If you believe that you may face felony charges for a sex crime it is truly terrifying. The anxiety is even worse, of course, if you are already charged with sexual assault. The category of sexual assault includes more than just rape. In fact, the vast majority of sexual assault crimes do not involve coerced sexual intercourse by a stranger (i.e. "rape"). Rather, under Wisconsin law,sexual assault includes: first degree sexual assault of a child, exposing a sex organ to a child, possession of child pornography, and so forth. If you believe that you are the target of such an investigation your best bet is to immediately contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer. However, the following description of how police investigate sex crimes may assist you in not making your already difficult situation even worse. These suggestions are not intended to be an instruction booklet on how to get away with a sex crime. The surest way to avoid being convicted of a sex crime is to avoid committing such crimes. However, if the crime has already been committed, you may avoid making your situation even worse by understanding how police investigate claims of sexual assault.
1.Do not talk to anyone about the situation and especially do not take any telephone calls from a person who may be a victim. As you might imagine, sex crimes are difficult for law enforcement to investigate and they are difficult for the state to prove. Therefore, best source of evidence is the suspect himself. When a potential victim comes into a police station and reports that he or she was the victim of a sexual assault the first method of investigation that the police will frequently use is the recorded telephone call to the suspect. That is, before the suspect even knows that he is under investigation, the police will urge the victim to call the suspect and to attempt to get the suspect to talk about the offense or, worse, to admit to the offense. Typically, the victim will tell the suspect that she is having problems about "what happened" and wants to know what the suspect plans to do about it. She will say that she really needs to "talk to someone" about what happened. The point of this, of course, is to urge the suspect to talk with her about what happened rather than to have the victim talk to a professional. Do not take any such calls.
2. If a computer has been used in the commission of the offense you must destroy it. When the investigation includes suspicion of possessing child pornography the police will alway seize the suspect's computer. Although it is against the law to lie to police there is no law that requires you to assist the police in collecting evidence against you. If a computer was used in the commission of the offense you must totally destroy it. They are looking for emails, pictures, web searches, and similar sorts of evidence that may connect you to the victim. Even though you delete such items forensic computer experts are able to examine the computer's hard drive and, in many cases, they will be able to reconstruct deleted information. You should also be aware that even if you have not downloaded child pornography your computer's web cache may contain temporary images automatically downloaded from such web sites. Case law has held that this amounts to possession of child pornography. Of course, the fact that you destroyed your computer for no apparent reason raises suspicion and it may even be admissible evidence at trial if you are charged. However, in balance, it is better to be suspected of destroying evidence than it is to allow the police to seize the evidence and remove all doubt.
3. Do not submit to a police interrogation. Police detectives are highly skilled and they are relentless in interrogating persons suspected of sexual assault. Do not submit to an interrogation- especially if you are innocent. Recent studies have shown a high incidence of false confessions in sexual assault cases. The researchers hypothesize that this is because suspects are led to believe that if they simply tell what happened the whole affair may be handled quietly but if the suspect refuses to answer questions there will be a very public investigation. Do not fall for this tactic. A very public investigation that results in no charges is far better than a very public prosecution, with a confession, that results in a very public conviction. Do not just tell the police that you choose to remain silent. The law permits them to attempt to persuade you to talk. Rather, tell the police that you will not talk without your lawyer. Under those circumstances the law requires the police to cease all questioning until the suspect has been provided counsel.
Milwaukee criminal defense attorney Jeffrey W. Jensen, of the Law Offices of Jeffrey W. Jensen, a Milwaukee law firm with offices located at 735 W. Wisconsin Avenue, Twelfth Floor, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, has represented persons throughout the State of Wisconsin. If you will face felony charges in either state court or in federal court you should call 414.224.9484. Attorney Jensen regularly appears in Milwaukee County (Milwaukee criminal defense lawyer), Waukesha County (Waukesha criminal defense lawyer, Brookfield criminal defense lawyer), Washington County (West Bend and Germantown criminal defense lawyer), Racine County (Racine criminal defense lawyer), Kenosha County (Kenosha criminal defense lawyer), Brown County (Green Bay criminal defense lawyer), Fond du Lac County (Fond du Lac criminal defense lawyer), and Winnebago County (Oshkosh criminal defense lawyer)
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