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CHM Law Arizona Family Law, Criminal Defense and DUI Lawyers

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If you believe you may be charged with a sex crime, the best time to find a lawyer is as early as possible.  To be upfront of how critical these allegations can be, compare it to a form of cancer. The earlier you get treatment, the better your odds of beating it.  

Time is of the absolute essence. But more importantly, your defense attorney can potentially end the case before it begins. 

Shutting down the case in the pre-charge sex crime stage will save the humiliation of a charge being on your record, an arrest, time in jail, a very large bond, an ankle bracelet, and your mugshot being put online with a notation about the type of sex offense you are charged with.  

Are you Involved in a Pre-Charge Case?
Our Sex Crime Defense Attorneys are Available to Talk Now.

Or, Continue Reading Below About:
How Can You Stop Charges from Being Brought in a Sex Case?

The Beginning of Pre-Charge Sex Crime Charges

Shortly after someone reports a sex crime to the police, the alleged victim will often make a confrontation call or text to the person being investigated.  During a confrontation call, the alleged victim will call the suspect while a police detective silently listens in and provides questions for the alleged victim to ask the suspect.

The goal of the call is to try to get the person being investigated to admit to the crime, without knowing that a detective is listening in.

An example would be a thirteen-year-old stepdaughter calling her stepfather to tell him she “was pregnant,” and the stepfather would say, “but I wore a condom when we had sex.”  The police would record that call and it would be played at trial.

The confession would be admissible in court under the rules of evidence because it is a statement against the defendant’s interest.  It is best not to engage in a confrontation call in the first place.

How CHM Law Takes Immediate Action on Your Behalf

The first thing our Phoenix sex crimes defense attorneys will do is find out which detective is assigned to the case.  We will then call the detective and inform them of our representation and advise them not to have any direct contact with our client.

When our defense lawyers instruct the detective to not contact our client, this will preclude the detective from engaging in a confrontation call.  This will also stop the detective from interviewing our client regarding the alleged crime.

This is important because any statements that a person makes to a law enforcement officer that are detrimental to him or her are admissible under the rules of evidence.  However, any statements that a person makes in an attempt to put themselves in a good light are often kept out of court because they are considered hearsay under the rules of evidence. Thus, it is rarely, if ever, a good idea to speak with a detective about an alleged sex crime.

On the other hand, anything that a lawyer says to a detective on behalf of his or her client is not admissible in trial.  Nor can the fact that a person chose to remain silent or that they requested or hired an attorney be admitted as evidence against them.

By having our attorney speak with the detective, we can often obtain information about the allegations and potential charges.  We can also obtain the police report number from the detective.

Many detectives will be transparent with a defense attorney in a situation where they would otherwise try to deceive a lay person into speaking with them and making damaging statements.

Obtaining Police Report in a Pre-Charge Sex Case

The next step an attorney will take is to order a copy of the police report.  Having the report number will help speed up the request process.

The police report number will show us what evidence the detective possesses, what witnesses they have, and exactly what allegations being made.

In a pre-charge state, we do not have full rights to the prosecutor’s evidence or discovery.  Thus, the police report needs to be ordered under a public records request.  Some detectives will try to delay the release of the police report stating the report is not completed because the case is still under investigation. We know how to aggressively deal with these delays. 

The Use of a Polygraph Test or Psychosexual Risk Assessment

The next course of action is to evaluate whether a polygraph or psychosexual risk assessment will be beneficial for our client.

While polygraph examinations are not admissible at trial, they can be a useful tool in stopping charges.

It is best to know the exact allegations being made so that the polygraph questions can address the allegations.

With many years of experience in defending sex crime charges and allegations, our attorneys can provide a written synopsis of the case to our polygraph examiner along with the questions that we want to be asked regarding the allegations.

If the results of a polygraph examination are deemed helpful to our case, we can present those results to the detective and later the prosecutor’s office to help prevent charges from being filed.

A psychosexual evaluation, or a risk assessment with one of our experts, may also be a beneficial tool to help prevent charges.

This evaluation or assessment will determine a person’s propensity for certain types of sexual behavior.

For example, the evaluation can show a low risk for predatorial or pedophilic type behavior. This can show that a person has no sexual interest in the type of behavior that is alleged to have occurred, thus making it very unlikely that he or she committed the offense. If this evaluation is positive, we can present it to the detective.

The polygraph examination and psychosexual evaluation/risk assessment are privileged and confidential and will not be disclosed unless beneficial to defending against the allegations.

Interviewing Witnesses in a Sex Crimes Pre-Charge

The next step is to interview witnesses. While the case is in a pre-charge state, we cannot force witnesses to comply with an interview by filing a motion for a deposition. However, many witnesses will agree to an interview.

The witness interviews can be tape recorded and later used to poke holes in the detective’s case and put the evidence in a light more favorable to our client.

Dealing with Detectives and Exculpatory Evidence

The next part of the pre-charge process is to convince the detective not to submit the case to the prosecutor’s office because there is no reasonable likelihood of conviction. At this step, we will present all of the exculpatory evidence that we have such as:

  • Our client’s credibility
  • The alleged victim’s lack of credibility
  • Witness statements
  • Lack of a confrontation call
  • Lack of admissions
  • A passed polygraph examination
  • A positive risk assessment.

If the detective agrees not to submit the case to the prosecutor, the case is over. This is the most common place where we end these cases and stop the charges altogether.

If the detective sends the case to the prosecutor, the next course of action is to send what is called a Trebus / Bashir letter to the prosecutor’s office. This type of letter gets its name from caselaw outlining the presentation of evidence to a Grand Jury.

A Trebus / Bashir letter will detail the exculpatory evidence (evidence that tends to point to a person’s innocence or lack of guilt) that the prosecutor must present to the Grand Jury. Grand Juries are convened in secret, and they are ex-party proceedings. In other words, only the prosecutor presents evidence.

There is a saying among criminal defense lawyers that “a Grand Jury will indict a ham sandwich.” This saying came from the fact that only one side presents evidence and the process can often seem like nothing more than a rubber stamp to approve charging someone with a crime.

Along with detailing all of the exculpatory evidence that the prosecutor must present to the Grand Jury, the Trebus / Bashir letter may state that our client wants to make a statement to the Grand Jury. The letter may convince the prosecutor not to submit the case to the Grand Jury in the first place.

Further, if presented to the Grand Jury, the letter may help to prevent the Grand Jury from indicting the person under investigation.

How Our Attorneys Have Stopped Numerous Sex Crime Charges

If the prosecutor fails to present any of the exculpatory evidence we requested that he or she present to the Grand Jury, or fails to tell the Grand Jury that our client wants to be heard, we can file a motion to remand the indictment, essentially reversing the charges for a lack of probable cause.

After the remand motion is granted, the prosecutor can go back to the grand jury. However, this time they will need to present the exculpatory evidence from our Trebus / Bashir letter. This also presents a great opportunity to convince the prosecutor not to submit the case to the Grand Jury again.

The attorneys at Colburn Hintze Maletta, PLLC, have stopped countless cases from being charged in pre-charge state by applying the tactics and evidence mentioned in this article.

By demonstrating the following evidence to detectives and prosecution: 

  • Our client’s credibility
  • The alleged victim’s lack of credibility
  • Witness statements
  • Lack of a confrontation call
  • Lack of admissions
  • A passed polygraph examination
  • A positive risk assessment.

We have effectively and successfully had many pre-charge sex crime charges dropped! If you find yourself being accused of a sex crime and/or are in the pre-charge phase, call us as soon as possible at (602) 825-2500.

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Real Client Reviews

Below are just a few of what our clients have to say!

Arizona attorney Darin Colburn

“The calm in the middle of my storm…”

I, recently, consulted with Darin after my wife filed for divorce. He was referred to me by a friend whom I very much trust. Darin was the antithesis of the first two attorneys I consulted (who were matter-of-fact and had very little empathy about the fact that I was struggling emotionally with what was transpiring). From the first few minutes of speaking with Darin, it was obvious that he was very knowledgeable and skilled with divorce and family matters. While that was most important to me, the thing that made the difference was his calming, logical, and empathetic approach. He took the time to listen and empathize with me. He took the time to understand what I wanted to achieve through this process and laid out my options. After the consultation, I knew he would be my attorney if I had to pull the trigger. I, ultimately, didn’t have to engage Darin’s services due to a reconciliation with my wife. I hope I never have to go through that process again, however, if I do, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt who I will be hiring to represent me…Darin R. Colburn. Darin, thank you for caring and being more than an attorney.

Frank - AVVO Review

Divorce / Reconciliation Client
Attorney David Maletta

“There is NOBODY I would rather have defending me than David”

I hired David Maletta and it was the best decision of my life. His knowledge, genuine interest, overall attitude, and ability to connect with people is incomparable. I could talk about all of this at length. I COULD do all of that, but that wouldn’t do David justice. He first and foremost demonstrates his interest and genuine care for his client. Being in uncharted territory with a criminal charge and nowhere to turn, David’s presence and personality put all nerves at ease. I went through a jury trial with David beside me. The trial ran for 3 days and I spent a significant amount of time with David one-on-one. During this stressful time, he wanted to hear my input and thoughts on everything. David was incredible from the first day I met him. Not only is he a great attorney, but he is also a great person who cares about people and finding justice for his clients. He connects to the human side of people. I can’t put into words how much David cares about the individual in a case. When it comes to the courtroom, there is NOBODY I would rather have defending me than David.

Jacob - AVVO Review

DUI Defense Client
Arizona attorney Darin Colburn

“Because of Darin I got my daughter back”

Before I hired Darin I went through a total of 3 different attorneys in two different states fighting a jurisdiction battle, when my daughter was taken to a different state. It was a very difficult decision to switch attorneys at one of the most difficult, time sensitive and important times in my case, but I’m very glad I did. Upon receiving my file from previous attorneys Darin came very familiar with my case quickly. Like other people have explained he took the time to lay everything out and explain how the process was going to proceed and what to expect and continued to do this as new issues arrived. He is also very quick at responding to emails and phone calls. My case was getting close to trial as told by my previous attorneys, I did not want to go to trial as I know this is very costly (most attorneys will convince you that you need to.) Darin knew my situation, fought for what was right and got the results I wanted while avoiding a costly trial. He is extremely knowledgeable in the Child Support Guidelines as well. Because of Darin I got my daughter back. I would highly recommend him and would hire again for any future issues. Thanks Darin!

Chris - AVVO Review

Child Custody & Support Client
Attorney David Maletta

“I was found NOT GUILTY. Dave won the trial for me.”

Dave stayed with me while he pushed back and forth with Covid-19 and the delays with court. Once cited, the state basically decides that you’re guilty through the automatic suspension of your drivers license. Dave immediately took care of that problem and I never lost the privilege of driving. Dave took notes like crazy and was upfront about our uphill battle. I was also well aware that the plea deal that was given to us, was unacceptable and through Dave’s knowledge and experience I had put my trust in him to guide me to make the right decision on how to proceed. With Dave’s guidance I had decided that we needed to fight for something better than what the prosecutor was offering and Dave was 100 percent behind me on that decision. We knew the risks, be we also knew we had very little to lose based on the prosecutions stance. We decided to go to trial… Watching the prosecution and then watching Dave was night and day!! It was clear to the jury that the prosecution didn’t have their facts straight and were not addressing the facts that they could not address…There was a lot at stake for my personal life and my work life. I was found NOT GUILTY. Dave won the trial for me.

Gregory - AVVO Review

Criminal Defense Client
Arizona Attorney Timothy Hintze

“Tim was absolutely amazing and worked diligently”

I had an incident and was Given the catch-all charge. There wasn’t really anything I could do by myself to get out of it. Tim was absolutely amazing and worked diligently to ensure that I would have the best possible outcome from my case. Which he successfully achieved! As of right now I am on the path to having my case fully dismissed. A couple things that really helped me through this process was that Tim did an amazing job at was answering my questions. He was available almost anytime and would respond promptly when he got my emails. He was also very approachable and comforting to be around while we had in person meetings and especially when I was at the court house. I would trust him and the company he works for with any other cases in the future and as of right now they will be my first choice if I need a lawyer in the future.

Dylan - AVVO Review

Criminal Defense Client
Arizona Attorney Timothy Hintze

“Listens to every request that you make on a case”

I honestly just want to let it be known to any and everyone looking for an attorney on a case. Whether it be DUI, possession, or your every day to day traffic violations where you need representation attorney Tim Hintze is your man. You have to respect a man that listens to every request that you make on a case and he gets in there and gets it done. Tim has my respect as an attorney and being a well-rounded representer. From him being honest on the possibility and options for your case to him being easy to work and communicate with via over the phone or face to face Mr. Hintze is working it out.

Ben - AVVO Review

Criminal Defense Client
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