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What Should I Do if I Have Been Accused of a Sex Crime?

Criminal Law Blog by The Law Office of Greg Tsioros

What Should I Do if I Have Been Accused of a Sex Crime?

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best behaviorWhen someone is accused of a sex crime in Texas, it’s important to take action. The law states that anyone accused of a crime has the right to hire legal counsel and defend themselves in court.

However, a legal defense must be maintained outside of court as well. There are certain steps that defendants can take to toughen up their legal defense. Following these steps isn’t a guarantee for a favorable verdict but these actions represent good defense strategies.

They include:

  1. Only discuss the case with a lawyer
  2. Don’t contact the accuser
  3. Don’t engage in illegal or suspicious activities
  4. Cooperate with the court and police but do so with a lawyer

These steps are especially important for a person accused of a sex crime. In many cases, even an accusation of sexual misconduct can tarnish a person’s reputation. These kinds of charges carry a public stigma that can be very damaging. It’s important for defendants to protect their reputation while working on a strong legal defense.

Discretion Is Key

After sex crime accusations have been made, it’s time to start practicing discretion. There is only one person with whom it is safe to discuss these kinds of accusations: an attorney that has been hired to represent the accused in court. Lawyers are legally bound to strict confidentiality with their clients. This means that they can’t reveal private information about the case.

Friends, family members and strangers don’t have that obligation. It’s not uncommon for trusted friends and family members to reveal incriminating information about a defendant, whether intentionally or accidentally.

If questioned by the police, request to have a lawyer present. It’s okay to provide the police with identifying information such as your name, date of birth and home address. However, any more information than that should only be discussed with a lawyer present.

Avoid The Accuser

It is critically important to avoid any contact with the accuser after sex crime accusations have been made. Any attempts to contact the accuser could be construed as attempts to intimidate or coerce the accuser. If the accuser is the spouse, roommate or family member of the defendant and contact is necessary, this should be done through an attorney.

Avoid going near the accuser’s place of work, residence or church. Make no attempts to contact the accuser on social media, email, with phone calls or with text messages. Do not make derogatory statements about the accuser to co-workers, on social media or to friends. As stated above, there is only one person that can be trusted with information about the case: an attorney.

Be On Your Best Behavior

If there’s one thing that defendants don’t need during a legal case, it’s additional criminal charges. Facing these kinds of accusations can be extremely stressful and frightening. It may be tempting to blow off some steam by consuming alcohol or getting into fights.

Avoid this at all costs. Sexual misconduct allegations can seriously damage a person’s reputation. Getting charged with a DWI or with assault can do even more damage. Additional charges can make a defendant appear more “criminal” to a jury in a sex crime case. A defendant who stays out of trouble may have a better chance in court.

It’s also important to avoid suspicious behavior. Making vague, threatening posts on social media or driving by the accuser’s friends’ homes are very bad ideas. In this age of smartphone cameras and screen captures, even a simple statement or action can be permanently recorded and used in court.

Cooperate With The Police

As stressful as it might be, it’s important to cooperate with the police and the courts. It’s possible to comply with their instructions in a respectful manner without revealing private information about the case.

If the police want to ask some questions, they should politely be told that that can be done in the presence of an attorney. Don’t resist arrest, don’t verbally abuse the police and don’t leave town suddenly. Remember, a good legal defense takes place both inside and outside the courtroom.

Sex crime accusations are very serious. However, an accusation does not necessarily mean that there will be a conviction. Fighting these charges starts with hiring an attorney and following a plan of behavior. If a defendant follows the steps listed above and hires an attorney as soon as accusations are made, it may be possible to avoid a conviction or accept a plea deal for a lesser charge.

If you’ve been arrested for a sex crime in Houston or surrounding areas, contact The Law Office of Greg Tsioros. We can help protect your rights and preserve your freedom. Call 832-752-5972 or email today for a free, confidential consultation.

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