If you are facing sex offense charges in Appleton, you need to understand the gravity of the situation. You could be subject to a long jail term if you are convicted of the charges against you. There are even things that you do that may make your situation perilously worse. Hiring an attorney early in the process could keep you from making mistakes that can harm your case. Your lawyer could also begin to help you prepare your defense so you are in the best position to deal with the charges that you are facing.
Do Not Try to Contact the Accuser
Under no circumstances should you ever try to contact the person who has accused you of the sex crime. You may want to speak to them to discuss what you think really happened or to tell them that nothing happened at all. It is a terrible idea. Nothing good can come of this conversation except possibly getting yourself in more trouble. In fact, talking to your accused may even result in allegations of witness tampering. Anything that you say to the alleged victim could be used in court against you. In addition, the things you say you say may not stay between the two of you. In any event, establishing a record of communication with the accuser may be evidence that there at least was some sort of contact or relationship.
Resist the Urge to Try to Clear Your Name
The first thing that you may want to do is clear your own name in any way that you can. The best strategy when you are facing sex offense charges is to say nothing at all. You have to assume that anybody who you speak to about the situation could become a witness that is being used against you. In addition, you should also refrain from posting anything on social media. Law enforcement can gain access to those posts. You could be locked into any story that you have already given. Then, if you say anything inconsistent with it in the future, your testimony could be attacked in court. As much as you want to talk, it is always better not to say it.
Do Not Speak to Law Enforcement Without an Attorney Present
Law enforcement may try to question you early in the case. They know exactly what they are doing. They want you to say something that they can eventually use against you if your case goes to trial. You cannot talk your way out of trouble on your own. You may think that you have said something that could help your case when, in reality, you have made a major mistake. If law enforcement tries to question you, tell them that you want a criminal defense attorney present. Even still, you must be cautious when police say anything to you after that because they may try to find clever ways to get you talking.
Hire an Attorney Immediately
You need immediate legal representation if you learn that you are being accused of a sex crime or that you are under investigation. You never want to make a mistake early in your case because you panicked. What you do early can make it more difficult to defend you later in the case. Once you make a mistake, you cannot undo it.
If you hire an attorney, law enforcement cannot try to question you without them present. Your attorney could help prepare you to speak with law enforcement. They can also do early work in your case to help set the stage for your legal defense.
Potential Defense Strategies in a Sex Offense Case
When you hire an attorney, you would begin to learn about your legal options in the case. There are potentially two sides to every story. Your attorney may accompany you if they advise you that it is in your best interests to speak with law enforcement. Sometimes, telling your own side of the story may persuade law enforcement not to press charges against you. They need to be confident in the accuser’s credibility, and your story may cast doubt on that.
Your attorney could advise you to vigorously fight the charges against you. In any criminal case, you are innocent until proven guilty, even though there may be a rush to convict you or push you to plead guilty.
You may be able to use the following defenses in a sex offense case:
- The most effective defense is that you have an alibi that says that you were not there, along with the witness testimony to prove it
- You are actually the victim of mistaken identity, and you could not have been the attacker
- Any physical evidence being used against you, such as DNA evidence, is not reliable
- Any sexual encounter between you and the accuser was consensual
- The allegations against you are false
Your attorney could also advise you that it is best to negotiate a plea deal with the prosecutor. They may want to spare the alleged victim from having to testify on the stand (even though they have come forward to press charges). The prosecutor may also want to win a conviction and spare having to spend the resources on a trial. Prosecutors are often willing to allow defendants to plead guilty to a lesser offense that could result in reduced jail time (and sometimes, even none at all). An attorney who has experience on the law enforcement side knows how a prosecutor thinks and how to effectively negotiate with them.
Contact an Appleton Criminal Defense Attorney Today
If you are facing sex offense charges, it is essential that you are not unrepresented, even for one minute. Much can happen that could make your legal defense more challenging. The attorneys at Hogan Eickhoff vigorously fight for your rights. No matter who you are or what crime you are accused of, we believe that everyone deserves a strong legal defense. You can call us today at (920) 450-9800 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with a lawyer.