Call today at: (559) 443-7442

When to Attack the Credibility of an Accuser in a Sex Crime Case

Apr 30, 2018 by Mike McKneely in Sex Crimes

It’s understandable for anyone to be confused after being falsely accused of a sex crime. People in this situation are usually upset about the actions of their accuser. If this is the situation you are in, you may be prepared to attack their credibility in order to clear your name. However, California law has many specific rules that protect the rights and safety of an accuser in a sex crimes case. You will need an experienced sex crimes attorney who understands how to effectively attack the credibility of your accuser while also defending you against false charges.

If you or a loved one have been arrested, it’s important to call your attorney as soon as possible. To speak with an experienced California sex crimes attorney, contact Michael McKneely, Criminal Defense Lawyer today at (559) 443-7442.

California’s Rape Shield Law Limits How You Can Attack Your Accuser’s Credibility

You may be ready to use evidence of your accuser’s past activities, statements, or lifestyle in order to bolster your defense. However, California’s “Rape Shield Law” will greatly limit your ability to produce evidence of the accuser’s past sexual behavior as you make your case. Outlined in California Evidence Code (EC) Section 1103 and 782, this law forbids you and your lawyer from introducing evidence about your accuser’s past sexual conduct or sexual reputation in order to prove that they consented to the sex act that is the basis for the charges against you.

The rape shield law requires your sex crimes lawyer to prove that the sexual contact in question was consensual by arguing the facts of your case, not by focusing on the reputation of your accuser. This is also meant to protect the alleged victim from an unnecessary invasion of privacy. However, exceptions to this law that allow you to attack your accuser’s credibility include:

  • Presenting evidence about the accuser’s past sexual conduct and history with you
  • Evidence of your accuser’s past sexual conduct may be allowed by the court to attack their general credibility regarding other statements they have made
  • If the accuser brings up their sexual past or reputation, you may then use this evidence to attack their story against you.

There Are Many Possible Defenses Against Sex Crime Charges

A knowledgeable sex crimes attorney will understand how to attack your accuser’s credibility while not violating California’s rape shield law. There are many different ways to successfully defend yourself against false accusations. It’s important to avoid rushing to attack your accuser. Experienced legal counsel will understand how to properly gather evidence and build a case that shows how the charges against you are without merit.

There are many different defenses which may be used to clear the charges against you. Attacking the credibility of your accuser can be done by arguing one or several of the following:

  • Your accuser is mistaken about your identity. This is common, especially in cases involving drugs or alcohol.
  • Your accuser is making a false allegation against you with ulterior motives or to get back at you for a perceived slight.
  • Your accuser did consent to sexual contact, but has now changed their story.

A Sex Crimes Attorney from Michael McKneely, Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help

A sex crime accusation can turn your life upside down. When you’re falsely accused of a sexual offense, you may be prepared to show how your accuser is unreliable and that their story is without merit. However, you must be careful while discussing your case after charges have been filed against you. Michael McKneely, Criminal Defense Lawyer has years of experience defending people who are facing serious charges, and we understand how to gather the necessary evidence to attack your accuser’s credibility and defeat the case against you.

If you’ve been accused of a sex crime in California, contact us today at (559) 443-7442.

COVID-19 Notice: Our firm is open and available to help. We are all being impacted in different ways, but we will all get through this together.Learn More