that, as a result, sexual assault charges cannot be brought against you.

Different states apply different forms of the insanity defense, but most states will treat an offender more leniently upon a showing that their mental disease or defect prevented them from understanding the criminal nature of their actions.

To be clear: being drunk or under the influence of narcotics does not meet the requirements for pleading mental incapacity.


At Quinnan Law, we offer every client a free phone consultation to discuss their unique situation and determine how we can help. To arrange a consultation, please fill out the adjacent form or call us at: (707) 540-2356.

We provide representation in California State and Federal Courts. We accept most major credit cards for your convenience.

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