Specialist lawyers defending historic sexual abuse allegations
What sets Olliers apart from other law firms is the proactive approach we adopt during the pre-charge stage of a case. This approach is absolutely crucial when a client faces an allegation of historic sexual abuse.
During the investigation stage of a case we will always look at early pre-charge engagement with the police. From the outset we will focus upon the Charging Standard and the need for a ‘realistic prospect of a conviction’ a prosecution can commence. Our objective will always be to make effective representations against charge.
In the early stages of an investigation we prioritise obtaining and preservation of vital pieces of evidence. This can range from messages between parties, social media activity, medical evidence, telephone activity, evidence of financial transactions, and witness testimony. This is precisely the kind of material that can be presented to the police as part of successful representations against charge.
If we are instructed post charge the same methodical ‘no stone unturned’ approach applies. Our specialists have experience that few, if any, defence teams could match and an extremely impressive acquittal rate.
What are historic sexual allegations?
Historic sexual allegations are any allegations of a sexual nature which happened some time ago. This can include allegations of rape, sexual assault or child sexual abuse. In some cases, the allegations may be from many decades ago and it can be extremely upsetting to be accused of such an offence.
What are the time limits for complaints in sexual allegations?
Unlike other areas of law, there is no time limit as to when sexual offences may be prosecuted in England and Wales. Delay in making a formal complaint of a sexual allegation, even many years after the alleged incident will not prevent the police investigating and the CPS considering whether or not to prosecute.
The CPS may choose to prosecute allegations of historic sexual assault if there is a realistic prospect of conviction and they consider it in the public interest to do so.
What law applies to historic sexual abuse allegations?
The criminal offences an individual will be charged with depends on when the offence is alleged to have taken place.
There is a fundamental principle in law that it is not to be applied retrospectively. It’s integral to justice that the law is not applied retrospectively and Article 7 of the European Convention on Human Rights states “no one shall be held guilty of any criminal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a criminal offence under national or international law at the time when it was committed.” This means that charges brought against an individual will be based on the law at the time of the offence
The Sexual Offences Act 2003 (the Act) came into force on the 1 May 2004 and applies to all offences committed on or after that date. Those charged with allegations prior to the coming into force of such Act will be charged under the old legislation – the Sexual Offences Act 1956.
How can Olliers help if I have been accused of a historic sexual allegation?
If you have been accused of a historic sexual allegation it is vital you seek specialist legal advice as soon as possible. You may have concerns about the potential impact on your reputation and be unfamiliar with the criminal justice process itself. Olliers specialise in defending individuals in relation to allegations of a sexual nature and can advise and support you throughout every stage of the investigation.
We have many years of experience of dealing with allegations of a sexual nature and understand that for many individuals this may be their first involvement with the criminal justice system. Being arrested for the first time is a terrifying experience made worse when the allegation is a sexual one. Reputations, relationships and careers are on the line.
We understand how daunting the situation may be for you. We promise not to judge and seek to work together with you to achieve the best outcome. We aim to explain the process and procedures to you in clear and unambiguous language whilst at the same understanding the anxiety you face at the situation ahead.
Olliers take a pro-active approach for individuals who are under investigation for historic sexual abuse allegations. Please contact us by telephone on 0161 834 1515, by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or complete the form below.