WHAT TO DO AND WHAT NOT
TO DO IF YOU ARE CHARGED
WITH A SEX CRIME
A sex offense is an intimidating criminal charge on multiple levels. Those charged with a sex crime can face serious consequences, including lengthy prison sentences and heavy fines. Additionally, they can be placed on sex offender lists for the rest of their lives, leading to them being barred from living in certain areas, working certain jobs, and furthermore causing them to carry a stigma for the rest of their lives. Fortunately, there are options available for individuals who have been charged with a sex crime.
It's important to understand that not everyone who has been charged with a sex crime is guilty and simply wants to avoid punishment. Many of those with sex crime charges are innocent, whether due to false accusations or misunderstandings and simply want to prove their innocence legally. With that being said, let's explore what you should do if you have been charged with a sex crime.
Do: Contact an Attorney
It's extremely important to get in touch with an attorney as soon as possible if you have been charged with a sex crime. But additionally, you must make sure that you're in touch with the right kind of attorney. It is not enough to reach out to a lawyer in general. Rather, you must make sure that you are hiring a sex crimes defense attorney.
Sex crimes are complex, and only attorneys who specialize in laws surrounding sex crimes are truly qualified to fend those charged with sex crimes. Public perception will often be stacked against those accused of sex crimes, and understandably so. It is true that in Ohio, sexual assaults occurred at a rate of 86.9 per 100,000 people in the population in 2015. However, that leaves a lot of people completely innocent of sex crimes or dealing with charges that rest in very gray, confusing areas. A strong defense attorney can navigate these areas and advocate for their clients, but they need to get involved as soon as possible.
Don't: Talk to Anyone Else
It may be tempting to talk to the authorities if you are charged with a sex crime and are innocent. You may feel that you have vital information that could clear your name. However, you have the right to remain silent after being arrested, and certainly, if you are charged with a sex crime you should use that right. Do not speak to anyone about anything other than contacting your attorney.
When we say don't talk to anyone else, we mean don't talk to anyone else at all. You may feel tempted to talk to friends and family, but without your lawyer present, you shouldn't discuss the details of your case. It's important that you do not disclose potentially incriminating evidence to individuals.
Do: Provide Your Lawyer with Evidence
Don't hesitate to hand your lawyer any evidence that could potentially help your case. This would include texts, emails, phone records — anything that could give you an alibi or for that matter provide more clarity on the situation.
After you've been charged with a sex crime, you need to understand that while it's easy to feel as if everyone is out to get you, your attorney certainly won't be. Not only do you need to be completely transparent with your attorney for the good of your case; you also need to hand over every kind of evidence that they ask for.
Don't: Give Up
It's understandable for individuals to feel scared and defeated when they are charged with sex crimes. But being charged with a sex crime does not mean that a conviction is a foregone conclusion. Individuals need to be determined and ready to fight with their lawyers for their causes. With that being said, ask your lawyer to be honest with you.
The better your working relationship with your lawyer, the easier it will be for you to fight these charges. Focus on hiring a qualified attorney, and listen to their advice when you do. Doing so can help ensure that you are not convicted of a sex crime.