What You NEED to Know if You’ve Been Charge With a Sex Crime
Sex offenses are different than any other type of crime. These kinds of charges are extremely serious and difficult to defend against. One could honestly say that once an allegation has been made – especially involving a child, the deck is stacked against you.
Juries hate these cases – District attorney offices have specialized units to prosecute these types of cases. The rules of evidence are different. The information that would never be allowed before a jury in a typical case can be admitted in a case involving allegations of sexual misconduct with a child. The prosecution uses experts that believe that all allegations are true and bend the evidence in favor of the prosecution.
In many cases, there is no physical evidence and no specific date on which to develop an alibi. The accused is left attempting to prove a negative, that they did NOT do something. In short, these cases are complicated to defend against, and the consequences are life changing.
This article is designed to provide a basic understanding of some of the issues that arise when a person is either being investigated or has been charged with some sort of sexual misconduct.
What We Learned
The attorneys at Chastaine Jones have handled sexual misconduct cases in the Sacramento area for over five decades. In fact, one of our very first jury trials involved a failure to register as a sex offender. Since that time, we have handled hundreds of cases involving possession of child pornography, child molestation, rape and pimping, and pandering. We have cross-examined adults and children. We’ve attended and taught seminars on how to handle these types of allegations, and have developed relationships with experts and continually study what is going on in the field. Today, a substantial part of our practice is dedicated to representing people accused of these types of offenses.
Today, Chastaine Jones is a preeminent criminal defense firm in Northern California with a high success rate in defending sexual crime allegations.
Sexual misconduct cases are life-changing. Even the mere allegation can change your employment situation, cause you to lose a professional license, and tear your family apart. It is because these charges are so devastating that it is essential to make sure that you do EVERYTHING that you can to protect yourself. It starts with obtaining the best legal counsel possible.
Sex crimes occur at an alarming rate in California. An unfortunate reality is that a large number of people in the community have either been the victim of child molestation or have had a close relative or even a friend who has been victimized. Furthermore, it has been estimated that one in six American women have been or will be sexually assaulted during their lives. Every year, thousands of Americans are raped, and millions are confronted with unwanted sexual activity.
Do Not Become A Statistic
It is because sexual misconduct happens that one must be extremely careful not to become a statistic. Because we believe that there is a high rate of such crimes, it is easy to assume that anyone who is charged is guilty. However, every case must be evaluated on its own merits, as there are members of law enforcement that will put on their blinders and go after people accused with no consideration of whether they might be innocent. Law enforcement tends to ignore any evidence that does not fit their beliefs, and may even sweep such evidence under the rug – not disclosing it to the defense. Knowing what you are up against can make all the difference.
- Children Can Make Up False Allegations
No one would suggest that adults never lie, and rarely would anyone argue that adults would not make a false allegation. But what about children? The truth is that children can and do make up false allegations. Moreover, the reason that a false allegation is made can vary widely. It can be an idea planted by a parent in a custody dispute, a child trying to avoid getting in trouble when they get caught with their “hand in the cookie jar,” or even just a simple misinterpretation of events.
The number of false allegations is impossible to know. Have innocent people been convicted of child molestation? Absolutely. Have guilty people been acquitted or never charged? Again, absolutely. The results of studies vary wildly:
- A number of studies performed between 1987 and 1995 suggested that the rate of false allegations ranged from a low of 6% to a high of 35% of reported child sexual abuse cases.
- Experts argue that the reason for the wide range of differences in the rates is the fact that different criteria are used in different studies.
- Lower rates tend to be found in studies that consider false allegations to be based on intentional lying.
- Higher rates were reported in studies that also added unintentional false allegations resulting from suggestive questioning.
Regardless of the numbers, the undeniable truth is that some children do make false allegations. So, the only important question is – is the allegation against you true? Your freedom rests on the answer to that question. Or, more accurately, the vital question is whether the prosecution can convince a jury that the allegation is true. Your ability to demonstrate to a prosecutor, or a jury, that, in your case, the allegation is false is the lynchpin to any good defense.
If you’ve been charged with a sex crime in the Greater Sacramento area, call the attorneys at Chastaine Jones today!
Will be continued next week: Innocent People Do Get Convicted