It is a nightmare. Someone you know accuses you of one of the worst crimes imaginable: Sexual assault on a child. Your life flashes before you eyes and the inevitable questions arise. How could this happen to me? Will anyone believe me? Will I go to prison? While no two cases of sexual assault on a child are the same, there are some basic steps that you should take to minimize errors.
List of First Things to Do in a Sex Assault on a Child Case in Denver Colorado
1. Contact a Sexual Assault Criminal Defense Attorney
Ok, this is not meant as an advertisement, but it really is important for you to contact an attorney as soon as possible. And not just any attorney. You don’t want to contact the DUI attorney who handles the occasional sexual assault case. Also avoid the multi-practice attorney, such as the person who handles wills for your family and dabbles in an occasional criminal case.
No. No. No.
When you need a medical specialist, you don’t go to the family doctor. Sexual assault cases are speciality cases and are the most difficult criminal matters around. The potential penalties are tremendous and include the possibility of sex offender registration, prison, treatment, and lifetime supervision. With so much on the line, now is not the time to go to an amateur.
2. Contact an Attorney Immediately
Even if you haven’t been arrested yet, contacting an attorney can be extremely beneficial. If you hear that the police are investigating an allegation, you can be proactive in getting information about the charges by getting an attorney. For some of my clients, getting “out in front” of the case can result in dismissals. For example, a former client heard that he was being investigated for a “date rape” charge. We were retained and before charges were filed, our office conducted an investigation and found Facebook and other social media posts that showed that the “victim” was lying. By being aggressive, we are able to shut down charges before they began.
In many cases, getting an attorney early means that you and your defense team can start getting evidence of innocence before the evidence gets lost. Remember, people destroy text messages, documents, and other evidence quickly. Memories fade and eyewitnesses can move. That video tape recording from a gas station gets erased within days. You need to act fast in order to locate and preserve evidence that can mean the difference between a guilty and not guilty verdict.
3. Don’t Talk to Anyone About the Case
And yes, this means family and friends. Police can interview the closest people around you and ask them what you told them. So that co-worker you spoke with about the allegations can become an unwilling witness for the police.
4. The Police Are Not Your Friends
In a similar line, do not talk to the police. In nearly every sex assault case involving children, the police try to interview the suspect. These interviews are routinely recorded, either by hidden camera or by another recording device. Even telephone calls can be recorded. So if that police officer or detective calls you to discuss the case and allegations, you need to assume that the call is being recorded.
5. Do Not Speak with Child Protective Services
In some cases involving child abuse or sexual assault of a child, Child Protective Services can get involved. When this happens, a social worker will ask to set up an interview with you and they will ask very sensitive questions. Understand that anything said to the social workers in written down and gets provided to the police and prosecutors. Talking with CPS is no different that speaking with the police.
6. Remember that Nothing You Say Will Help You
Underlying the above points is that government agencies like the police and Child Protective Services are designed to believe that the child’s allegations are true. Police are trained to act as if the suspect is guilty and to presume that the child was assaulted. In this light, nothing you say can help you. Nothing. The police already believe you are guilty, so when they ask to speak with you they aren’t on a “search for truth.” Instead, they are just trying to get you to say things that later can be used against you.
Be Prepared to Fight for Your Life
Sexual assault on a child cases are the hardest criminal cases. They take a toll on clients and their families. The mere allegations can tear people apart and ruin lives. You need to be prepared to fight these allegations tooth and nail.
If you have any questions about these cases, call Andres R. Guevara to discuss your sexual assault on a child case.