Being charged with a sex crime is a very serious matter, one that should never be trifled with and treated lightly. Simply put, taking an inappropriate step in the beginning of a sex crime investigation can lead to serious problems as the matter progresses. In Arizona, sex crimes are often referred to as ‘Life enders’ because of the seriousness of the penalties upon a conviction. One such penalty is enrollment in the sex offender registry. Fortunately, there are a few steps you can take in the investigation stage that will greatly enhance the chances that you will emerge with your freedom intact.
1. Say nothing. In the beginning of a sex crime investigation, there is a very good chance that you will be contacted by a detective for questioning. At this stage his or her job is to gather facts. That’s all. Unfortunately, as simple as this is, anything you can literally can be used against you at a later time. The best defense at this stage is to say nothing.
2. Get an attorney. Find an attorney to advise you who has experience defending clients in sex crime cases. And the attorney you hire should have experience successfully defending clients with these types of charges. Also ask them for recent success stories for sex crimes that they have been involved with. Thoroughly check the lawyer’s background, review all reviews and check to see if they are AV rated with Martindale-Hubbell.
3. Beware of the controlled call. A technique the police use in a later stage of their investigation is a controlled call. The point of a controlled call is to extract a confession from a suspect. During this call the victim will call a suspect while police officials listen on the line. The victim will begin innocently enough, to ask for an “apology” for what has supposedly happened. She will normally insist that she does not want to press charges, but feels that she is entitled to an apology for what you have done. Don’t fall for this. It is a ruse designed simply to let investigators hear statements that could be used against you. As soon as you “apologize,” the bait has been set for the police to use this confession as the basis of an arrest and conviction.
4. Consider pre-file representation. It probably goes without saying, but the earlier in the legal process that you seek counsel of an attorney, the better. Even before the charges in the case are filed, an attorney can work with the authorities to not only get a better picture of the case before charges are filed, but to possibly get the matter resolved before the case is even filed.
The legal process is complicated but by observing these few guidelines you will be saving yourself considerable trouble in the future. If you are in Arizona and would like to speak with a lawyer about a case, please call our offices at (602) 307-0808 to schedule a free case consultation. If you would like you can send us an email through our confidential form.
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