Facing sexual assault charges is a serious matter. When you learn that you are facing these charges, you need to take action right away. Your defense is your lifeline at this point.

There are several defense strategies that can work in sexual assault cases. Not all of them are suitable for all cases. Be sure to think about the points in your case as you evaluate the possible defenses. Here are two to consider:

The acts were consensual

If the victim was of the age and mental capacity to consent to sexual encounters, you can use the consent of the victim as part of your defense. You should understand that this is often difficult to do because you have to be able to prove that the victim did consent. Because sexual acts usually occur in private, you might be hard-pressed to find a way to do this. In some cases, calling the victim’s sexual past into question can do this, but you must be careful not make it seem like you are victim-shaming. This is especially important if the case goes before a jury that might find it hard to look past that.

You weren’t even there

Having an alibi is another defense. If the sexual assault happened while you were at work, at school or out of town, this might be part of your defense. You need to be able to show that you were where you say you were at the time the the incident occurred. Surveillance footage of you, for example, could help you to prove your alibi. Witness statements or similar evidences might also corroborate your defense claims.

Source: FindLaw, “Sexual Assault Defenses,” accessed April 13, 2017