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I've been accused

i've been accused

If you have been accused of HIV or sexually transmitted infection (STI) transmission, there are support organisations out there to which you can turn for help.

What should I do if I’ve been accused?

The first place to ring is THT Direct as they have a lot of experience of these cases. They can also put you in touch with your local HIV organisation for emotional support and advice and they can suggest a good solicitor.


Should I hire a lawyer?

Most solicitors will only be willing to take on a case if an arrest has already been made or if the police are already investigating. They do not give general advice if no accusation has yet been made - at least not without charging.


Remember:

  • The vast majority of accusations never reach court, so don’t panic.
  • Don’t be rushed into hasty action. Ensure you get expert legal advice before giving a statement, giving permission to access your medical records or pleading guilty.
  • All these actions have serious implications. Just because you had sex with someone doesn’t necessarily mean you are the person who caused their infection.

What happens next?

If you are charged, the police may offer you a 'duty solicitor'. It is important to ask the solicitor if he or she have worked on this sort of case before. If they have not, make sure they take advice from experts in this area of law before they give you any themselves.

Terrence Higgins Trust sometimes has to help people who have been badly advised at this stage to change solicitors later on. If the solicitor seems good but is inexperienced, Terrence Higgins Trust will be happy to help them get up to speed on the special issues involved.


Is there anything I should know before my case begins?

If you think you may be prosecuted, or that an accusation may be made, it may be helpful to familiarise yourself with the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) police guidelines for investigations and the general Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) or Procurator Fiscal guidelines for court cases. These will help you to understand what you can expect and, equally importantly, help you to understand whether the person managing your case is being reasonable or not.

The police guidelines apply only in England and Wales; however, they are a useful source of information for people facing accusations in Scotland as well.


More on prosecutions for HIV transmission:


Next: I want to complain ››

‹‹ Back to: Proving criminal HIV transmission

 

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The Information Standard: Certified member

This article was last reviewed on 16/9/2015 by Anna Peters

Date due for the next review: 16/9/2018

Content Author: Daisy Ellis

Current Owner: Policy

More information:

Policing Transmission, Terrence Higgins Trust & NAT (2008)

Policy for prosecuting cases involving the intentional or reckless sexual transmission of infection, the Crown Prosecution Service

Intentional or Reckless Sexual Transmission of Infection, the Crown Prosecution Service.