Being involved in a case around sex crimes can be a stressful ordeal. Sex crime accusations are taken very seriously by law enforcement officials and the community at large.
Do you have questions about what happens during an investigation? Are you looking for tips on what to do if you’re accused of a sex crime?
We’re here to help answer your most pressing questions. Here’s a quick rundown on everything you need to know about being investigated for sex crimes and how to handle being accused.
What Are Sex Crimes?
Most people assume that a sex crime automatically means that someone is being investigated for rape, but that isn’t true. The term sex crimes is an umbrella term for a variety of crimes that are sexual in nature.
Sexual assault and rape are sex crimes, but there are other actions that fall under the legal term of being a sex crime. Possession of certain types of pornography is classified as a sex crime, so can improper photography, recording, or prostitution.
Sexual crimes against children also fall under this category. This can include statutory rape, the sexual assault of a child, indecency with a child, potential online solicitation of a child, and the possession of child pornography.
It’s important to note that the state of Texas does have a certain statute of limitations on sex crimes for adults, but no statute of limitations exists for crimes against children.
What to Expert During an Investigation for Sex Crimes
Sex crime investigations usually begin with a call to the police. From there, a variety of things can occur.
The police will most likely interview the alleged victim, the accused, and any potential witnesses to the crime.
Regardless of when the crime took place, the victim will usually undergo a medical examination to see if there is any physical evidence of the crime.
It’s possible that the police may want to search your home, vehicle, or computer for evidence. You can also expect multiple rounds of questioning.
If the alleged victim is a child, you should expect CPS/DCFS to get involved in the investigation. The police will handle the criminal side of the investigation, and CPS/DCFS will get involved to see if any neglect, abuse, or mistreatment occurred.
Why You Need a Lawyer
You should find legal help the moment you find out that you’re being investigated for a sex crime. There’s too much at stake for you to not have legal representation during this difficult time.
The penalties for sex crimes are serious. It could result in you having to serve jail time, pay steep fines, and could possibly affect your career or the custody of your children.
It’s also important to note the social consequences of being accused and possibly convicted of a sex crime. You could see serious changes in your relationship with your friends, family, spouse, and employer if you’re convicted.
A lawyer can do whatever they can to fight for your rights.
They can ensure that your rights aren’t violated, may demand DNA testing to prove innocence, can check eyewitness accounts for signs of inaccuracies, and can even lobby to have charges reduced or eliminated.
What to Do When You’re Accused of Sex Crimes
It doesn’t matter if you’re innocent, if you have a high standing in your community, or if you think the charges will be dropped. If you find yourself being accused of committing sex crimes, you need to act fast.
If you find yourself being accused of a sex crime, it’s important to make sure that you do these important things.
Get a Lawyer
We know we’ve stated the importance of getting a lawyer before, but we need to state it again. If you’re being accused of a sex crime, you need legal representation ASAP.
You shouldn’t talk to the police without a lawyer present. The police may seem kind and possibly on your side when you first start talking, but the only person that can truly look out for your rights is a lawyer.
Make sure you don’t just hire any lawyer, find one that specializes in criminal defense and sexual assault.
Don’t Talk to Your Accuser
In many cases of possible sex crimes the alleged victim and perpetrator have a prior relationship.
Your accuser may be someone you’re close with, and could even be a spouse, family member, co-worker or friend. You may have been close before the charges, but now is not the time to reach out to them.
Even something as simple as sending a text to check up on them could be viewed as harassment in the eyes of the law. This is why it’s always a good idea to only communicate through lawyers.
Get Your Evidence in Order
When you’re accused of something as serious as a sex crime, you need to do whatever you can to fight the charges you’re up against.
Consider getting specialized psychological testing and a polygraph test to prove your innocence and show that you’re mentally well. Talk to your lawyer about what evidence could help you, and see if they have any suggestions.
Character witnesses could come in handy during a time like this. Think about people you’re close to that can help show that you have a strong moral character.
You may have a lot of feelings around the accusations and how you’re dealing with them. It’s usually healthy to talk about what you’re feeling, but in this case, it’s best to keep your thoughts to yourself.
It’s possible that someone you hold dear could testify against you if you say something that could be interpreted as a confession to your guilt or the crime.
Get Help Today
Accusations around sex crimes can have serious repercussions for everyone involved. This is why anyone accused needs to get legal representation as soon as possible.
If you have any questions about how to handle your case or need someone that can fight for you, we’re here to help. Be sure to contact us today so we can start talking about the best way to represent your interests.