What to Do If You’re Being Investigated for a Sex CrimePosted on December 15, 2017 in Sex Crimes
If you know that you are under investigation for a sex offense in Washington, whether you have been arrested, indicted, or neither, the first thing you want to do is contact an experienced and aggressive Tacoma sex crimes lawyer from The Law Offices of Morgan Fletcher Benfield, PLLC.
You are going to need legal representation. Knowing you never committed a crime does not protect you. A lawyer who thoroughly explains your rights, prevents police over-reach and builds you a strong legal defense does.
Before you answer any police questions or talk to anyone about the crime or charges, call attorney Morgan Fletcher Benfield at (253) 203-3379 to schedule a free consultation.
Call a Lawyer
By hiring a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible, you have someone who will investigate and analyze the situation. Your attorney can advise you on what may happen next, such as the likelihood of prosecutor’s filing charges or convening a grand jury. If you are officially charged with a sex offense, your lawyer is already fully aware of your case and ready to build you the strongest defense possible under the law.
Do Not Talk to the Police
When you are under suspicion for a crime or have been charged, you should never speak with the police or answer their questions without first consulting with a lawyer. You should not talk to the police. Instead, tell them you want your attorney present and you are invoking your right to remain silent until you have legal counsel.
You may think cooperating with the police is the best way to show you are innocent and to avoid charges. Unfortunately, this is rarely how it works. Law enforcement agents may twist your words. Or they may ignore what you say if there is enough circumstantial evidence against you anyway. Your innocence does not inherently protect you, which is why it is better to remain silent.
Do Not Consent to Searches or Seizures
You are protected by the Constitution against unreasonable searches and seizures. In general, law enforcement need a warrant conduct a search or seize you or your property, or they may do so under a particular warrant exception, such as probable cause that you have been or are currently involved in a crime.
If the police ask you if they can search your clothing, home, office, vehicle or other space, they do not have a warrant or an exception to do so without your consent. You should not give them permission to conduct the search. If the police want to search an area in which you have an expectation of privacy, they can obtain a warrant.
Do Not Destroy Anything
If you are being accused of a crime and you believe you have texts, emails, voice messages, pictures, videos, or other documentation or data that could be incriminating, do not let fear guide you. Do not delete these in a panic. If law enforcement or prosecutors find out you intentionally deleted potentially damaging evidence, you could be in more trouble with the law.
Always speak with your attorney about potential evidence that could help or hinder your case. Only an experienced attorney can determine the best thing to do with electronic data or physical evidence.
End Communication With the Alleged Victim
If you have been accused of harming a coworker, friend, acquaintance, or family member, do not try to contact or spend time with them. It may be difficult to avoid them entirely, if they are related or work in the same place. However, you should do your best to limit or completely avoid contact and communication. You do not want anything you say or do toward them to be used in a criminal case against you.
Contact a Tacoma Sex Crimes Lawyer
The best possible outcomes to being investigated for a sex offense is for the police to determine you are not the perpetrator or for the prosecutor to determine not to pursue criminal charges. An attorney from The Law Offices of Morgan Fletcher Benfield, PLLC will strive for one of these outcomes, enabling you to avoid the rest of the criminal justice process.
If the prosecution moves forward with charges, attorney Morgan Fletcher Benfield will build you the strongest defense available under the law and explain the best and worst potential outcomes to your case. He will fight for you to be exonerated at court while also pursuing the minimal consequences of a conviction.
To learn more about how a criminal defense lawyer can help you, call (253) 203-3379 to schedule a free consultation.