BEST DEFENSES TO FIGHT YOUR SEX CRIME CHARGE
Prosecutors tend to be under a lot of pressure from the victim’s advocacy groups and the public at large to make sex offenders “pay.” And, biased news media tend to favor an alleged victim without giving the benefit of doubt to an alleged perpetrator. But, that doesn’t mean that sex crime charges can’t be beaten. The prosecution always has the burden of proving its case beyond a reasonable doubt. Still, you need the best criminal defense attorney Tulsa has to offer.
If you or someone you know has been accused of a sex crime, call the Cale Law Office at 918-771-7314. Attorney Stephen Cale has been practicing for nearly two decades. Plus, he has the right kind of experience because he dedicates his practice to criminal defense.
There are stiff penalties for sex crimes. That’s why it’s so important to hire a criminal defense attorney who focuses on criminal defense and will provide you with aggressive representation. Here are some things you should know.
It’s not unusual for someone to be falsely accused of a sex crime. Many times, police will arrest someone for sex crime based solely on the word of the alleged victim. In some circumstances, the “victim” will make up allegations of to get even with someone. Other times, the “victim” may have mental health issues that lead to making false allegations. Regardless, one of the first things the best criminal defense attorney Tulsa has to offer will try to do is uncover ulterior motives.
Examples where someone may make allegations of sexual misconduct include:
• Covering up an affair. Sometimes a person having an affair may allege sexual assault to cover up his or her own misconduct.
• Domestic and child custody cases. Someone may make trumped-up allegations to gain an advantage in a domestic violence or child custody case.
• Extortion or civil suit. A person could make sexual misconduct allegations to extort money or to gain money through a civil suit.
• Angry teenagers/resentment. It’s not unusual for some angry teenagers to make false allegations about a parent when the teenager feels that the parent:
o Has too much parental control;
o Has hurt feelings the teen’s feelings;
o Is unwelcomed as a step-parent
• Revenge. Some people can’t handle rejectment or the feeling of being wronged somehow. So, they will get back at someone by making false allegations. Sometimes this happens when a couple breaks up, or a person is caught cheating in a relationship;
ROMEO AND JULIET DEFENSE
Romeo and Juliet laws are also known as close-in-age exemptions. They are designed to prevent the prosecution of young people who engage in consensual sex when: a) both participants are close in age to each other; and b) one or both are below the age of consent. A minor is anyone under the age of 18. In Oklahoma, there is a Romeo and Juliet exemption for consensual sex between two persons who are at least 14 years old but younger than 19. See more about this defense in my article “What Are Romeo And Juliet Laws In Oklahoma?”
Many sexual acts are crimes only when one party fails to consent to the conduct. Because of this, consent is a common defense. This can be a difficult defense because there are typically no witnesses to the sexual encounter. But, there are a few things that can be used to establish consent. Examples include:
• Text messages, emails, or other types of communication between the parties that are sexual in nature.
• Evidence that shows that the two been sexually intimate in the past.
• Witness testimony concerning behavior prior to the encounter that might show the couple kissing, cuddling, etc.
In order to be capable of giving legal consent to a sexual act, a person must be capable of understanding the act, its nature, and possible consequences. In some cases, the alleged victim may argue that he or she was unable to consent due to mental capacity, duress, or involuntary intoxication. In that instance, it might be necessary to show that the accuser was actually capable of consenting to sex and was not incapacitated.
Most people just assume that a person will not confess to a crime unless that person is faced with overwhelming incriminating evidence. Or, perhaps the confessor has been offered a promise of a more lenient charge or punishment. And, unless a person has a mental defect or is being tortured, it’s hard to grapple with why someone would confess to a crime they didn’t commit. But there are all kinds of reasons why somebody might confess – even falsely.
Personality is sometimes a factor in false confessions. Some people are more vulnerable to external pressure than others. They are at a higher risk of falsely confessing. Research has shown that this is especially true of people who are eager to please others and avoid confrontation – especially with authority figures. People who suffer from anxiety, fear, depression, delusions, and other psychological disorders are more vulnerable than others. When it comes to age, there is a high risk that youths will confess to something that they didn’t do. To learn more, see my article, The Psychology of False Confessions.
This type of defense is most often used when the alleged victim is a child. Tainted questioning occurs whenever a person interviews the child but asks questions in such a way to supply the answer. In this situation, the “answer” may be false and incriminate a person. When asked leading questions, very young children tend to “go with the flow” in order to please adults conducting the interview. They may even develop false memories of an offense that has not actually happened. To determine whether the interviewer (whether a forensic interviewer or detective) has wrongly questioned the child, the court may hold a hearing. If the judge finds that the interviewer inappropriately conducted the interview, evidence could be thrown out. Throwing out the evidence will put a big dent in the prosecution’s case. It could even lead to the court dismissing the charge.
There may also be other defenses available such as:
Alibi: This is where the accused could not have committed the crime because he or she was in another place at the time of the alleged event.
Duress: A person is entitled to the defense of duress if that person committed the act that constitutes the crime because of a reasonable belief that he or she was in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm from another.
Involuntary Intoxication: A person is entitled to the defense of involuntary intoxication if, at the time of the commission of the acts that constitute the crime, that person did not know that his or her acts were wrong and was unable to distinguish right from wrong with respect to his or her acts. A person is also entitled to the defense of involuntary intoxication if that person did not understand the nature and consequences of his or her acts. The inability to know right from wrong or to understand the nature and consequences of his or her acts must be caused by the involuntary use of an intoxicant.
CALL THE CALE LAW OFFICE
If you or someone you know has been charged with a sex-related crime, call the Cale Law Office at 918-771-7314. It’s important to get in touch with the best criminal defense attorney Tulsa has to offer. Waiting to contact an attorney can have detrimental consequences.