The world’s first movement against sexual abuse exploded onto the entertainment, media, and political scenes in 2017, with accusations against very prominent people dominating the headlines then, and still.
In December, away from the Hollywood limelight, U.S. News reported a significant spike in sexual assault reports throughout the country, jumping from 23% in 2016 to 40% in 2017.
At Lotze Mosley, our sex crimes attorneys in Washington D.C. and the State of Maryland know the laws surrounding sexual assault charges, and how they can be applied to alleged accused. The largest concern we have is when the community is invited to decide who is innocent or guilty in the court of public opinion, the right to due process may be slowly eroding in the actual courtroom.
Examining Your Constitutional Rights To Due Process
Sexual misconduct allegations are incredibly damaging and can have a serious impact on the lives of both the accuser and the accused.
Prior to the accused having the opportunity to observe their Constitutional right to due process, their personal and professional life can be destroyed prior to any legal determination of innocence or guilt. Meanwhile, the accuser can be portrayed in unflattering ways that are used to counter the allegations s/he has put forth.
This includes the due process standard that requires:
- Receiving notice of the allegations against an individual
In the case of a sex crime, the notice of the allegation would come in the form of an arrest.
- An opportunity to respond to those allegations
The response to a criminal allegation would be determined through a not guilty or guilty plea, depending on the advice of counsel.
- A neutral party hearing the allegations and declare a ruling
In a courtroom, the neutral party hearing these allegations would include a judge, a jury, or the combination of both.
When allegations are made on social media, in the news, or even in public statements, it creates a divide between two parties: Those who believe the accuser, and those who assert due process for the accused.
If I Have Been Accused of A Sex Crime, How Can I Ensure My Rights Are Protected?
At Lotze Mosley, LLP, our criminal defense lawyers are only interested in protecting the rights of our clients — inside and outside the courtroom. While both the accuser and the accused have an equal right to be heard, our legal system dictates that we are all innocent until proven guilty.
Do not speak to the prosecutor’s office without an attorney, and do not respond to any social media posts or public comments that are being made about your case. If you have been accused of a sex crime, contact our experienced attorneys by calling (202) 759-5967 to discuss your defense, and how you are entitled to due process today.