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How Can You Stop Sex Crime Charges or Allegations?

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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.

Engaging a lawyer at the earliest indication of such charges allows you to address the situation proactively, much like seeking early treatment for a severe illness increases the likelihood of a positive outcome. The value of early legal counsel lies in the potential for pre-emptive action:

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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 is 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 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 to 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 layperson 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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