If you have worked many years to establish your brand, imagine how quickly all that work can go down the tube if you are alleged to have committed a sex crime. Think it can’t happen to you? If so, change that line of thinking now.
Whether true or not, many individuals (including those running businesses) get caught up in sex crime allegations at some point and time in their lives.
As a result of such allegations, their professional and personal images take a hit, a hit that some will find difficult to ever recover from.
If you are dealing with such allegations, make it your business to defend you and your brand.
Standing up for Your Reputation
The first thing you need to do if alleged to have committed a sex crime is making sure you have legal representation.
You may think that paying for a criminal defense attorney is out of the question, so you will end up representing yourself.
Stop for a moment and think about your legal experience. Safe to say, it is probably slim to none. As a result, you need to find an attorney who will fight tough cases.
Once you have that attorney in your corner, the next important detail is going to work on the prosecution’s case.
Even though you never want to verbally attack the alleged sex crime victim, you have every right (and need for that matter) to look for holes in their story.
The sex crime allegation against you could be any number of charges. Among some of them:
- An employee at your business accuses you of inappropriate conduct towards them or another worker;
- A customer to your business accuses you of inappropriate conduct towards them;
- Someone outside of your business accuses you of inappropriate conduct towards them.
No matter who is coming forward with the allegations, you need an experience legal professional to nip these charges in the bud before they do both professional and personal damage to your image.
For those business owners thinking that such allegations will just go away, it is important to not get into that mindset.
Even if you are totally cleared of any sex crime allegations, the stigma of them can hover over your business for weeks, months, perhaps even years. This is all the more reason to deal with them immediately and thoroughly.
Don’t Lose Focus on Your Business
As you deal currently with a sex crime charge, make sure that your business does not suffer as a result.
If you are going to be tied up with your legal team and/or in court, it is important that your business still keeps up its day-to-day operations.
In the event you run the business by yourself, consider getting some temporary help in to hold down the fort. If you have employees under you, delegate some of your responsibilities to them. The key is making sure that your business is able to meet the needs of your customers whenever and wherever necessary.
Speaking of customers, do you go public with the allegations you are facing?
Many criminal defense attorneys will tell you to stay quiet on such allegations, fearing that you are just opening up a can of worms if you go public, especially on social media.
The decision ultimately has to be yours, though it certainly would behoove you to listen carefully to anything your attorney tells you.
On the one hand, talking about your case in public to customers, on social media sites etc. does of course open up the possibility of something you say being used against you if your case goes to trial.
On the other hand, you do want to get out in front of the matter and make sure your side of the story is heard.
Since there is a good chance some or many of your customers (current and potential) are likely to have heard of your sex crime allegations, use your best judgment as to what you should and should not say.
In the end, your brand could take quite a hit from such allegations.
Along with your personal freedom, your other big focus should be on keeping your brand alive and healthy.
Photo credit: BigStockPhoto.com
About the Author: Dave Thomas covers business topics on the web.