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What Is the Role of a Defense Attorney in Child Sex Crime Cases?

Posted on May 26, 2023 in Sex Crimes

Sex crimes against children are taken extremely seriously in the State of Arizona. If you find yourself accused of a sex crime involving a minor, it is imperative to hire an attorney as soon as possible to protect your rights. A Phoenix sex crime defense attorney can defend you against these life-altering charges, fighting for your rights and pursuing a positive case outcome.

Navigating Legal Procedures

You can trust an attorney to take care of legal processes and procedures for you. You will not have to navigate the complicated criminal justice system alone. Your lawyer will attend all hearings and court dates on your behalf, as well as communicate with the other side of your case (the prosecution), when necessary. Your attorney can submit motions and subpoenas to try to have the case against you dismissed, for example, such as exerting an expired statute of limitations. This is a law that gives a specific amount of time in which the government must bring criminal charges.

Protecting Your Rights

From the beginning to the end of the legal process, your attorney can preserve your rights as a defendant. Your lawyer will be one of the only parties involved in your case that is concerned with how you are treated. Your lawyer will be your advocate for fair and lawful treatment while you are detained, including being present during law enforcement interrogations to help you avoid accidental self-incrimination or a coerced confession.

Reducing the Charges and Penalties

It may be possible for your criminal defense attorney to negotiate with the prosecution to reduce the charges that have been brought against you, such as arguing a child sexual abuse charge down to indecent exposure. In some cases, it is possible to bring a felony charge down to a misdemeanor. A satisfactory plea deal can lead to lessened penalties.

Litigating Your Case in Court

If your attorney believes pleading not guilty and going to court is in your best interest, he or she will provide zealous litigation during your court trial. Your criminal defense attorney will understand how the court system works and have a history with the judges and court workers in your county. Your lawyer will gather evidence to support your defense, work to poke holes in the prosecution’s case, hire experts to provide counter-testimony to the prosecutor’s experts and aim to prove that the prosecution has not met the burden of “proof beyond a reasonable doubt” to convict you of a child sex crime.

Defending You With Smart Legal Strategies

The strength of your defense is all that stands between you and a child sex crime conviction, along with significant penalties associated with this crime, such as jail time and registration on the Arizona Sex Offender List. Your attorney will carefully analyze your case and investigate the circumstances to craft the best defense strategy possible. Using facts such as the prosecutor’s evidence against you and your criminal history, your attorney will select the ideal defense for you. 

Examples include:

  • Wrong defendant or mistaken identity
  • False accusation
  • No crime or sexual misconduct occurred
  • Honest and reasonable belief that the minor was an adult
  • Insufficient evidence
  • Illegal search and seizure
  • Police misconduct
  • Expired statute of limitations

Depending on the circumstances, it may also be possible to use Arizona’s Romeo and Juliet law as a defense. This law permits consensual sex acts between two partners between the ages of 15 and 19, as long as they are not more than two years apart. Having an aggressive criminal defense attorney by your side can help you successfully navigate a complex child sex crime case. It may be possible to achieve case dismissal, a plea deal or acquittal with a skilled attorney fighting on your behalf.