The criminal justice system in America views all crimes differently, but public opinion often views certain crimes in an even worse light than the legal system does. Although crimes like armed robbery, murder and money laundering often bring harsher penalties than crimes such as abuse and rape, the public often is far more sickened by the latter crimes.
All of these crimes come with serious consequences, but the necessary evidence to jail someone in relation to rape and abuse is often much lower than in other crimes. According to our Charlotte criminal defense lawyer, this means that a person can be charged and convicted with a serious felony offense on little more than the word of an alleged victim. Regardless of what certain advocates claim, false allegations of abuse and rape do occur, and it is imperative that the real victim in these cases, the accused, get good legal representation to protect their name.
The criminal justice system has realized how difficult it can be for a rape or abuse victim to come forward. Due to the extremely dangerous nature of these crimes, many jurisdictions have passed laws that require an arrest to be made if there is any evidence of domestic abuse or rape. These laws are meant to protect people who are in fear of coming to the police, but there are people who attempt to manipulate the system by making false rape and abuse allegations.
It would be nice to live in a world where no one is vindictive enough to make false allegations that could ruin someone’s life. Unfortunately, that is not how the modern world works. A simple allegation of rape or abuse is often enough to have a person arrested and charged with the crime. Maybe the saddest thing in this whole scenario is the fact that once a person has been accused of these crimes, the outcome of the case matters little. A stigma has been attached to the falsely accused that they may never escape.
Not Guilty Verdicts
It would be foolish to think that every allegation of rape and abuse is legitimate. It would be just as foolish to think that every falsely accused person is exonerated. Luckily, there are some times when the criminal justice system realizes the error of its ways when a person is falsely accused. Just recently, in September 2012, a Maryland resident in Wicomico County was found not guilty of five sexual offenses. The jury literally only had to deliberate for thirty minutes.
The aforementioned case simply didn’t have enough evidence to prove absolute guilt. There are other times, however, when evidence of a false accusation actually exists. A recent case involved a teenage babysitter in Georgia who accused a lawyer and his girlfriend of rape. The lawyer was charged, but text messages soon surfaced showing that the girl was speaking sexually to the lawyer one day after the alleged rape. The texts also appeared to show a girl who was scared that her boyfriend would find out that she had been in another sexual relationship. Once this evidence surfaced, the felony rape charges against the attorney were dropped.
It is good to live in a world where rapists and abusers are put into jail for their crimes. Unfortunately, unscrupulous people will always try to use the system to hurt people for various reasons. When this occurs, it can be nearly impossible for a person to get their lives back, even after they’ve been exonerated. Anyone falsely accused of any crime needs to hire an attorney immediately. The only thing worse than sitting in prison is sitting in prison for a crime a person didn’t commit.
Shelby Warden is a legal researcher and regular contributing author for the Charlotte criminal defense lawyer team Powers McCartan. If you or a loved one is under investigation for a serious crime, you need experienced legal counsel. The attorneys at Powers McCartan aggressively defend clients on all types of criminal charges in state courts throughout North Carolina.