Being charged with any crime can set you on edge, and for good reason. A criminal conviction can send you to prison and ruin your reputation. This is especially true when the criminal offense involved is a sex crime. Given the serious and sensitive nature of these crimes, society often acts as if accused individuals are guilty until proven innocent. This isn’t the way the law works. So, you need to be prepared to sternly remind judges and juries that you’re innocent until proven guilty.
Don’t be afraid to be aggressive
Far too often, defendants in these types of cases are scared to fight to protect themselves. They’re afraid of how their aggressive tactics will come across to jurors or even prosecutors, which really puts them at a disadvantage. Instead, if you’ve been accused of a sex crime, then you need to do everything you can to protect yourself, which oftentimes includes attacking witness credibility, including the credibility of the alleged victim.
Attacking witness credibility
In many sex crime cases, convictions are obtained based merely on witness testimony. Therefore, you need to be prepared to minimize the impact of that testimony as much as possible. To attack witness credibility, you need to not only know everything about your case, but you also need to anticipate how witnesses will testify even before you get to trial. You can do this by conducting depositions, which is where you take sworn testimony prior to trial. This locks in the witness’s testimony and also gives you the opportunity to point out any inconsistency that can draw the witness’s reliability into question.
Also, you can consider the victim’s history of sexual activity with you. The law is very careful when addressing this matter, and such evidence is only allowed if certain legal elements are met. We will discuss these more in-depth in another post.
Consider seeking help
What is important to realize at this time is that you have a lot of criminal defense options available to you, including attacking witnesses’ credibility. Don’t be bulldogged into a plea deal just because you’re afraid of the prosecutor. Instead, think about discussing your case with an experienced criminal defense attorney who knows how to pick the prosecution’s case apart.