Psychosexual Evaluations

One effective tool in the representation of those accused of sexual misconduct is the psychosexual evaluation (PSE), sometimes referred to as a sexual deviancy evaluation. At the Meryhew Law Group we have extensive experience preparing our client’s to participate in these evaluations and a strong track record of favorable outcomes. The goal of the evaluation is typically to establish that a client is a low risk to the community and are either not in need of treatment or amenable to treatment, and likely to succeed at treatment. This, in turn, can significantly improve our ability to negotiate a favorable outcome for our clients.

What is a Psychosexual Evaluation?

Specially trained mental health professionals conduct psychosexual evaluations in order to determine a client’s need for and amenability to specialized sex offender treatment. The evaluator will determine the client’s risk to reoffend sexually in the community and develop an appropriate treatment plan. PSEs are an important tool in the representation of those accused of sexual misconduct, but they are also fraught with risk.

A PSE offers our attorneys an avenue to develop somewhat objective information that helps our client resolve their case, but an evaluation is not a strictly objective measure of a physical fact such as a blood test that yields a numerical result. A PSE is a subjective snapshot of our client’s beliefs and attitudes at a particular point in time.

How can the Psychosexual Evaluation Help in my Defense?

At the Meryhew Law Group we have learned that we cannot expect the government to make significant concessions for our clients unless we give them a good reason to do so. A PSE can be that good reason where it establishes the client’s low risk to the community, amenability to treatment, and likelihood of success in specialized sex offender treatment. Or, a PSE may enable us to establish that your client does not have a long history of offense behavior, and that the offense they’re charged with is an isolated event. There are many circumstances where a PSE might make a difference when representing a person accused of sexual misconduct, but the most common use is as an evaluation for persons who have admitted their offenses to at least some degree.

Polygraph Examination

An essential part of the psychosexual evaluation is a sexual history polygraph examination. This is intended to corroborate our client’s self-report of their history of sexual and offense behavior in the past.

Polygraph testing involves a structured interview during which trained examiners record several of an examinee's physiological processes. Following this interview, examiners review the charted record and form opinions about whether the examinee was non-deceptive or attempting deception when answering each of the relevant questions.

Polygraph examinations have not yet reached the level of scientific reliability to be admitted in a criminal trial, but they are used extensively and relied upon in conducting psychosexual evaluations. At the Meryhew Law Group we will prepare you to take the polygraph examination—not by helping you tell a better story or to beat the polygraph, but by helping you tell the truth and approach the polygraph with the right attitude. We work with only the best polygraph examiners, and we know they are appropriately trained in the use of their assessments and adhere to the applicable standards and ethical guidelines of their profession.

Psychological Testing

Another essential component of a psychosexual evaluation is a battery of psychological testing. Typically this involves several hours of test taking, and tests that focus on general psychological well being as well as tests specific to sexual issues. At the Meryhew Law Group we review the general nature and approach of these tests with our clients, and help them approach the testing with the right state of mind to insure a more accurate result.

Call the Meryhew Law Group Today for a Free Initial Consultation.

A favorable evaluation can make a critical difference for our clients, and an unfavorable evaluation can have a negative impact on the client’s future. At the Meryhew Law Group we have been leaders in developing methods to prepare our client’s for this critical evaluation and to significantly improve their chances of success in this process. Going into the process unprepared, and with the wrong evaluator, can lead to disaster.

If you have been accused of a sexual offense a psychosexual evaluation may be an important part of your defense. At the Meryhew Law Group we will work to prepare you for this process, and to help you get the best possible result. You don’t get to try again in you mess this up. Make sure you are prepared before you take this critical step in your defense. Call today for a free initial consultation to discuss how the Meryhew Law Group can help you.