Pre-Filing of Sex Charges
The popular obsession with true crime stories has made fictional depictions of the practice of law into a real cash cow. Dozens of TV shows, books and movies try to recreate the dramatic aspects of the criminal process. As you may know, TV and the movies often skip over the boring but important details that can make a huge difference in the real world in order to get to the juicy stuff that sells tickets. This can have a detrimental effect on defendants, who are indoctrinated by shows like Law and Order to trust police officers and detectives and to believe that prosecutors always choose to do the right thing.
The reality is that if you are under investigation for a crime, the only person that you should put your trust in is an experienced Sarasota criminal defense attorney. If you have a co-defendant, they can flip on you and testify as a state’s witness. Family members can spill your secrets if they are pressured by police or prosecutors. Friends can turn to enemies. But a lawyer is ethically duty bound to protect your secrets and to represent you to the best of his or her ability regardless of the situation you may have found yourself in.
And if you have found yourself under investigation for any type of sex offense, you should not sit around and wait to see what happens. You should retain a skilled lawyer to act proactively in your defense as soon as any allegations are made against you. Many people who are charged with sex offenses have never before dealt with the criminal justice system. This lack of experience often results in a level of naiveté that can be dangerous in a criminal investigation. Too often, people under investigation for sexual offenses are too open to speaking with police to explain “their side” of the story. The reality is that once an investigation has been initiated, there is only one side that matters to the police, and it is not yours.Pre-filing Sex Offense Cases
When dealing with any sex-based crime, the pre-filing phase is often the most important of the entire case. The pre-filing phase encompasses the time that the police are conducting their investigation, through the prosecutor’s analysis, and ends when the State decides to bring formal charges or drop the case altogether. Once a prosecutor has filed formal charges, it becomes much more difficult to achieve a dismissal of the case. Prior to filing charges, however, prosecutors will typically have much more discretion and will often choose to drop cases with weaknesses in the evidence. A dedicated Sarasota criminal lawyer can make these weaknesses apparent to the State, which can result in dropped charges.
Sex crimes investigations will often start the same way, with some sort of recorded communication with the defendant. Sexual offenses are very rarely random crimes occurring between two strangers. Far more often, the victim and defendant know each other. This allows investigators to set up what is known as a controlled call. The victim will place a recorded call to the suspect in order to get him or her to admit to the crime. This recording is often the most damning evidence used against defendants in sex cases. If you receive a suspicious communication from someone accusing you of a sex offense, you should assume that it is a controlled call and contact a lawyer immediately.
Following a controlled call, investigators will seek corroborating evidence. They will try to collect information showing that their victim is a reliable and truthful source of information. During this investigatory period, an experienced Sarasota criminal defense lawyer can collect evidence that helps your case or can have you submit to a polygraph examination which may help sway the prosecutor.Speak To Our Lawyers
The attorneys at Hanlon Law are ready and able to aid you with all of your criminal defense needs. If you are being investigated for a sexual offense, call us today to find out how we can help at 941.462.1789.