It is one of the most harrowing events that can happen to a person. When accused of committing a crime against a child, especially a sex crime, you risk much. Ramifications can include a prison sentence, destroyed reputation in the community, placement on the sex offender list (possibly for life), loss of your job and ruined relationships with those closest to you. This is serious. You need to know what happens when accused and how to defend yourself.
As soon as you find out someone has accused you of sexual misconduct with a child, be proactive. Shut your mouth, immediately. It is best not to talk about the allegation without legal counsel. Contact an attorney who specializes in criminal defense in sex crimes, sexual molestation and assault cases. You need professional guidance before the situation escalates.
Many times, someone aside from the police tells you about an accusation. For example, a friend, family member or acquaintance might tell you that someone believes you abused a child. Other than denying you committed a crime, don’t say anything else. Even if you think the accusation is frivolous, take it as a great threat to your future. Again, consult a reputable attorney for advice.
You might be arrested based solely on the allegation. It is a scary thought, but you need to prepare in case it happens. Most times, before an arrest, police officers will ask you for an interview. Resolve not to give statements without your lawyer’s presence. Be polite but firm as you have the right not to speak. Once your attorney arrives, s/he can stay with you during the interview. You might or might not be arrested at that point.
If the police allow you to go without charging you with a crime, do not assume it is over. This is not always the case. An investigation might continue. It is time for you to assist your lawyer in preparing a defense. First, and following the advice and guidance of your attorney, you should record as much pertinent information as you can remember. Cite every instance you were alone with the child in question if this is possible. Provide information regarding the length of each event, why you were alone with him, what your actions were and all other details you can recall.
Aid in your defense by being completely honest with your attorney. If you suspect you know the reason for a false allegation, share your suspicions with him as this could be instrumental in your defense. Listen to her legal advice. Suppress angry urges and temptations to confront the accuser or his parents. Avoid further contact with the child if possible. If it is your own child, make sure you are not alone with him until after a resolution occurs.
Begin documenting everything as it relates to the accusation. This includes phone calls from anyone involved including potential witnesses, family members of the child, police officers and child protective services representatives. Make sure to record dates and times along with details of the conversations. Keeping an accurate journal can greatly assist your case should it come to trial.
Be aware that the media might become aware of your case. Do not talk to reporters or grant interviews. Remember too, that the accusation might be discussed on social media by people who have specific knowledge of the accusation and even by those that do not. Refuse to give in into online “baiting” by posting in response. Save your testimony for court if or when your case goes to trial.
Provide your legal counsel with a list of potential witnesses and how to contact them. These are all the people you can think of who might have information, even if you suspect any of these might testify against you. Your lawyer needs to know who they are so s/he can have them interviewed.
Try not to harbor resentment against the child especially if s/he is a family member. S/he might have been coerced or coached into alleging molestation or assault, misidentified you as the perpetrator or accused you when angry or emotionally hurt. Contact us for information regarding criminal defense.