For someone who has been accused of a sex crime, one natural response is to become defensive. Far too often, those accused assume that if they simply explain to the investigator what happened, they will be able to avoid having the case pursued. Although this response is understandable, it is absolutely the wrong choice.
If you are under investigation for any sex crime, do not agree to speak with the police or child protective services without a lawyer present. Nothing good can come of this. By the time you become aware of the investigation, the case will almost certainly be heading for criminal prosecution. By telling the investigators anything, you are simply providing additional information that may be used against you.
As soon as you become aware that you are under investigation, speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help you understand your options and protect your rights.
In Texas, it is best to work with a Board Certified Attorney who has been recognized as a criminal law specialist. A criminal specialist lawyer has demonstrated a high degree of experience in the field, passed a written exam focused on criminal law and received favorable evaluations from other attorneys. Such a lawyer will have the knowledge and skill to effectively handle these serious allegations.
The Role of Your Defense Attorney
What can a criminal defense attorney do to protect your interests? First, the lawyer will begin working with an investigator who will interview the child making the accusations. The government investigators have a particular perspective and specific intentions; a private investigator can help to provide an independent perspective and determine the facts of the situation. Additionally, an investigator can help to determine whether the child's claims change during the investigation
Working with the information the investigator obtains and you provide, the attorney will help determine the most effective strategy for your legal representation. The particular strategy depends on the individual circumstances.
There may be reason to believe that another adult has unduly influenced the child making the allegations, or the child may have been subject to leading questions or suggestions that implant false memories. The child or custodial parent may have hidden motivations for making the accusations, which, once uncovered, often result in a "not guilty verdict."
Perhaps, because the accused has unwittingly made admissions that hurt his position, or made a confession, the prosecutor may have a strong case, and the best option may involve negotiating a plea bargain. An attorney who has repeatedly tried these cases and obtained excellent results will be in a better position to make an advantageous deal (perhaps excluding prison time) than an attorney who seldom tries these cases.
Remember, state court prosecutors are, by nature, bullies used to getting their way. They habitually attack weakness, inexperience, and fear of going to trial by the defense lawyer. Just as with all bullies, they instinctively back away from strength demonstrated competence and certainly from the defense attorney's willingness to go to trial.
It is literally true that who you choose as your defense lawyer can mean the difference between life in prison and getting a case rejected for prosecution, or an out and out dismissal.
Sex Crimes Can Have Serious, Lifelong Consequences
A conviction for any sex offense usually has lifelong consequences. In addition to the real and present fear of lengthy imprisonment, those in Texas convicted of nearly all sex crimes are required to register as a sex offender for life. They usually may not live in certain areas, and are often denied the right to live with their own children.
Some sex offenders are subject to life time "civil" institutional commitment immediately after their release from prison.
If you are under investigation for child sex abuse or any other sexual offense, now is the time to ensure that your rights and interests are vigorously protected. Speak with an experienced criminal law specialist who can provide prompt skilled representation and valuable advice as early in the case as possible.