No matter the circumstances, people accused of sex crimes will need support as they navigate the legal and social ramifications of their charges, both before and after their trial. Here are a few options to get started.

Legal aid

We’ll start with the obvious. People accused of sex crimes should find appropriate legal counsel immediately. These charges are generally high stakes, so a defense strategy should begin as soon as possible.

If you have the financial means, finding a good lawyer should be pretty straightforward. You’ll want someone with considerable sex crimes defense experience. You won’t want your general family lawyer defending these charges, though perhaps they can provide a referral. A popular myth is that hiring an experienced sex crimes defense lawyer makes you seem guilty, even if the accusation is obviously untrue. Again, these are potentially life-altering charges, so you should be prepared to fight as hard as possible with the most qualified, successful attorney you can find.

It’s also important that you have a good relationship with your defense attorney. If you feel like you’ve teamed up with someone who doesn’t respect you or seems distracted or indifferent to your case, you shouldn’t hesitate to change lawyers.

If you don’t have the financial means to hire an experienced defense attorney, you may have to rely on a court-appointed public defender or search for an attorney that does pro bono (free) work. Unfortunately, public defenders are often over-worked and pro bono attorneys may not have the time to properly defend you. Consider finding a lawyer that offers a payment plan.

Support groups

Support groups exist for both people falsely accused of a sex crime and those who wish to rebuild their lives after a conviction.

For those falsely accused, there are several support groups, including Save Our Sons and the Innocence Project.

The court may order someone convicted of a sex crime to attend a sex offender treatment program. Even when it’s not legally required, offenders may want to seek out a community mental health center, a church or other informal support groups as they work to move on with their lives.


Court-ordered counseling is a common requirement for convicted sex offenders.

If you are facing false accusations or wish to take the initiative to better your life during or after your court-ordered punishment, you can seek out counseling on your own. You can find therapists through your health insurance, social services, a probation officer or by simply searching online.

Even therapy skeptics may find therapy helpful to address underlying problems or reintegrate into the community. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, for example, has proven to be a quick and effective way to manage negative thinking and emotions or treat a mental illness.

Whether it’s court-ordered or not, people should not have to face the upheaval of sex crimes accusations or convictions without help. Thousands of people are going through, or have gone through, similar challenges, so there’s no reason to cope alone.