People do not realize how many innocent Americans are put in prison every year. It has been estimated that every year at least 10,000 Americans are convicted wrongly of serious crimes. Not only that, more than 300 people have had their convictions overturned due to new DNA evidence. Criminologists say the innocent people in the United States have spent 3,944 years in prison. If you have been arrested for a sexual offense, you do need to get a sex crime attorney but there are some other things you need to do to get the best chance at beating the charges and staying free.
- Do not try to contact the victim or anyone connected to them. It is a reasonable assumption to think that if you can “just talk to the person,” you can get the charges dropped and your will not need a sex crimes attorney at all. That is not the way to think of it. This person is probably very angry. If they have charged you for a crime you did not commit, they are definitely angry. They have talked to their close friends and family who will not be open to hearing “your side.” In the best case scenario, they just hang up on you or ignore you. In the worst case, they take the thins you say, email or text and turn them over the law enforcement agency investigating your case and strengthen the case you. Either way, you will not have a positive experience going this route.
- Remember your “right to remain silent.” We have the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution for a very good reason. No matter what law enforcement approaches you or how much they say they, “Just want to talk,” do not talk to them unless you have already hired a sex crime attorney or other criminal defense lawyer. Remember, you can get yourself into a lot of trouble if you lie to the police or other law enforcement agency but they have no responsibilities to be truthful with you. Also, often when law enforcement approaches someone about a crime involving a person who knows the person being contacted, that person is already a suspect. You never have to answer law enforcement questions for these kinds of crimes.
- Do you not subject yourself to scientific testing. The law enforcement may ask you to take a DNA test. They present this as a way to protect and exonerate yourself. Do not do it. You should give the police or other law enforcement agency without hiring the highest level of legal representation. Law enforcement has not obligation to be honest about what evidence they have collected. It is entirely possible that they have something to test your material against. If you know the victim, you may have spent time in their home so there are your hairs in there. If this happened at the home, they may want to test your hair against that. Although its presence there may be perfectly innocent, it may not look that way to a judge or jury.
- Know your interrogation rights. If the law enforcement agency brings you in, they cannot hold you indefinitely. There have been countless confessions made by innocent people who were subjected to long and painful interrogations. The longest that they can hold you without charging you with a crime is 24 hours. During that time, they have to give you sufficient liquids to keep you hydrated and let you use the bathroom. If you cannot get a sex crime attorney during that time, refrain from giving them any information.
- Get the right kind of lawyer. Like physicians and others in the medical field, lawyers specialize. There are even different criminal defense lawyers. If you have been charged with a sex crime, you need a sex crime attorney. A murder defense attorney, theft lawyer or assault attorney may not be able to help you. These are serious crimes with serious consequences so you need to be careful about the lawyer you end up hiring.
Just know, there are things you can do to protect your rights if you look out for them.