SOLVING PERSONAL LEGAL MATTERS
Forbes Solicitors have an experienced team of specialist sexual offence solicitors who have successfully defended hundreds of allegations of rape, sexual harassment, sexual assault, possession of indecent images, revenge porn and those of historic sexual abuse. Sexual offences alleged against individuals can be particularly complex to navigate and require early expert assistance to ensure that all available defences are properly explored, and evidence is promptly obtained to support them.
If you, or someone you know, is facing a sexual offence allegation it is vital you seek expert legal representation at the earliest opportunity. Forbes Solicitors are substantially experienced in representing clients who are required to attend the police station for interview, or who have to appear at court. If you need to speak with one of our expert sexual offence solicitors, contact us here or call 01772 220 022.
At Forbes Solicitors, we understand that facing an allegation of this nature can be very distressing, not just for the person facing the charges; as their reputation, career and relationships can be irreversibly damaged, but it can also impact upon close family members and friends. Many of the individuals we act for often have no previous experience of the criminal justice system and welcome the support and tenacity provided by our solicitors in assisting them through this challenging period.
There are many innocent people accused of sexual offences by a former partner or someone who they have had only very brief encounters with and therefore, find the process even more concerning. Even if you know you have done nothing wrong, if you are being accused of a sexual offence, it is vital you seek early expert legal advice.
The nature of these offences often result in there being few or no witnesses present at the material time. However, our expert solicitors are familiar with examining in detail the events before and after the encounter and are well practised in determining additional evidence to support our client's account and undermine those made by the individual making the allegations. It is this eye for detail and our 'no stone left unturned' approach that sets us ahead of other legal practices.
If someone has made allegations against you, under no circumstances should you contact or reach out to the person who has accused you of the offence, as this could harm your case as it could be seen that you are attempting to intimidate them. Instead, restrain from any forms of communication between yourself and the person making the complaint so that our specialist solicitors can use this to assist in your defence. This includes communication both leading up to the allegation and after the encounter, such as text messages, phone calls, and any form of communication including social media.
If you have been accused of a sexual offence, contact our sexual offence solicitors today on 01772 220 022. Alternatively, contact us through our online contact form and we'll make contact with you. Our solicitors will thoroughly investigate the circumstances surrounding the allegations immediately to build a strong defence to achieve the best possible outcome for you.
If you are contacted by the police, you should not attend a police interview or speak to the police without a solicitor present. Contact our solicitors today on 01772 220 022 if you need representation at the police station. Our sexual offence solicitors are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
There are a variety of different sexual offences that people can potentially be questioned about or charged with. These include:
If you have been accused of an offence like this, it can be a very stressful time, with potentially catastrophic consequences for you and your life. Being accused of sexual assault, rape, grooming or accused of other sexual offences is something that requires the assistance of an expert in this area of law.
The assistance offered by experienced sexual offence lawyers through every stage of the process can prove pivotal in the eventual outcome of the situation. Our solicitors are extremely experienced in this field and will quickly put you at ease and explain to you the full legal process, what evidence needs to be obtained, any witnesses that require tracing and whether any forensic analysis or digital data analysis is required to assist you in your defence.
Following your arrest, the police may release you on bail whilst they continue their investigations. You may also be given bail conditions, for example, if you're suspected of having committed a sexual offence involving children, you may be required to live at an alternative address or not to have any unsupervised contact with any child, including your own, or be ordered to stay away from children. It is important to adhere to these bail conditions. If you fail to do so, you will be arrested. If you would like to request the removal or variation of any of those conditions of bail, we can apply for this on your behalf.
Alternatively, individuals may be released under investigation and so your case may not be concluded for a substantial period of time whilst the police conduct enquiries and obtain advice from the Crown Prosecution Service. This delay in closure can bring additional stress, especially if Social Services have become involved. Even if you are 'released under investigation', we can still assist you. This could be by providing early engagement with the police by proactively preparing your defence, so that your case can be finalised quicker.
During sexual offence trials, cross examination to identify inconsistencies is key to building a strong defence. We will represent you at the police station, making sure your rights are protected throughout the investigation and that those inconsistencies are highlighted at an early stage. Should you be prosecuted for any offence, we will advise you on your plea and work closely with you to prepare you and your case for trial. We will support you and your family every step of the way. To speak to a specialist solicitor, complete our online contact form.
If you are facing prosecution for a sexual offence, you will be tried in either the Magistrates Court or the Crown Court. More serious cases of sexual assault will be heard in the Crown Court. If your case is heard in the Crown Court, it will be heard before a jury and could take up 12 months to go to trial. If you are tried and found guilty of a sexual offence you could be facing up to 10 years imprisonment.
When sentencing by the Court, some of the factors that will be considered including your:
If you are found guilty of a sexual offence, the court may also impose a Sexual Harm Prevention Order which would require you to comply with many conditions and prohibitions which will impact upon how you go about your day-to-day activities. You will also be subject to the Sexual Offenders Notification Requirement which requires you to notify the Police as to where you live, if you travel or go on holiday and your financial information.
If you have committed a sexual offence, then our expert teams of solicitors will ensure that you receive as much of a discount at sentence as is possible. An early plea of guilty, can result in a sentencing discount of up to 1/3 of a sentence imposed after trial.
The initial legal support offered at the police station is always free of charge as part of the Legal Aid scheme, but legal services outside of this may require payment. There may be some fixed fee services available for more straightforward cases which are retained in the Magistrates Court, but in more serious and complex cases which are sent to the Crown Court you are most likely to receive legal aid. However, depending upon your income there may be a financial contribution to be paid by you to the Legal Aid Agency. If acquitted of the offences, your contribution will be refunded to you.
Your solicitor should always discuss legal costs and funding options at an early stage of proceedings if you have instructed them after a sexual assault allegation.
Defined under the Sexual Offence Act, consent to sexual activity can only occur if the other person agrees by choice and has the freedom and capacity to make that choice and the person can withdraw consent, at any time.
The police will aim to establish what steps were taken to gain consent. At trial the prosecution has to prove beyond reasonable doubt, that the complainant did not consent; that the defendant did not genuinely believe that the complainant was consenting and that if they did, or may have done, then that belief was not a reasonable one to hold.
If the complainant was under the age of 16 at the time of the incident, and the defendant knew this, then, consent is not a defence.
If you are released under investigation, you are not subject to any bail conditions but are still being investigated, whereas If you are released on bail, you may be subject to conditions and will also have a date and time when you must return to the police station, otherwise you will have committed an offence.
This is a difficult question to answer as each case is different. However, sexual offences cases can be very complex, and a number of factors will determine how long it takes including the nature of the offence and whether there is a trial.
Forbes Solicitors will guide you through all stages of the process and are available to help and support you at this difficult time.