What to Do If I Am Being Charged or Investigated for a Sex Crime?
Sex crimes are taken very seriously in Michigan. The potential consequences of such a charge are nothing short of devastating. On top of the fines and potential jail time, a sex crime in Michigan means you might end up on the sex offender’s registry. This is worse than jail-time. It limits your employment opportunities and follows you wherever you go.
The good news is that being charged or investigated for a sex crime doesn’t make you guilty. However, while you are still innocent by law, one wrong move could land you in more trouble. It pays to know what to do when you’re charged with a sex crime in Michigan.
What to Do When You’re Charged with a Sex Crime in Michigan
If charged with a sex crime, ensure you do the following;
Assess the Severity of the Charges
When accused of a sex crime, most people, especially if innocent, tend to downplay the severity of the charges. Unfortunately, a sex crime is undoubtedly one of the worst crimes you can be charged with in Michigan. Note, before they notify you of the charges, the police will usually speak to the victim and their acquaintances in detail first.
In a majority of cases, they wait until they have enough evidence to contact you. So, even if you are innocent, don’t just hope the charges aren’t that bad. Assess how severe they are so you can brace for what lies ahead. An excellent way to go about it is by contacting a professional sexual conduct attorney so they can evaluate the charges and evidence laid against you and break down the reality, your options and the potential results.
Hire a Reputable Sexual Conduct Attorney
When you are first charged or when you know you are being investigated for a sex crime in Michigan, the first thing you should do besides assessing your charges’ severity is to hire a reputable sexual conduct attorney. Do not attempt to sort it out alone. Remember, when law enforcement officers finally contact you, they do not come in good faith. Their mission is to find a guilty party and will take an aggressive stance towards you in an attempt to make you cave in. Also note, everything you say can be used against you.
Having an attorney by your side or contacting one before you meet with law enforcement will benefit you significantly. This is because the attorney will advise you on what to do so you don’t incriminate yourself even before the case begins.
Create a Timeline and List of Potential Witnesses
Although building a defense is your attorney’s work, creating a timeline and a list of potential witnesses will make things easier for them and give them more time to focus on other aspects of the case. Besides, as the accused, you know more about what happened that day than them.
Create a well-detailed outline of events on the alleged day of the incident. Include everything you can remember, including all the activities you undertook leading up to the time of the alleged crime. While at it, compile a list of anyone you might have interacted with or encountered before the incident.
Include everyone, both positive and negative, so your attorney does not end up surprised by any last minute witnesses who might be called to testify against you. In other words, equip your attorney with as many details as possible to avoid rude surprises. This information will go a long way in helping them build a strong defense for you.
Gather and Preserve Evidence
When charged with a sex crime, every tiny detail goes a long way in proving your innocence. Creating a timeline and outlining people you might have encountered that day helps, but it is not enough. You also need to gather and preserve any relevant evidence you might have in your possession. This could be items such as clothes, photos, or even beddings connected to the charges. Save all texts, emails, or call logs with the said victim, which may help you clear your name.
Create a Case File
With any criminal charges comes a lot of paperwork, and sex crime charges are no exception. From police statements and reports, phone calls to medical bills, you need to preserve them and forward them to your attorney. Remember, your accuser is also busy doing the same to build a case against you. So, be sure to do the same, so you can help your attorney build a strong defense for you.
Decline Any Search or Tests
Unless they have a court order, do not allow law enforcement officers to search your phone, computers, or your home. Decline any tests they might request even if you know you are innocent. In most cases, after you decline such searches and tests, the law enforcement officers handling the case might seek an official search warrant. If they do, then even better because everything will be done according to the law, and you are sure your rights will be protected.
Get Yourself the Best Sexual Conduct Attorney
Sexual conduct cases are a murky area. As mentioned earlier, one wrong move will easily incriminate you. You should find yourself a well-experienced attorney to know what to do and avoid, and help you with the paperwork. Sure, you can handle it alone, but they have been in practice long enough to help you navigate the process seamlessly. They will break down the available options and potential outcomes based on the evidence you give them. Also, they know how to maximize the available loopholes to ensure you walk away with a clean record.
So, if you have been charged or being investigated with a sex crime in Michigan, get yourself the best attorney. You deserve to work with the best and an attorney you can count on regardless of the circumstances. Nicole Blank Becker is well-versed in the sex crime investigation process in Michigan and understands the stigma arising from such cases.
Get in touch today to get started.