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Can I Sue for Being Falsely Accused of Sexual Assault?

Posted on Monday, April 15th, 2024 at 9:00 am    

Can I Sue for Being Falsely Accused of Sexual Assault

Allegations of sexual assault are enough to thoroughly disrupt a person’s life. This is the case even when those allegations are untrue. If you’ve been falsely accused of sexual assault, it’s essential to understand your rights and what you can do to protect yourself. Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to take legal action against a false accuser.

At The Morris Firm, we understand that facing false accusations of sexual assault is an extremely sensitive and stressful experience. We know how damaging false accusations can be to your personal and professional reputation. Our legal team is committed to helping you understand your legal options and get your life back on track.

What Is the Percentage of False Sexual Assault Accusations?

The data surrounding sexual assault is complicated by the fact that many sexual assaults are never reported to law enforcement. While false reports of sexual assault are relatively rare, they do happen. Various studies suggest that false reports occur in anywhere from 2 to 10 percent of sexual assault cases. When false reports occur, they can have significant repercussions for the accused individual.

What Is a False Report?

When someone reports a sexual assault, law enforcement may conduct an investigation and determine that, based on the facts, the alleged assault never actually took place. In this case, the initial report is considered a false report.

A false report is not the same as a baseless report. A baseless report is a report of an event that is investigated and believed to have happened, but does not rise to the level of a crime.

In Florida, a person who files a report in good faith is immune from civil and criminal liability even if the accusation turns out to be baseless. However, those who knowingly and willfully make false reports can face charges of committing a first-degree misdemeanor offense.

What to Do if You’re Falsely Accused of Sexual Assault

Facing a false accusation of sexual assault can be very distressing. It’s essential that you take steps to protect yourself as soon as you become aware of the accusation:

  • Do not communicate with the accuser
  • Avoid discussing the case with anyone or posting about it on social media
  • Do not consent to a warrantless search or answer questions from law enforcement
  • Contact a criminal defense attorney right away

Retaining an experienced Florida criminal defense lawyer is the most effective step you can take to defend against false accusations. Your attorney will evaluate the facts and demonstrate the false nature of the accusations in pursuit of a favorable outcome. Once the case has concluded, whether without charges or with an acquittal, you and your attorney will determine what happens next.

Can You Sue Someone for False Allegations in Florida?

Can I Sue for Being Falsely Accused of Sexual AssaultFollowing a false accusation of sexual assault, it’s understandable to want to hold your accuser accountable and clear your name and reputation. But can you sue someone for falsely accusing you of sexual assault?

Whether you can sue the accuser depends on a number of factors unique to your case. You’ll need to discuss your options with your attorney. If you’ve suffered measurable financial losses due to the accusation, you may have grounds to file a lawsuit seeking damages. For example, if you lost your job, you may be able to pursue compensation for lost income. If the accuser publicly alleged you sexually assaulted them, such as through a social media post, you may have further grounds to pursue legal action against them because of the harm to your reputation.

Keep in mind that cases involving false accusations can be highly technical, and the burden of proof rests on you and your attorney. Having an experienced lawyer who understands Florida’s defamation, slander, and libel laws is key to achieving a successful outcome.

Falsely Accused of Sexual Assault? Contact a Florida Defense Lawyer Now

If you’ve been falsely accused of sexual assault in Florida, you don’t have to go through the experience alone. You deserve the support and advocacy a skilled Florida criminal defense lawyer can provide. They will help you seek justice and repair damage to your personal and professional reputation. They will also help you pursue compensation for legal fees and other financial losses resulting from the false accusation.

At The Morris Firm, we are committed to helping you through this challenging situation and securing the most favorable outcome possible. Contact our Florida office today or call (850) 503-2626 for more information and to set up a confidential legal consultation.