Your Rights During a Sex Assault Investigation in Omaha
Often people accused of sex assault have never been in trouble with law enforcement and do not know what to expect. In some instances, they believe that if they do not cooperate with the investigation they will be arrested.
It is important that you know your rights when you learn that you are the target of a sex crimes investigation, and understand what rights you don’t have.
You have the right to remain silent
If the police or anyone else inform you that you have been accused of sexual assault in Omaha, Nebraska, or anywhere else, you have the absolute right to speak with an attorney before making a statement. This is not only true as it applies to law enforcement, but also in Title IX proceedings and other administrative actions. Your right to an attorney and your right to remain silent in an Omaha sex assault allegation are your most important rights.
You do not have a right to examine the police report during the investigation stage
While you may want to know immediately what exactly has been said about you, you do not have the right to see police reports during the investigative stage or to see the accuser’s statement against you. Police reports are confidential, and you will not be allowed to see them unless or until you are arrested and the Court orders the prosecution to turn over evidence during part of the legal process known as discovery.
You do not have the right to confront witnesses at the investigatory stage
Many people have heard of their general right to face their accuser in court, but this right does not apply to every step in the criminal law process. Police do not have to tell you who the witnesses are during the investigation step of a sex assault investigation in Omaha, Nebraska.
You do not have the right to present evidence of your innocence to the police
While some people accused of sex assault will attempt to plead their case to law enforcement and request that law enforcement conduct an additional investigation, this usually does not help and often results in the accused making incriminating statements that are used against them at trial. Remember that your right to remain silent is one of the most powerful tools for protecting your innocence.
You do not have the right to file charges against the accuser for false allegations when you are the target of a sex assault investigation
Police do not file charges. Police officers bring information to a prosecutor who determines whether charges should be filed. In other words, despite what you may have seen on television, the person accusing another of a crime does not have the authority to file criminal charges, nor do police. The authority to file criminal charges in Omaha, Nebraska, rests solely with the prosecutor.
Omaha Sex Assault Lawyers
You always have the right to contact a lawyer for criminal matters. If you are under investigation for sex assault in Omaha, or you believe that an investigation may start in the near future, you have the right to seek confidential counsel from an Omaha criminal defense attorney. Uunderstanding your rights early in the investigation stage can help you prevent arrest or avoid conviction. You do not have to wait until you are arrested to begin fighting back. To learn more, you can contact the Omaha sexual assault attorneys working at Berry Law.