Being far away from home and family while living on a college campus can be an adventurous and rewarding experience. However, more often than not, it is typically very challenging in any number of ways. Probably, one of the worst things that can happen to you at college is facing false accusations of a crime. If a falsely alleged crime involves sex assault allegations, it may prove disastrous, not only for your college career, but your personal life and potential future professional life as well.
If your studies at Marquette, University of Wisconsin-Madison or another prestigious school within the state were abruptly interrupted when another person unexpectedly came forward and accused you of illegal sexual acts, there are several things you will want to know as you determine how best to protect your rights.
The difference between unfounded and false accusations
Saying allegations are false and deeming a case unfounded are two entirely separate matters. Below is a non-extensive list of factors that may lead to the court ruling that a particular case is unfounded:
- If an alleged victim is not able to identify an assailant, it may be a crucial detail that influences the court’s determination that allegations are without basis.
- If the person making accusations keeps changing the story, it might lead the court to believe the assertions are erroneous.
- If the supposed victim is highly uncooperative to authorities and does not do what is necessary to fulfill the process of prosecution, allegations may be suspected as unfounded.
These are merely some of the most common reasons accusations may be deemed unfounded. This does not mean all of these factors must be present to achieve such a ruling.
When allegations are untrue
It’s one thing for someone to say you committed a sexual crime that is later determined to have no valid basis for prosecution. It’s quite another to face scrutiny among fellow students, professors and your college community at large when you know the allegations against you are outright false. You may be in full possession of the truth; however, the court does not typically rule allegations false unless one or more of the following are evident:
- The court must be convinced that the person making the allegations is acting with malicious intent.
- The alleged victim is deemed mentally unstable by a certified professional able to render such assessments.
- It is determined that the person making the accusations has done so as a means of self-protection for some other reason.
Studies show that although false allegations are rare, they have indeed occurred on many occasions. It’s understandable that preserving your reputation is of paramount importance on campus and in all areas of your life. Things like this have a tendency to haunt someone long after the rectifying of the situation because even if the court officially rules allegations are false, there will typically always be some who refuse to believe it.
You have a right to protect your rights and defend yourself against false accusations. You have a right to pursue your college dreams and enjoy the same privileges and freedoms other students are afforded. Such situations are often complex, not to mention how challenging it can be to navigate the criminal justice system in Wisconsin. Your chances of obtaining a positive outcome may increase the moment you call an experienced criminal defense attorney for help.