A parson charged with a sex offense is facing a major challenge. Even the arrest for a sex crime can leave a long-lasting effect. A conviction will drastically alter the path of one's life.
When facing sexually related offenses, you must take action to safeguard your rights and freedom.
Once you are arrested for a sex crime, your RIGHTS DO NOT GO AWAY. You still have rights that can help you address the charges.
Here are some rights that you have upon arrest:
The United States and Georgia Constitutions give you a right to remain silent. You do not have to answer questions. You often are not required to take any action would produce evidence which might be used against you. Exercise your right to remain silent. Politely say no to any effort to question you or obtain evidence from you. If there is a court order or a search warrant, you will have to comply with those requirements. Anytime a law enforcement officer interviews you, the officer is trying to build the case against you. Anything you say is likely to be interpreted in the worst possible way. Uncertainty about where you were and when will be interpreted as your trying to cover up. Provision of information that shows that you did not have contact may end up being incorporated into the alleged victim's story to make sure you do not have an alibi.
Hire a Lawyer
The United States and Georgia Constitutions give you a right to have an attorney represent you. A qualified criminal defense lawyer is able to help guide you as to what level of cooperation is appropriate for the case and is better situated to say no to official efforts to gather evidence. The lawyer knows what your rights are and how to protect them. The lawyer will help you understand what the stakes are. The attorney can also guide you as to what you need to do to protect yourself. The lawyer is a shield between you and law enforcement. Hiring a lawyer does not mean you are guilty, it means you are trying to protect your rights.
Gather and Preserve Exculpatory Evidence
Preserve any records related to the time period of the alleged incident, such as videos, diaries, calendars, and communications. Even things that do not seem important at the beginning may turn out to be important later. This may turn out to be very useful evidence in fighting the State's case. Do not delete any emails or social media posts, that may be linked to the allegations. Not only could you be charged with tampering with evidence if the police find out, but it also makes you look guilty. It is far better to deal with seemingly incriminating text and social media posts rather than explain why you deleted them.
Decline any Voluntary Searches or Testing
Do not give any of your records to the police or anyone prior to your arrest. Unless it is court ordered, you have the right to decline any searches or tests. This may require the police to seek a search warrant from a neutral magistrate, but this will ensure that all rules are followed and help us to protect your rights. This means:
- Do not give access to your phone or computers
- Do not submit to cheek swabs or other genetic evidence gathering
- Do not turn over written records
- Do not release your computer user id's and passwords
Do Not Have Contact with the Victim or Any Witnesses
You should assume that any communications you have at this point may be reported to law enforcement or recorded or both.
Your contact might be misinterpreted as an effort to interfere with or intimidate the other person or to "cook up" a false story to protect you.
It is a very common investigative technique to have the victim or a family member of the victim make a recorded call to you to "confront" you to provoke an admission or an apology. Either will be used against you.
Get the Help You Need
Black Law Offices has handled many sex offense cases over the years. We have the experience and knowledge to guide you to the best disposition of the case. Whether the allegations are true or false, you need that kind of legal advice to protect yourself. Call us at 706-282-4696 today to set up your free consultation and find out how we may be able to help you.