APRIL 8 2017
The scorched earth policy of the State Attorney’s office is to file forty second degree felonies on anyone charged with kiddie porn. That runs the guideline sentence to twenty to thirty years. If you are charged with a contact crime, like a lewd and lascivious act on a minor, even a teenager, you face many times up to fifteen years in State prison. If you are charged with date rape, even in a situation where it was consensual, you face a long DOC sentence. Sex Crime cases are absolutely the toughest cases to defend and take to trial. Jurors start off prejudiced against you and most of the judges are former sex crime prosecutors. It is a long uphill battle and one you need to go into with an experienced sex crime lawyer.
It is one thing to use the Public Defender for a DUI or simple drug possession charge.
It is quite another to put your life in the hands of a court appointed lawyer when the stakes are life in prison. There is an old saying that you get what you pay for. Many public defenders are dedicated professionals who do their absolute best for every client. The problem is that most public defenders are overworked and underpaid. They on average carry hundreds of cases at a time where private lawyers my handle only a dozen or so at a time. In a sex crime case, investigation is the key. The police generally start off believing the accuser and set about to prove that what the “victim” says is true. They ignore and sometimes cover up inconsistencies in a victim’s statement.
Many of the sex crime police investigators are women and most of the sex crime prosecutors are women and in my experience are biased in how they look at the facts.
The simple fact is that many rape accusations are false.
Teenage girls make false accusations against step dads all the time. In child custody cases, false accusations are commonplace.
The Public Defender often does not have the investigative resources go out and get to the bottom of the case.
I have been defending sex crimes all of my professional life (forty years). There is no substitute for experience. A public defender is only appointed after you are charged. Many times that is too late. If you are under investigation and have been accused but not yet charged, that is when you really need a good lawyer. Many times, I have been able to develop facts that result in charges not being filed.
You need a lawyer before you are charged. It may keep you from being arrested and publicly humiliated.
If the police or a detective has contacted you and wants a statement, call me before you do anything.