If you or a loved one have been accused of a sex crime, it’s important to take the allegation extremely seriously - even if it is false. What you do (or don’t do) can significantly impact the outcome of your case. Here are six tips that will help you increase your chances of a favorable outcome.
Hire an Experienced Attorney Immediately
If you have been accused of a sex crime, it’s imperative to contact an experienced defense attorney immediately. Don’t wait for police to contact you or to be arrested. If you know someone has made an allegation against you, the wheels are already in motion and you need an attorney now. An experienced sex crimes lawyer can meet the allegations head-on, protect your rights and guide you through a very intimidating and frightening process.
Don’t Talk to Police
When people are accused of a serious crime, their first inclination is to want to tell their side of the story. They think police will take them at their word, and they can clear up a possible misunderstanding or mistake. This rarely happens. In fact, we have never seen anyone talk their way out of an arrest. Speaking to the police without an attorney almost always does more harm than good. This is because police are trained to obtain confessions, admissions and inaccuracies – and they are also allowed to lie to you. If they want to talk to you, it’s because they are building a case against you, not trying to prove your innocence. So how should you refuse to speak to a police officer? Politely and respectfully say that you would like to remain silent and consult with an attorney. That’s it.
Don’t Discuss Your Case with Anyone Other
than Your Lawyer
As mentioned, when people are accused of wrongdoing, they often want to explain themselves – especially to friends and family. This is a bad idea. Sharing facts about your case with others – even if they are on your side – could potentially make them a witness, and they could be forced to testify at trial.
Hopefully, you will not have to spend much time in jail but, if you do, it is also extremely important not to talk about the allegations with other jail inmates. It’s very common for inmates to try and use information to leverage a deal to help themselves. Likewise, it’s also important not to talk about your case on jail phones. All jail calls are recorded and if you say anything incriminating, it will be turned over to police or prosecutors. If you are speaking to a loved one and they ask you about your case, change the subject and remind your family member you can only discuss it with your attorney. Conversations with your lawyer are privileged and will remain confidential.
Don’t Contact the Alleged Victim
If you have been accused of a sex crime, do not contact the alleged victim. In this day and age, it’s extremely easy for someone to record the call, which can be used against you. The call could also be perceived as harassment or intimidation, which will only make a bad situation worse. Nothing good can come from contacting the alleged victim. Don’t do it.
5. Stay Off (or better yet, DELETE) Social Media
When police and prosecutors are looking for evidence or to bolster their case, they almost always turn to a suspect’s social media. Not only can it reveal where you frequent and with whom, but if there is anything incriminating on your account, you better believe they will use it against you. If you are facing criminal charges, it’s best to stay off social media or, better yet, delete your accounts entirely.
6. Be Patient
When your liberty and livelihood are on the line, it is very difficult to be patient. Unfortunately, the wheels of justice turn slowly, and it will probably take months (or longer) for your case to be resolved. In some instances, time can actually work to your advantage. Your attorney will help you navigate this uncertain time.
There are numerous types of sex crimes in Texas, including sexual assault of an adult, sexual abuse of a child, online solicitation, prostitution, child pornography. The list goes on. Regardless of what charge you or a loved one is facing, the stakes are high in every sex case. Most sex crime convictions come with severe consequences, including prison time and sex offender registration. That’s why it’s imperative to contact an attorney experienced in sex crime defense as soon as possible and follow their advice from start to finish.