Being charged with a criminal offense can intimidate anyone, but facing a charge as serious as sexual assault adds to those feelings. Such allegations come with significant social, personal and legal consequences.
If Texas police charge you with sexual assault, the immediate steps you take can profoundly influence the outcome.
Stay calm and avoid making statements
When facing an arrest or charges, emotions can surge. You must remain calm. Do not make any statements or answer questions about the alleged incident. Officers can use anything you say against you in court. If you wish to decline to answer, do so politely.
Understand your rights
Everyone has rights, even when facing criminal charges. You have the right to remain silent and to know the specific charges against you. Officers should inform you of these rights upon taking you into custody. Exercise these rights and stay aware of them throughout the process.
Collect all relevant evidence
If you think specific evidence can support your innocence or provide a clearer context to the situation, note it down. This can include text messages, emails or other correspondence related to the incident. Preserve any physical evidence and keep a list of potential witnesses who might support your account.
Managing a charge as serious as sexual assault can emotionally drain you. Connect with close friends or family members for emotional and moral support. Numerous support groups and counseling services exist to help individuals cope with the stress of criminal charges.
Stay updated on the process
A charge follows a specific legal process, from hearings and potential bail considerations to court dates. Make sure you know these dates and understand what each stage involves. Always show up for all proceedings and be on time.
A sexual assault charge presents a significant challenge. However, understanding your next steps can greatly assist in navigating these challenging circumstances.