False Allegations

False Allegations

Plano Criminal Defense Lawyers – 972.635.4224

People accused of serious crimes – such as child abuse, sexual assault, and domestic violence – face significant consequences even if the accusations never become charges. Society is always eager to tear down and distrust someone charged with one of these serious crimes based on a single statement or a single accusation. And, what if that statement is a complete false allegation? Repeat those words one more time and pause for a second……….a false allegation. Can you imagine your entire world turned upside down because another person makes a false allegation against you? An accuser may not process the significant impact that a false allegation holds. What may start out as a spiteful claim to harm you, can turn into an accusation that can ruin your private life or career. With the serious impact that a false allegations holds, it is important to ensure that you have the right people by your side to protect you and your reputation.

False rape allegations loom large in today’s society. We will never forget the big cases that have made national news over the past few years, and unfortunately, the false allegation stories received no publicity because they were swept under the rug. We all remember the false allegation stories that involved the alleged brutal gang rape at the University of Virginia (that was later recanted) and the false allegations made against the Duke University lacrosse team in 2006. These cases demonstrate the damaging effects false accusations carry, so I often utilize these examples during my jury selection process on cases involving false allegations. To my jury panels, I always ask the following questions:

  • Do you think someone has ever lied about something serious that really didn’t happen to them (being raped, being sexually assaulted as a child, being physically abused)?

  • Why would someone ever lie about something so serious and heinous?

  • How can a person defend themselves from these types of false allegations?

  • What would you do if you were falsely accused of a crime that you did not commit?

These are the true dangers of false allegations. What if a woman has consensual sex, and then regrets it the next day? What if a woman gets dumped by her boyfriend and decides to accuse him of rape as revenge? What if someone is just lying to get attention? Are false allegations reaching epidemic levels in today’s hard-drinking hookup culture, where the lines of consent have been blurred? Let us be clear, we are in no way insinuating that all allegations of rape are false, but when you are falsely accused of rape, sexual assault of a child, or physical abuse (child abuse or domestic/family violence), it is imperative that you retain the services of a qualified criminal defense attorney who can aggressively attack the false allegations made against you, so your life is not ruined by a malicious lie. False allegations can ruin lives and exist as a risk to every citizen in Texas.

One incredibly important facet regarding false allegations is that the accuser almost never faces any consequences for their malicious intent. Unfortunately, this is the sad reality that exists in our society. Without any accountability for those making false allegations, it begs the obvious questions: What do false accusers have to lose by making a false allegation to the police when they have the ability to withdraw their accusation at any time without consequence?

Here at The Edgett Law Firm, we have personally seen several criminal charges brought against our clients, including cases where allegations were made by children and/or teenagers. These situations are not uncommon as teenagers are one of the most common persons to make false accusations. Think about a teenager who is afraid of getting in trouble tells their parents they were sexually assaulted to avoid the potential punishment. While unwanted pregnancies are often cited by teenage girls as the reason for a false accusation, the reason can be as trivial as a missed curfew. The said reality is that these reasons show up at a disturbing frequency in these types of cases. As a rule, it’s the parents who insist on getting the police involved. Several studies have found that almost half of all false rape or sexual assault allegations are reported by someone other than the alleged victim (usually a parent in cases involving children). Another example of a false allegation case that take off rapidly is that of person who falsely reports a sexual assault in the hope of getting needed medical care of psychiatric medications. Like the teenagers who missed their curfew, these false accusers have no interest in pursuing charges after the lie has served its purpose (i.e. the heat and focus are no longer on them personally).

When our law firm looks at a series of fabricated sexual assaults or physical abuse, we tend to see patterns that immediately emerge. Most strikingly (and almost invariably), false accusers who persist in pursuing charges have a previous history of bizarre fabrications or criminal fraud. These accusers are often criminals whose family and friends are also criminals or broken people trapped in chaotic lives. For example, the accuser in the Duke lacrosse case, was the archetypical false accuser. She had previously reported another brutal rape and kidnapping in which no one was ever charged. She also had a previous felony conviction and ultimately went to prison for an unrelated crime. This false accuser had trouble keeping her stripping job because of the combination of illegal and prescription drugs she was on. Tragically, she seems to have suffered sexual abuse as a child, which is another factor that often appears in adult false accusers.

What motivates a false accuser? As your aggressive criminal defense attorneys, it is our job to find out what is motivating your false accuser. While false accusers often have similar histories, they have varying motives. Based upon our experience, these motives can be divided into roughly four categories:

  1. Personal Gain;
  2. Mental Illness;
  3. Revenge; and
  4. Need for an Alibi.

Accusers motivated by personal gain are generally the same people who are always looking for the free handout (i.e. suing the city for slipping on the courthouse steps or from the fender bender accident, etc.). Sometimes their scheme is to claim they have been a victim just to gain financially, which is clearly a fraudulent claim. Yet occasionally, the sought gain is not financial. For example, there are stories of women who have claimed to have been a rape victim while in prison with the hope that it might help her out of prison early.

Mentally ill false accusers can be people with severe psychosis who genuinely believe they’ve been raped or physically abused. Some false accusers commonly have what is called factitious personality disorder or Munchausen’s syndrome, which compels them to claim they have been assaulted. Some false accusers even claim other serious medical illnesses to get immediate attention. These accusers often change their stories, adding dramatic details without regard either for the account they originally gave or the physical evidence.

Revenge is another common motivation, either as a single motive, or as the reason a particular falsely accused victim is chosen. Sometimes false accusers are seeking revenge for getting dumped or rejected by former lovers. Other revenge cases include jealously or people who are disappointed in the result of what occurred between the two parties. Our law firm often sees this in false allegations of child abuse or sexually assaulting a child when one parent is attempting to get revenge on the other parent. Because children can be easily influenced by a parent, it is not unusual to see a false allegation against the other parent.

Finally, false accusers who fabricate rapes or physical abuse as an alibi are mostly the already mentioned teens in trouble with their parents- but some adults may turn to a false accusation to try and cover up their infidelity. These are the only accusers who can sometimes seem ordinary, even sympathetic. When charges are brought in these cases, the driving force is often a third party who believes the lie and naturally wants to see the perpetrator punished criminally or to cash in with a civil lawsuit.

One final note about who makes false accusations- while popular conceptions of this issue center on female mendacity, many of these stories cited above involved male accusers. Given the fact that men and women can both crave revenge and have personality disorders, this should be obvious. False accusers almost never tell stories that could, by any stretch of the imagination, be seen as an innocent misunderstanding. Most of all, it should be remembered that a false accuser is a person making up a story to serve some goal. It is crucial to the false accuser that their story be taken seriously by everyone, including the police, district attorney, and eventually a jury.

If someone is falsely alleging that you have committed a crime of any sort, you must act fast to protect yourself by contacting The Edgett Law Firm, a leading criminal defense law firm in Plano, Collin County, the DFW Metroplex, and throughout Texas. Our firm understands how much is at stake and how little time there might be to respond to the false allegations. Led by Attorney Scott Edgett, who has been highly-rated and acclaimed by past clients and professional organizations like Avvo and The National Trial Lawyers, our law firm is ready to shield your reputation and defeat the false accusations thoroughly.

Start your defense today. Call 972.635.4224 or contact the firm online.

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