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Should I Hire An Attorney Before I Am Arrested In A Sex Crime Case?


I like to say it is better to have a lawyer and not need one than need a lawyer and not have one. It is a common misconception to think that hiring a lawyer makes people look guilty. It actually makes them look smart, and I would advise a person to do so before they get arrested for a sex offense. Hiring a lawyer under such circumstances is really no different than hiring someone to fix an electrical or plumbing problem; smart people hire professionals to handle situations that they themselves are unfamiliar with. In addition, if the police already believe that someone is guilty, then there isn’t a need to worry about appearing so.

Police officers and other law enforcement agents have very little discretion when it comes to charging sex crimes, so it’s highly unlikely that they would decide against charging someone simply based on hearing their side of the story. The entire purpose of law enforcement inviting a person in to answer questions it to encourage them to make an incriminating statement. The purpose of an interview is not to listen to the accused person’s story and weigh it against the accuser’s; it is the role of the courts to sort out the discrepancies in testimonies and determine who is telling the truth. If someone has been contacted by the police during the process of a sex crime investigation, they should assume that they are the target and focus of the investigation. In other words, the police are looking to charge them with a sex crime. In that situation, that person should be prepared to immediately hire a lawyer to protect their rights.

What Happens If An Alleged Victim Recants Allegations Of A Sexual Attack?

Once an accuser has contacted police or law enforcement about a sex offense, there is a high probability that someone is going to be charged with a crime, even if the accuser later recants their allegation or decides that they do not want to bring charges. Furthermore, the police generally don’t have the discretion to not charge a person in this type of case, so they would rather charge the person and let the court sort it out.

What Are Some Potential Defenses That Can Be Used In Sex Crime Cases?

The strategies employed in defending sex crime cases frequently come down to the nature of the evidence in a case. For example, in a case involving sexual penetration, a lack of physical evidence is a very effective strategy. In cases involving forced sexual conduct, a common defense would be consent, particularly if the two people involved had consensual sexual encounters previously. In cases where the sexual contact was illegal due to the age of the individual, the defense of reason to believe after the age of the alleged victim is commonly used. In child pornography cases, I often obtain a computer expert to assist in formulating defenses, and I have obtained several excellent results by doing so.

What Penalties & Collateral Consequences Can Someone Face With A Sex Crime Conviction On Their Record?

The main consequence for a sex crime is a prison sentence. Many felony sex offenses have mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines, meaning that the judge is required to give a minimum prison sentence. So, in the situation of a mandatory minimum sentence, even if a judge wanted to give probation, the statute would disallow them from doing so. Additionally, most sex offenses require lifetime registration as a sex offender, which is also required by statute and cannot be reduced or adjusted by a judge.

What Criminal Charges Would Generally Result In Registration As A Sex Offender?

Almost all felony sex offenses require mandatory lifetime sex offender registration upon conviction. Some of the misdemeanor sex offenses only require a 10-year registration, but for the most part, it’s for a lifetime.

Why Is It Critical To Retain An Attorney Who Is Experienced In Handling Sex Crime Cases?

Sex crimes are very difficult and technical cases, so it is critical to retain an experienced attorney who has handled them. Some lawyers do not accept these cases because of the facts and circumstances involved, but at the MacNeil Firm, it really doesn’t matter what a person has been charged with. We’ve represented individuals charged with many different types of sex crimes involving allegations and evidence that would be considered gruesome and disgusting to most people. However, we are professional defense attorneys and we really couldn’t care less about what our clients have been accused of or how difficult the evidence is for some people to deal with. When we are hired to do a job, we don’t judge our clients; we devote all of our energy and effort into defending and protecting them despite the challenging subject matter of sex crimes.

What Sort Of Actions Can Be Taken To Mitigate The Consequences Of A Sex Crime?

Mitigating the consequences of a sex crime comes into play once it has been determined that we do not have a viable defense and that we need to negotiate in order to do damage control and attempt to reach a plea agreement. Damages can be mitigated a number of ways. For example, the alleged victim may not be pushing for a hard sentence or may have been somewhat complicit in the offense. In some cases, treatment or counseling is appropriate to address mental illness, addiction, or some other type of condition. Regardless of the circumstances of a case, we will fully explore all mitigating factors when negotiating plea agreements.

For more information on Hiring An Attorney In A Sex Crime Case, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (815) 290-9170 today.

Donald N. Macneil, Esq.

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