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Mugshot of man in suit at police station. accused of a sex crime

What Should I Do If I’ve Been Accused of a Sex Crime?

The first thing to do after you have been accused of a sex crime in Minneapolis, MN, is to familiarize yourself with the seriousness of the situation. The next thing is to seek legal guidance from a lawyer who has established a practice by successfully defending people facing sex crime accusations. You should also collect and preserve all proof that can help support your defense strategy.

Mugshot of man in suit at police station. accused of a sex crime

Knowing your rights as an accused person can keep you from saying or doing something that may worsen your situation. Be sure to adhere to all court orders and relevant legal procedures to prevent legal issues in the future. You should also treat the details of your case with a high level of confidentiality.

Contact Keller Criminal Defense Attorneys at (952) 913-1421 if you or a loved one has been accused of a sex crime in Minnesota. Our seasoned sex crime attorneys are available for a free consultation and prepared to defend you aggressively.

Know Your Rights

Getting accused of a sex crime can be frightening. Fortunately, laws at the federal and state levels include constitutional rights to guarantee you fair treatment at every stage of the criminal defense process. These rights include:

Remaining Silent

It is unlawful for law enforcement officers to force you to testify against yourself in a criminal matter. Assert your right to stay silent when faced with a sex crime accusation. Politely turn down attempts to interrogate or get self-implicating information from you.

Any communication between you and an investigating police officer is an opportunity for the officer to put together a case against you. Inconsistencies about your whereabouts at the time of the criminal incident may be construed as cover-up efforts.

Obtaining Legal Representation

You have a right to receive legal support from a lawyer to build your defense. So, it is essential to find out how much sex crime defense will cost you. If you do not have enough money to pay private counsel, you will be entitled to a public defendant – a lawyer on the government payroll appointed by a judge to represent criminal defendants. Whether you work with a private counsel or a public defendant, you are entitled to fair and sufficient representation.

Confronting the Accuser

You have a right to confront the alleged victim in a criminal trial. This right allows you to meet face-to-face with your accuser in court and question the accuser’s testimony. Your lawyer can help you examine the accuser and other prosecution witness and highlight contradictions in their testimony.

The Confrontation Clause outlined in the 6th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects you from getting convicted based on written or oral hearsay testimonies. Generally, witnesses must testify in person before a jury or judge. This requirement allows the judge or jury to watch the witnesses when testifying, gauge the reliability of their testimony, and determine whether the accused is guilty or innocent.

A Trial by Jury

You have a right to a jury trial after getting accused of a sex crime in Minnesota. Your lawyer will participate in the jury selection process to ensure the jury panel has competent, impartial, and compassionate members. The lawyer may, for instance, use peremptory challenges to get rid of potential jurors that the lawyer feels may be biased or unconcerned with your situation.

A unanimous jury verdict is necessary for a guilty conviction. You will be set free if the jury verdict is not unanimous and the prosecution chooses not to retry your case. Your lawyer can present evidence and arguments that increase the chances of convincing at least one juror that there is sufficient doubt regarding your guilt.

Steps to Take if You Are Accused of a Sex Crime

Taking the right steps after getting accused of a sex crime can improve the odds of protecting yourself and obtaining the best result in your case. Effective steps to take include:

Know the Seriousness of the Situation

Knowing the repercussions of facing a sex crime accusation can enable you to take the necessary steps to improve your situation. Police officers, prosecutors, and the public treat sex crimes with seriousness.

A sexual misconduct allegation is enough to make you lose your job and reputation in the society. A conviction can result in harsh legal consequences, such as jail or prison time, huge fines, and compulsory sex offender registration.

Start Working With a Defense Attorney Right Away

Get a knowledgeable sex crime attorney involved shortly after you are accused of a sex crime. Hiring an attorney does not imply you are guilty. Instead, it shows you are attempting to protect your legal and constitutional rights.

Your attorney will carefully go through your case and create a defense strategy that addresses all legal issues. The professional advice and support of your attorney can help you overcome the scary and strange experiences associated with sexual misconduct accusations.

Compile and Preserve Helpful Evidence

Document as many details about the alleged sex crime incident as possible. Do not leave out any evidence, no matter how insignificant it seems. Leave the task of determining what is relevant to the defense strategy to your attorney.

Details you need to record include names and contact information of people who could corroborate your alibi or testify in your favor. Be sure to collect and preserve tangible evidence, such as emails, receipts, and pictures, which could prove your innocence.

Sometimes, the sex crime accusations may be false and from someone trying to get even with you. Maybe it is a bitter ex-spouse trying to win a child custody case by falsely accusing you of a sex crime. Notify your attorney of such suspicions and submit any supporting evidence.

Treat the Details of Your Case With Confidentiality

Do not share the details of your case with anyone. That applies to your friends, coworkers, employers, law enforcement officers, and even the media. Prosecutors can compel anyone with information that may help support their case to testify or record a statement.

No law requires you to record statements with police or investigators. Tell any officer or investigator trying to obtain information about your case from you to liaise with your defense attorney.

Not talking about your case includes avoiding trying to deny that you engaged in sexual misconduct. Prosecutors can find ways to misinterpret such statements and use them against you.

You should also avoid sending information regarding your alleged sex crime via the Internet. Investigative authorities will be monitoring your online activities and can get a hold of information that you send via emails, social media, and online messaging options.

Resist the Temptation to Contact Your Accuser

It is natural to want to call your accuser to try to resolve the matter, especially if the accusations are false. Doing that, however, can make things worse for you. Once you are accused or under a sex crime investigation, you should know that investigating officers are closely watching your moves.

Your communication with the accuser or a witness might be mistaken as an attempt to meddle with the investigation or cover up the offense. It may also be seen as an effort to scare the other party to discourage that party from cooperating with the police or prosecutors.

Investigating officers may have the accuser or the accuser’s family member call you to trick you into confessing or apologizing. The officers will use either a confession or apology to strengthen their case against you. So, avoid contact with your accuser and anyone within the accuser’s circles.

Comply With Legal Procedures and Court Orders

Sex crime cases in Minnesota have legal procedures that accused persons must follow to the letter to avoid problems down the line. The court may also issue orders that alleged offenders must observe strictly.

The court may, for instance, issue an order for protection if the accuser is your spouse, partner, or family member. It may also issue a harassment restraining order if the alleged victim accuses you of stalking or harassment.

How Your Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help You?

About 31% of people serving time in Minnesota correctional facilities by July 1, 2020 were sex offenders. This figure shows the value of taking sex crime accusations seriously. The most effective way to fight sex crime accusations and maximize your odds of obtaining a desirable result is to hire an experienced sex crime defense attorney. The main criminal defense attorney responsibilities include building a solid defense, protecting your rights, and fighting for your best interests.

Guiding You through the Legal System and Processes of Sex Crimes

An attorney who handles sex crime accusations regularly knows the legal system and processes associated with these cases. The attorney can guide you through the statutes, legal punishments, and collateral effects related to the accusation you are facing. Of course, your attorney will need to carefully examine the details of your charge to guide you from an informed position.

Represent You During Law Enforcement Interrogations

Anything you tell the police or prosecutors can be used to arrest, charge, and convict you. So, talk to your attorney before telling these officers anything regarding your case.

A knowledgeable sex crime attorney can help you determine the right time to talk to law enforcement, explain what will work in your favor when recording statements, and be physically present during the interrogation. The attorney will also guide you on what to do if you are accused of a crime, but not charged.

Negotiating Favorable Plea Deals

Some sex crime cases can attain the best possible outcome through plea deal bargains with the prosecution. Your attorney can determine whether negotiating a plea deal is the best option for your situation based on the evidence and information the prosecution has against you. The attorney can leverage his or her negotiation expertise to get you the best plea deal.

Your attorney knows the sentencing options applicable to sex crime cases in Minnesota. The attorney is also aware of the possible legal and collateral consequences of each of the options. As such, your attorney can aggressively advocate for alternative sentencing options that may create a win-win situation for you and the prosecutor. These options include undergoing probation, offering community service, and enrolling in rehabilitation programs.

Developing and Executing a Strong Defense Strategy

Your attorney will create a winning defense strategy. Established criminal defense attorneys have adequate financial and human resources to conduct investigations and identify facts and evidence to support your defense strategy.

They often use effective discovery strategies to determine the nature and strength of evidence in the hands of the prosecutors. They then investigate the prosecution witnesses and gather information to help them challenge their credibility. They may choose to depose these witnesses if necessary.

In the event of a trial, defense attorneys will skillfully cross-examine the prosecution’s witnesses to uncover any contradictions or flaws in their testimony. The goal is to challenge their credibility and deconstruct the prosecution’s case or at least weaken it.

Sex crime attorneys may also work with expert witnesses, especially if your case has insufficient physical evidence. A psychologist, for instance, may perform evaluations and testify on the accuser’s mental health status that may have impacted his or her conduct or statements.

The prosecution has the burden to demonstrate beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed the alleged sex crime. As such, introducing reasonable doubt in the prosecution’s case may be part of your defense strategy. Your attorney can admit evidence-backed arguments that raise doubts regarding your participation in the alleged crime.

Keller Criminal Defense Attorneys can offer the necessary representation to obtain the best possible outcome if you have been accused of a sex crime. Take advantage of our free initial consultations to gain valuable insights about your case. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our sex crime defense attorneys.

Max Keller has won countless jury trial cases involving misdemeanors and felonies, sex crimes, and DWI’s. He is a member of the Minnesota Society for Criminal Justice, which only allows the top 50 criminal defense attorneys in the state as members. Max is a frequent speaker at CLE’s and is often asked for advice by other defense attorneys across Minnesota.

Years of Experience: Approx. 20 years
Minnesota Registration Status: Active
Bar & Court Admissions: State of Minnesota Minnesota State Court Minnesota Federal Court 8th Circuit Federal Court of Appeals State of Maryland

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