Avoiding Prosecution for a Sex Crime
How to Avoid a Conviction for a Sex Crime
If you have been charged with a Pennsylvania sex crime you must take the charges very seriously. Your entire life can change if you are convicted of a sex crime, and even if you are not convicted, you will still face public humiliation and social stigma just from the charges, particularly if a child is involved. The penalties for a sex crime conviction are extremely harsh, and once your prison sentence is served, you could still be required to register as a sex offender—perhaps for the remainder of your life.
This mandated sex registry could prevent you from obtaining a job, renting a home, going to college on a government student loan, obtaining a professional license, working with children or living near a school or daycare facility. As you can see, a conviction for a Pennsylvania sex crime will change your life forever in ways you cannot imagine. Because of this, it is essential that you contact an experienced Pennsylvania criminal defense attorney who specializes in defending those accused of sex crimes. This is truly the single most important thing you can do, other than refraining from talking to the police, CYS, or really, anybody other than your attorney about your charges.
You need an attorney who won’t simply make cheerful promises of acquittal, rather will work hard on your behalf for the best possible outcome to your charges. Your Pennsylvania attorney will represent you, the person, rather than you, the accused sex offender. Perhaps you are not even the person who committed the crime, or perhaps there has been a terrible misunderstanding and no sex crime actually occurred. The following are things you should do—and things you should not do—if you have been accused of a sex crime, particularly a sex crime with a child.
· First and foremost, never, ever make a statementto law enforcement or CYS. Don’t answer questions, and absolutely do not try to “explain” to the officer, even if you are told “If you could just clear up this misunderstanding, you can go home.” This is a ploy often used by police to get you to talk. Yes, it is very stressful to be accused of a crime and not be able to defend yourself, but just as the Miranda statement says, anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. Whatever statements you make will be taken out of context and used to prosecute you for the crime you are charged with. If you are questioned by your employer or supervisor, and you feel you could be fired if you don’t respond to the questions, it is still better to state that you would like to speak to an attorney before answering the questions. You may feel as though this only makes you look guiltier, and it may, but you must think about your future, rather than the immediate consequences of refusing to talk.
· Call a Pennsylvania criminal defense attorney immediately. Even if you have only heard rumors that you had inappropriate contact with a child, you should contact a knowledgeable attorney as soon as possible. Not only can your attorney advise you, he or she can immediately begin communicating on your behalf when anyone wants to question you about the allegations of sexual misconduct.
· If you are falsely accused of inappropriate sexual behavior or molestation, take steps to preserve any physical evidence in your possession. This can include clothing, photos, videos or objects—anything which shows your relationship with the alleged victim. Gather any records or documents which might show where you were at the time of the incident—if you are being accused of a crime which occurred at a specific time and/or place. This can include phone and GPS records, as well as computer records.
· Make a list of potential witnesses. Any person who might have pertinent information regarding the alleged victim, the accusations or your relationship with the alleged victim should be on your list.
· Never try to make contact with the alleged victim or his or her family. It is natural that you want to tell people you are innocent—that you did not what you are being accused of—however you must tell yourself it is more important to be found not guilty in court than to try and convince others of your innocence prior to your trial.
· Make sure you share all the information you have about your charges with your attorney. Your attorney can only help you if you help him or her by providing all the information you are in possession of regarding your allegations. Don’t leave anything out, and don’t be too embarrassed to tell your attorney everything. It will all come out at trial anyhow, so make sure your attorney has all the facts, allowing him or her to build the best defense possible on your behalf.
If you have been accused of a sex crime, and you are absolutely innocent of the crime, your attorney will try to determine:
· Whether the child has been coached;
· Whether the child misunderstood what really happened;
· Whether the child is lying;
· Whether you were mistakenly identified by the child or adult who is alleging you committed a sex offense against them;
· Whether you have a solid alibi for the time of the alleged se crime, or
· Whether evidence establishes you did not commit the crime, or you were somewhere else when it happened.
Your Pennsylvania criminal defense attorney will work hard on your behalf to help you avoid a conviction for the sex crime you are accused of. He or she will clearly advise you of your legal rights, and will give you information regarding the sex offender registry and how it could apply to you in the event you are convicted. Your attorney will aggressively represent you, assisting you in the decision of whether to accept a plea offer or go to trial. Don’t wait—call a Pennsylvania sex crimes attorney today.
The sex crimes defense attorneys of Ciccarelli Law Offices have successfully represented individuals throughout the state of Pennsylvania that have been accused of sexual assault crimes. Our Chester County based law firm is based at 304 North High Street, West Chester PA 19380 and serves clients in Kennett Square, Downingtown, West Chester, Coatesville, Exton, Chester Springs, Chadds Ford, Landenberg, Honey Brook, Oxford, Malvern, Parkesburg, Phoenixville and Paoli. Contact us now at (610) 692-8700 or call toll free (877) 529-2422. Don’t wait—contact an attorney immediately.