If you or a loved one have been charged with a sex crime in Virginia, you may not know where to begin or what to expect. The criminal attorneys of Robinson Law have years of experience defending the rights of those who have been charged with sex crimes, such as aggravated sexual battery, indecent exposure, rape and possessing child pornography. The penalties for sex crime convictions in Virginia vary but may involve heavy jail time, fines and a permanent spot on the sex offender registry.I’m Under Investigation for a Sex Crime in Virginia – Do I Need a Lawyer?
If you’ve been accused of any kind of sexual assault, you’re probably in a tailspin right now. It feels like you’ve been hit by a ton of bricks, and you’re in a panic about how to defend yourself. It is precisely at this time that you need to consult with an attorney about what you’re facing, what comes next, and how to protect yourself and build a defense that could save your liberty and livelihood.What Do I Do First?
The best thing to do is to remain silent! Your first instinct might be to launch into a lengthy defense of yourself to friends and family, to try and smooth things over and calm everybody down, but that could quickly turn against you. You know how police advise people that “you have the right to remain silent and everything you say can and will be used against you”? They’re not kidding! Everything you say will be used against you, whether it’s to a police officer, a friend, or a family member. A prosecutor who believes you are guilty will twist every single statement you make into some signal of guilt. Maybe you defend yourself too vigorously, or maybe you supply details that “only a guilty person would know.” If you make an apology to somebody just to try and calm them down, that will be used as evidence of a guilty conscience. If you misremember something, when it’s later proven to be untrue, you’ll be made out to be a liar. You have the right to remain silent – use it!But I’m Innocent, Don’t Innocent People Have Nothing to Hide?
It is particularly important to remain silent if you are innocent. Our Founding Fathers and drafters of the Constitution made sure that we have the right to remain silent so that the innocent are protected from the government’s overwhelming power. There are hundreds of documented cases of individuals being falsely convicted based solely on their statements and likely thousands more instances that are undocumented. Michael Morton spent 24 years in prison for murdering his wife because he had told investigators they had an argument the day before, until DNA evidence later proved he didn’t do it. Four United States Navy enlisted men in Norfolk, Virginia, known as the “Norfolk Four,” confessed to killing a woman who lived in their building until DNA evidence later proved they didn’t do it. But DNA evidence isn’t available in every case to prove that a person didn’t commit a crime, so it is important that you not give the police any more evidence to use against you than they might already have.Is the Police Officer Going to Arrest Me If I Don’t Talk to Them?
If you don’t speak with the police they may arrest you; however, what’s most important to remember is that you can’t talk yourself out of an arrest; you can only talk yourself into one. If the police officer is planning to arrest you, then he or she will do that no matter what, and talking to them is not going to change their mind. You will only put yourself in a position to hurt yourself. Rather than talk to the police, you should immediately ask to speak with a criminal defense lawyer.
How Can an Attorney Help in a Virginia Sex Case?
If you’ve been contacted by a police officer, immediately tell them that you will not talk to them without a lawyer. You must be very clear on this, so you can even keep it simple by saying simply, “I want a lawyer.” This cannot be used against you and does not mean that you’re guilty. All it means is that you don’t want to be tricked by somebody who wants to put you in jail. The police officer might try to calm you down and make it seem like they have nothing against you, that they “just want to clear some things up,” or that they “just want your side of the story.” If the officer is truly just looking for information, then a lawyer can help relay that information to the police officer. However, almost all of the time, the police officer thinks that you’ve done something wrong and wants you to admit doing part or all of what they think you did.
If you haven’t talked to the police officer yet, then an attorney will take all of the pressure off of you. The police officer can’t try to talk to you if you have an attorney. If the police officer is truly just looking for information, then the attorney can help give that information to the police officer. If the police officer doesn’t have enough evidence to arrest you, then the attorney will be able to figure that out from the police officer. If the police do have enough evidence to make an arrest, then an attorney can work with the police officer to make sure that you’re not dragged out of the house in the middle of the night. Hiring an attorney right away also boosts your chances of getting a bond quickly so that you don’t have to spend an extended period of time in jail. The four most important words to remember when a police officer tries to talk to you are “I WANT A LAWYER!”
At Robinson Law, PLLC, we aggressively defend clients facing all types of sex crimes, including:
- Statutory rape,
- Possession, distribution and manufacturing of child pornography,
- Indecent liberties,
- Sexual battery,
- Child sex crimes,
- Indecent exposure, and
- Sex trafficking.
We also handle cases in both state and federal courts. So, regardless of the nature of the allegations you face, the court where you were charged, or the evidence in the prosecution’s file, Robinson Law, PLLC can help develop a compelling defense to the charges you face.Are You Charged with a Virginia Sex Crime?
If you have recently been charged with a sex crime in Virginia state court or federal court, the dedicated criminal defense attorneys at Robinson Law, PLLC are here to help. We are immediately available to meet with you to begin working on a strong defense that will ensure your arrest has as little impact on your future as possible. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation, call (888) 259-9787. You can also connect with us through our online form.