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If I'm falsely accused of a sexual assault what should I do?

Solicitors are receiving more enquiries from people who have seen a post on social media accusing them of a sexual assault

Motoring offences or prosecutions

decorative image for guidance blogIt’s party season again, where people go out with their work colleagues and friends to celebrate Christmas. While most people will enjoy the festivities, it is unfortunately the case that sometimes Christmas parties can lead to incidents where sexual assault is alleged. What should you do if this happens to you?

With the increased use of social media platforms such as TikTok, solicitors are receiving more enquiries from people who have seen a post on social media accusing them of a serious sexual assault. In this situation, clients are advised to seek immediate legal advice from a firm that specialises in criminal defence. A reputable criminal solicitor would have experience representing people at the police station and at court for these types of allegations and will often arrange an initial confidential conference to take your instructions, advise you of the law, answer any questions that you have and to prepare an action plan (if applicable).

Of course, some people are not given any warning of a complaint being made and can find themselves arrested and released on police bail whilst the police investigate this matter. In this situation, you need to arrange a conference to discuss this matter with a specialist criminal solicitor who can provide you with legal advice. Even if you had the duty solicitor with you at the police station you do not need to continue instructing this firm, you can choose a solicitor yourself and should probably ensure that you choose a solicitor with whom you have a good rapport and who is experienced in these matters.

In some cases, people may be charged once they have been arrested and told they need to attend court at a future date. Again, you are under no obligation to continue instructing the duty solicitor you had represent you at the police station and can instruct a different solicitor’s firm. In this circumstance you should discuss the funding options available to you (legal aid or private paying) with your chosen law firm, and once instructed your case would be allocated to one of their experienced solicitors. They would request the evidence, consider the evidence and begin taking your instructions to prepare your defence.

If convicted of a serious sexual assault the sentence is likely to be a lengthy custodial one and signing on the Sex Offenders Register. This can impact you for the rest of your life. Therefore, it is imperative to seek legal advice at the earliest opportunity to either challenge the evidence at the earliest opportunity to try and avoid the case going to court or to thoroughly prepare the case to defend the allegations at court. If you have been accused or charged with a serious sexual offence, please search for a solicitor who specialises in criminal law at