What to do if accused – Carolina Rape Sex Offense Charges

Do you handle rape charges and sex offenses differently?  What to do if accused – Carolina Rape Sex Offense Charges

Bill Powers Criminal Defense Lawyers Charlotte NC

By John Landreth, Carolina Criminal Defense Lawyers

They’re just different.  Everyone knows allegations of rape or statutory rape or sex offenses and indecent liberties charges in South Carolina and North Carolina criminal court are serious.  A conviction for a felony criminal offense can result in life-changing consequences.

Sometimes it comes as a complete surprise.  You may be shocked to face an accusation of rape or some other inappropriate sexual conduct.  Your first reaction may be to talk with police, thinking it’ll all get cleared up.

“I didn’t know. . .” often isn’t a defense to things like statutory rape charges.   That’s true for certain types of illegal pornography cases or possession or distribution charges for exploitation of a minor.

What many people don’t realize prior to seeking legal representation from the criminal defense lawyers at our law firm, law enforcement often WAITS to call the person accused of criminal charges or seek a statement.

5th Amendment Right to Remain Silent - Carolina Criminal Defense Lawyers in Charlotte NC

The target of the investigation, the person who might eventually get arrested, taken to jail, and charged with rape or some other serious felony sex offense, may actually be the LAST person police call.

It’s a common mistake to talk to police without a criminal defense lawyer’s legal assistance.

People sometimes walk voluntarily into the lions den, not knowing what awaits them.  If you are sitting in an interview room, without legal representation from an experienced Carolina criminal defense lawyer, chances are the police already have the answers to their questions.

Chances are they’re not looking to “hear you side of the story.”  They want a confession.  It’s always easier to get an indictment with a voluntary confession when it comes to felony criminal charges in the Carolinas.

And whether you realize it or not, you are at a tremendous disadvantage.  The police and detectives who investigate felony criminal charges are very good at what they do.

What should I do if the police call me and want to talk about allegations of criminal charges?

Our law firm strongly recommends you politely decline.  Don’t engage in ANY conversation about what may or may not have happened.  The first rule in gathering information is this:  Get the person talking.

Don’t talk about criminal charges or what happened on the phone.  Don’t “just come on down to the station to talk.”  Politely, but firmly tell detectives and other law enforcement officers this:  “I’d like to speak with an attorney.”

“Contrary to what clients seeking legal representation are told, it’s NEVER a bad idea to seek legal advice.  It won’t look bad.  It won’t be worse for you.  We have rights for a reason.  You can’t be punished for asking for or talking to a lawyer.”  John Landreth

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You have a right to legal counsel.  You also have a right to remain silent.  Exercise both those rights if you’re facing Carolina criminal charges like trafficking in drugs, murder, manslaughter, rape, sex offense, and statutory rape.

Actually, it’s a good idea to assert your 5th Amendment Rights and the right to legal counsel in many, if not most, criminal investigations.

Those legal rights are protected in court.  Police cannot deny you the right or opportunity to seek legal counsel.  Miranda Rights or Miranda Warnings may apply if you were in custody and being asked questions.

Unfortunately, it’s not unusual for people to waive those rights, to voluntarily give a statement.  If that’s the case, things can get real serious, real fast, if you’re accused of a felony criminal charge like rape or statutory rape or sex offenses like indecent liberties with a minor.

MORE INFO:  3 Things to Do If Arrested

 

Don’t kid yourself.  It’s not like on TV.  When accused of a crime and the police want to talk, ask for a lawyer.  

If you think you can outsmart the police like they do on shows like Law and Order or one of the many CSI shows, that’s a tremendous mistake.  The law enforcement officers used to investigate both felony or misdemeanor criminal charges are very good at what they do.

You could say they are experts at getting information.  The best confession is a voluntary confession.  Police don’t need to worry much about Miranda Rights if you’re not under arrest and cooperating with the criminal investigation.

Detectives who handle rape charges, murder, manslaughter, and even robbery cases are specially trained in techniques to get people talking.  They’re also trained to recognize when people aren’t telling the truth.  They use body language, eye contact, and things they’ve learned from military-style “psych ops” to get people accused of crimes to give confessions.

 LEARN MORE: How important is good legal advice?

And here’s another thing you should know:  Police officers don’t have to tell the truth.  They are allowed to lie, to exaggerate, to act like they know more than they do.  They can tell you incorrect information.  They can pretend someone already “turned State’s evidence” or gave a statement against you.

That doesn’t mean they get to lie in court or make up evidence; but, it’s entirely legal to be dishonest with you about claiming to have evidence they don’t have.5th Amendment Criminal Defense Lawyers Charlotte NC

In obtaining a confession, police cannot use force or the threat of force or violence.  But, detectives are allowed to use psychological tricks to get confessions from people accused of crimes and “suspects.”

That includes the use of deceptive techniques and deception during interrogation.

  • In Frazier v. Cupp, a 1969 opinion by the Supreme Court (US) found it legal for police to tell a suspect a co-defendant confessed, even when he had not.
  • In the 1977 Oregon v. Mathiason opinion, the United States Supreme Court said it is permissible to tell the accused they had evidence of the crime, in that instance the criminal defendant’s finger-prints.

These types of cases are very serious.

Always, no matter what, the name of the charges, whether it’s rape, whether it’s a sexual assault, the first thing that we tell our clients to do is to call us.

Call us first, before you give a statement and before you go down to the station to talk.

john landreth South carolina attorney 803-325-5806

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We would encourage you not to have any contact with any officers, anyone from the state who would call you, want to take a statement.

Come to us first. Let us walk you through this process.

These charges are very serious. We want to know who the victim is, who is claiming that these actions took place, so that we can begin working to protect you.

Our job is to keep our clients safe, and to make sure that they are not doing anything that can be used at a potential trial or as evidence.

If you’ve been charged, give us a call.

More seriously, if they’re simply investigating, please call us, and we’d be happy to help.

Call NOW for free consultation and legal advice BEFORE talking to the police

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Carolina Criminal Defense Attorneys Bill Powers and John Landreth Rock Hill SC Lawyers

 

Do you handle rape charges and sex offenses differently? 1801O Landreth

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