Sexual assault in New Mexico has become quite common over the last decade. In this era of the “Me Too Movement,” sexual assault cases have become all too common in New Mexico and other parts of the United States. The offense affects millions of Americans yearly. One report stated that, on average, there are 463,634 victims (age 12 or older) of rape and sexual assault each year in the United States.
Indeed, most people accused of this offense are guilty of it, but it’s not in every case. Thus, your actions during an arrest or interrogation by the police are crucial to your defense and avoiding the four walls of a prison cell. If accused of sexual assault in New Mexico, assert your Fifth Amendment right to remain silent.
Next, invoke your Sixth Amendment right to a criminal defense attorney. If you don’t, you might instantly sink yourself as anything you say or do can and will be used against you in a court of law. This article brings you what to do if accused of sexual assault in Nex Mexico. Our Albuquerque criminal defense lawyers at FBD Law can put up an excellent defense for you if you contact us today.
What Is Sexual Assault?
Sexual assault is an offense that affects millions of Americans. According to RAINN, an American gets assaulted every 68 seconds, with women and girls the most affected. The agency also notes that one out of six American women has been a victim of attempted or completed rape a least once in their lifetime.
The stats show the prevalence of sexual assault, but what exactly is it? According to the New Mexico Department of Health, sexual assaults are acts of violence where the offender uses sex as a weapon. The assault is motivated primarily by anger and a need to feel powerful by controlling, dominating, or humiliating the victim. Some form of sexual assault includes:
- Attempted rape
- Fondling or unwanted sexual touching of the victim
- Forcing or coercing the victim to perform a sexual act like oral sex or penetrating the perpetrator’s body
While rape is a form of sexual assault, not all sexual assaults are rape. This is because, legally, rape is sexual penetration without consent. Thus, it’s crucial you know the offense you committed to not answer for the wrong charge.
Steps To Take When Accused of Sexual Assault
When accused of a sexual assault or any other crime, it is essential that you know and protect your rights. The preceding is the beginning of whether you stand a chance to put up a strong defense. Indeed, New Mexico laws and the United States Constitution provide that you’re innocent until proven guilty. But in practice, things don’t always work that way.
Below, we bring you some of the crucial steps to take when accused of committing sexual assault.
When accused of an offense as severe as sexual assault — especially if you know you’re innocent — you might get tempted to tell the investigators your version of events. You shouldn’t give in to that temptation. This is because the investigators might ask leading questions to establish your guilt and close the case. Since you have the right to a lawyer, contact one, and let them guide you through what to say.
Do Not Contact Witnesses and Alleged Victims
Remember this as it would help your case: it is NEVER and will NEVER be a good idea to contact a witness or alleged victim. Your intention might be good; you might want to sort things out. But the prosecution will only view it as witness or victim intimidation, which is another crime. So, stay away.
Decline Voluntary Tests and Searches
Don’t agree to any voluntary test or searches just because the police asked you. Instead, demand to see a warrant signed by a judge before letting them into your home. The warrant ensures that the investigating officer follows due procedure and keeps you from giving them evidence that could harm your defense.
If you happen to have proof of your innocence, do all you can to preserve it. It’s likely what will keep you from going to jail. Once you get a lawyer, hand over the evidence to them; they’ll know what to do with it. Never destroy evidence as it makes you more guilty.
Get a Lawyer
Don’t make the mistake of delaying before you hire an attorney. Indeed each case is unique, but some matters can be resolved without getting to trial. So, waste no time in contacting an attorney.
Contact Us Today!
At FBD Law, our Albuquerque criminal defense lawyers will protect your rights and fight to get your charges dismissed, dropped, or reduced as soon as possible. Contact us today for a free case review.