A false allegation is where someone says that you have committed an offence when you have not done so. We have seen a significant increase in this area of law over the last few years, so much so that we have now set up a dedicated practice in order to deal primarily with these types of offences.
The Telegraph reported in October 2015 that there was a call for a change in the law surrounding sexual assault allegations to protect those who were the victims of false allegations. Sadly the pressure for change has not been widely supported and little has altered. Society, as a whole, almost always favours the alleged victim and finds it difficult to understand why someone would say something serious had occurred if it were not true.
Clearly there are many reasons why people make false allegations. Whatever the reason we do know that they are being made, and as specialists in this area, we have seen a marked increase in such cases in recent years; a trend acknowledged by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), who are now actively undertaking prosecutions for perverting the course of justice where false allegations have occurred.
What is the impact on you and why you need specialist advice
A false allegation of any type and particularly of rape or sexual assault is likely to be devastating to both the accused and their family, be it either malicious or misguided. Reputations can be ruined and lives can be devastated as a result. Convictions for rape, or serious sexual assault result in very lengthy custodial sentences.
The emotional impact of any allegation can be huge but it can also have a direct impact on your day to day life, your job, and your ability to travel. In addition false sex allegations can also affect your right to spend time with your child. Cases should be dealt with robustly and quickly; those falsely accused should feel confident that the Police will spend as long collating evidence in support of the defendant as they will in obtaining evidence to support a charge. However, in our experience this is rarely the case.
Why instruct us?
With over 30 years experience in handling the most complex and high profile criminal cases our specialism in the field is a given. However, it is in our core values, based on empathy and under-standing, which makes us stand out from the crowd.
We know that many duty lawyers will have dealt with false allegation and false sex allegation cases at some point in their career, but our team specialise with complex matters of this type on a daily basis and have defended cases alongside the best Queen Counsel in the country.
This means we know what to do and when to do it to ensure the best outcome for you. Recognising what you face, the likely impact that this will have on you and what that means for future action in your case is so important.
But, in addition to this, we recognise the stress and harrowing impact cases like this can have on the individual when they simply do not know what is happening or is likely to happen next so we always ensure that we keep you informed every step of the way.
Clients who have instructed our partners consistently say that they immediately feel better having spoken to us, and that they feel that they have regained some control.
What should you do if you feel a false allegation has been made, or could be made against you?
It is important that you act quickly and get an experienced lawyer to represent you as soon as possible.
You want to avoid an initial arrest if you can. Any arrest on one’s record can cause problems with travel, with numerous occupations and for those studying for certain careers. At Monan Gozzett we are experienced in liaising with the police from the very outset to try to avoid initial arrest wherever possible.
Right from the start, you should get experienced advice at the police station. If you get the right lawyer with you, they will be able to get the appropriate level of information at this early stage and quickly identify any weaknesses with police evidence. If you are unrepresented, or do not have the right lawyer, you are highly unlikely to get this valuable information at this crucial time. This could place you at a disadvantage, particularly at a time when you are likely to be very stressed, and dealing with events that could have occurred a long time ago.
We have had unparalleled success at getting false allegation cases dropped at the police station.
Any interview will be recorded and used at trial, so it is vital that you receive the right advice on how to deal with this. We have represented clients who say:
"I did not get advice because I haven’t done anything wrong, and I thought if I go into interview and explain everything, it would be okay."
Almost without exception this is regretted at a later stage.
Don’t just take our word for it. For a more comprehensive range of client feedback, please see our testimonial pages
I didn’t know where to turn to and I immediately started thinking of the worst case scenario - going to prison for something that I hadn’t done! As soon as I arrived home I knew that it was imperative to get expert legal advice and after searching the Internet I found Maria. From the initial consultation with Maria, I was an emotional wreck but I immediately felt supported and I knew that I had made the right choice.
My case was extremely complicated with a lengthy background of harassment and family disputes, but this was not a problem for Maria who has so much experience in dealing with these types of cases that there wasn’t anything that she hadn’t heard before - making it easy for her to pick out the relevant evidence.
Maria provided me with excellent legal representation and it was thanks to Maria’s superlative writ-ten representations to the CPS and the police, that the case was dropped prior to charge. Maria ensured that the CPS and the police treated me fairly and took notice of my case, presenting a great deal of evidence that the police didn’t have…
The investigating officer stated that Maria’s representations led to a number of further enquiries that unearthed evidence that the police didn’t have. I strongly believe that if I had put my trust in the legal system and sat back until the investigation was complete, I would currently be waiting for a court date, facing financial ruin with my name in the papers and my reputation in tatters. … if you are reading this and are in a similar situation to me, stay strong and contact Maria as soon as you can. This has been the worst situation that I have ever been through but my life is now back to normal and I will be eternally grateful to Maria…"
Based on the meeting I then decided to engage Neal to progress the matter on my behalf. Neal initiated the process by contacting the officer in charge and submitting a set of structured questions, also advising the OIC that Monan Gozzett will be submitting representations on my behalf.
This action is so key at this point in order to stand a chance of an early NFA decision. A couple of weeks later Neal received a phone call from the officer in charge, stating that no further action will be taken, matter closed. Neal then contacted me and delivered the good news, I was so pleased, I can’t thank Neal and his team enough.
I would like to emphasise the regular updates I received from Neal throughout the whole process. He phoned me, WhatsApp’d me, and accepted my phone calls early evening. Generally, you will not be able to speak with a solicitor after 4:30/5:00 pm. Yet at gone 6pm on some evenings Neal was quite happy to discuss matters with me. Neal, thank you sir, I’m over the moon. I would highly recommend Neal Gozzett of Monan Gozzett solicitors if you are facing a false allegation of any kind."
In under four weeks of my first appointment with Neal, the police No Further Actioned the investigation and I was able to return to work. I strongly feel that it was Neal's intervention and communication with the police that brought the matter to a conclusion. Had I remained with a Duty Solicitor I could have been under investigation for some considerable time which, despite denying the allegation, would have destroyed my career.
I am incredibly grateful to Monan Gozzett Solicitors for their care and expertise in handling my situation."