Do Most Of These Cases End Up Going To Trial?
Typically most sex crime cases do not end up going to trial. In general, probably about 90% of criminal cases settle or are handled without a trial. The California Penal Code is filled with many different charges and sex crimes are no exception.
There are various tools and ways that a prosecutor can really stack the deck against someone, but it cuts both ways. An overzealous prosecutor may stack the deck by way of charges to enhance the bail against someone, or they can really try to maximize as much punishment as possible by way of jail, state prison or otherwise, for fear that is placed within the alleged suspect or the defendant’s mind.
If the accused did go to trial and lost, they could be looking at a substantial amount of custody time. Oftentimes they would simply settle that, although if the prosecutor stacked the deck too much and became too rigid in their approach and were doing so to ensure a conviction and to maximize punishment, then there would be no other choice.
These cases do settle most of the time. Certain tools can be used to try to facilitate preparation for trial, such as psychological experts and assessments. The Static-99 report talks about a person’s likelihood to engage in these types of acts or the recidivism. These types of reports and experts can assist in having the case proceed to trial.
For sex crimes in particular, all of these things are typically done very early on to try to alleviate the stress on the alleged victim, the stress and emotional strain on the suspect or the defendant and to really try to analyze the truth of the case right from the beginning. When this cannot be done, the case would have to go to trial.
Overzealous Law Enforcement Can Sometimes Complicate Cases
Internet cases are problematic because then we really start looking into people’s intent even when there is no activity or no action. This would not necessarily refer to child pornography per se, but even in a fantasy world or in a chat room when someone thinks they are talking to a 14-year-old.
There is an interesting distinction there when we get into the intricacies of these types of cases, because when we talk about the term “child”, we need to see if we were talking about someone who is 17 or someone who is 6. There is a big difference there although the law does not necessarily always have the tools to protect from that.
Sometimes overzealous law enforcement really push those limits as close as possible, so there might be law enforcement officers posing as 14-year-olds. The person would look at the photograph of a girl and lo and behold, it would be a female undercover officer from when she was 17 but in the chat, she would be telling the person she is 14.
I really have a problem with that and I have handled cases that are right on point with things like that.
I have also handled cases that stuck with me. As a parent, it is very concerning because I have kids who are about to become teenagers and the idea of sexting and sharing naked photographs among adolescents is extremely dangerous because of the implications of having someone be termed a registered sex offender for the rest of their life.
These are things we did not have to deal with when we were younger. In the old days, kids were curious and they wrote notes and did certain things, whereas nowadays, kids can just put it in writing or they can make comments about it and send it over the internet and it will be there forever.
I have been involved in cases that were just astounding, because of the fallout and detriment this can bring when young, over aggressive prosecutors who do not have that real world experience. They are 20-somethings coming out of law school who think that everything that is charged is the crime of the century, because a supervisor tells them so.
This is just not right and that is really where my passion comes in to aggressively represent those types of cases because the person may be getting labeled unfairly. It could destroy their future over something that at the time may have seemed very innocent.
Other Important Information About Sex Crimes
It is important to have an attorney right from the beginning, because they are be able to protect an individual’s interest and try to build a defense right from the get go.
Another thing people could be preparing for and protecting is the necessity that may come up at some point related to bail. By negotiating or presenting information to the prosecutor that whatever allegations were being made may not be truthful, or they may not be as severe as indicated, then if a decision to file charges is still made, it may mitigate those charges and it may take a case from a felony to a misdemeanor. It may change the number of charges a person is accused of.
This can have an effect on what type of bail may need to be posted, if at all. Cooperation with law enforcement to surrender and arrangements can be made ahead of time to make sure that if the person does get arrested, they can post bail right away.
The best decision someone can make in these cases is to hire an attorney as soon as they know there has been some sort of allegation.
For more information on Dealing With Sex Crimes In Court, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you’re seeking by calling (626) 784-4143 today.