If you’ve been accused of sexual misconduct in Wisconsin, the court of public opinion has likely already rendered its verdict. You’re innocent until proven guilty of a sex crime in Appleton, but criminal sexual misconduct allegations alone can change the course of your personal and professional life. From losing your job to losing your family and freedom, don’t take Wisconsin sexual misconduct allegations lightly. At Hogan Eickhoff, our top-rated Green Bay sexual misconduct defense lawyers protect more than our clients’ freedom. We protect their right to live free from the collateral consequences of unfounded sexual misconduct allegations. Schedule your free, confidential sexual misconduct defense consultation with our experienced Winnebago, Calumet, and Waupaca County sex crimes defense lawyers today by calling (920) 450-9800 or contacting us online.
Your Rights During a Wisconsin Sexual Misconduct Investigation
Whether you’ve been accused of sexual harassment or sexual assault, serious sexual misconduct allegations often result in extensive and sensitive criminal investigations. If you’ve been accused of felonious sexual misconduct in Brown County, be sure to maximize the protections each of the following rights affords to sexual misconduct suspects:
Fourth Amendment Search and Seizure ProtectionsSome of the most important rights suspects have during sexual misconduct investigations are derived from the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition on illegal searches and seizures. Unless a special exception applies, investigations must obtain a warrant to search your home, perform a wiretap, seize your computer, impound your car, or invade anyplace where you have a reasonable expectation of privacy. They must also have a separate warrant to seize this and any biological evidence, i.e., your DNA. Warrants must be based on probable cause, which means investigators must go before a judge with reliable evidence that a crime has likely been committed. Warrants must also be no broader than necessary in light of the allegations and evidence presented to the judge. Evidence obtained from an illegal search or seizure should be excluded from consideration during sexual misconduct trials.
Fifth Amendment Right Against Self-Incrimination (Right to Silence)Criminal suspects do not have to speak with police. They are not required to give testimony, provide police with evidence, or assist in the investigation in any way. Further, a defendant’s silence can never be used against him during sexual misconduct proceedings. Even alluding to the defendant’s refusal to provide testimony or assist in the investigation will result in a mistrial.
Fifth Amendment Right to a Defense AttorneyIf you’ve been detained and the police are trying to interrogate you, this triggers your right to have a criminal defense attorney appointed if you cannot afford one. However, you’re always entitled to retain a qualified private Wisconsin sex crimes defense lawyer during investigations. If you invoke your right to an attorney during police custody and questioning, all questioning must stop. You must unequivocally and clearly invoke this right – “I want a lawyer. I will not speak to you without a lawyer.”
Fifth Amendment Right to Grand Jury IndictmentBefore Wisconsin prosecutors can file felonious sexual misconduct charges, they must take all the evidence gathered during the investigation and present it during a mini-trial to a grand jury. The grand jury must determine that enough credible evidence exists to bring sexual misconduct charges against you. Failure to indict is fatal to felonious sexual assault allegations in Wisconsin and throughout the United States.
Remember, you always have the right to retain an experienced Wisconsin sex crimes defense lawyer at any stage of a sex crimes investigation. The earlier you call an Appleton criminal defense lawyer, the greater your chances of protecting these critical rights and defending against sexual misconduct allegations in Wisconsin. Early attorney intervention may stop a sexual assault investigation before these allegations affect your personal and professional reputation.
Your Rights During Sexual Misconduct Trials
Many of the rights you’re entitled to during sexual misconduct investigations carry over to sexual misconduct prosecutions. For example, law enforcement officers must have a warrant to arrest you after you’re charged, and you retain the right to silence at trial. You also continue to have the right to a sex crimes defense attorney under the Sixth Amendment, and this amendment controls many additional rights afforded to defendants during criminal prosecutions. Your rights at trial, even sexual assault trials, include:
- The right to a public trial; although, exceptions may be made if the victim is a minor (under 18)
- The right to be confronted with, call, and cross-examine all witnesses against you, including the victim – generally, this must be in-person, but certain courts allow children to testify via a live video link
- The right to a speedy trial
- The right to a trial by a jury of your peers, i.e., the jury must be a fair representation of the area and not biased
- The right to be fully informed of all charges and evidence against you and the right to use the court’s power to obtain evidence and witnesses in your favor
These are federal constitutional rights applicable to the State of Wisconsin that overlap with the same rights protected by the Wisconsin Constitution. In addition to these rights, numerous state and local procedural rights exist to protect Appleton defendants during sexual misconduct trials. Only experienced Wisconsin sex crimes defense lawyers understand the full breadth of these protections and the special evidentiary rules applicable to sexual misconduct prosecutions.
Your Anti-Defamation and Civil Rights After Dismissal of Sexual Misconduct Charges
False allegations of sexual misconduct that negatively impact your reputation are actionable under Wisconsin defamation laws. In fact, false allegations of sexual misconduct are actionable as defamation per se in Wisconsin. You may be able to recover money damages in civil court if you’ve been negatively impacted by false or fraudulent allegations of sexual misconduct in Wisconsin.
Call Us Today to Schedule a Free Consultation with a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Appleton
Don’t delay. The earlier you contact a top-rated Wisconsin sex crimes defense lawyer at Hogan Eickhoff, the likelier we’ll be able to protect your personal and professional reputation. Contact our exceptional and understanding Appleton sexual misconduct defense attorneys for your free, confidential criminal defense consultation today at (920) 450-9800 or online.