Avvo Rating badge
NACDL badge
Expertise badge
Avvo Rating badge
Expertise Best Criminal Defense Attorneys in St. Petersburg
The National Trial Lawyers Top 100

Pre-filing of Sex Charges

If you have been recently arrested, or you have been made aware that you could be the subject of a pending sex charge investigation by law enforcement it is critical that you call the Criminal Defense Group immediately.

Even if a law enforcement officer arrests you for a sex offense, that arrest does not mean that formal charges will necessarily be filed against you. The same holds true if you are under investigation by law enforcement. Any time there is a question as to whether formal charges should be filed, the State Attorney’s Office will review the evidence and ultimately make a filing decision. A suspect may have his or her charges aggravated, reduced, or dropped by the State Attorney’s Office prior to a formal filing decision.

Many times we have convinced law enforcement and the State Attorney’s Office not to pursue sex charges against our clients before they were formally filed. We accomplish this by collecting evidence that explains your position, and casts doubt on the credibility of the victim’s story. Collecting information about the motivations of the victim becomes vital to any sex charge investigation. For instance, there may be witnesses or other physical evidence (polygraph) that exonerates you. Presenting this evidence in the proper way can cause the victim to lose credibility in the State Attorney’s eyes, and eventually lead to a dismissal of the charges.

Because of the sensitive nature of these charges, it is crucial to approach this investigation in the right way. Whether it is uncovering information about the victim or submitting to a polygraph examination it is essential that we act decisively. It is also critical that you not agree to submit to law enforcement’s polygraph, unless you have consulted an experienced attorney in this area.

Representing a client before a sex charge has been filed allows the defense attorney to present evidence to the State Attorney before the formal process of prosecution begins. A preliminary investigation could lead to a dismissal of the charge or the charge could be amended to something totally unrelated to a sex allegation. That does not mean that criminal charges cannot be dismissed or reduced after a formal filing; however, a proactive approach could stop the criminal process before it starts.

Your Cooperation with Law Enforcement

While most attorneys would prefer their clients not discuss the allegations that surround their charges with police, we realize that most people have already conferred with law enforcement before they have contacted our office. The statements that you have offered police may be helpful, and cooperating with police can be beneficial. However, you should also be aware that if your statements were coerced or made under circumstances that violate your Miranda Rights we will file the necessary motions to suppress those statements.

If you have not discussed the facts of your case with law enforcement please be aware of the following information. Many sex offenses carry a prison sentence, so it is imperative that you avoid speaking with law enforcement without an attorney. This is also crucial because the criminal suspect or defendant is not in a position to speak to law enforcement or the prosecutor’s office. If you agree to speak to law enforcement it will generally be after you have waived your Miranda rights. Your statements will many times be used against you in court, and you will rarely agree with the officer’s version of your statement.

Anyone who speaks with law enforcement prior to retaining an attorney obviously runs a tremendous risk of damaging his or her case severely. That is why it is extremely important to call the law offices of the Criminal Defense Group immediately if you have been arrested or you have become aware that you are the suspect of any type of sex allegation.