Sexual Misconduct Investigations
- Police Investigations of Sex Offenses
- Child Protective Services Investigations
- Family Law for Those Accused of Sex Crimes
- Protection Orders and Restraining Orders
- What if You’re Guilty?
To be accused of a sex offense is every person’s worst nightmare. Clients tell us all the time that they would rather be accused of murder. Before they talk to us they assume that the fact they have been accused means their life is over. They assume that there is no way to fight back or prove the truth. At the Meryhew Law Group we know that all is not lost, and there is plenty we can do to help our clients fight sexual misconduct allegations and every reason to not give up hope.
A careful and methodical approach to these allegations is critical. First, we have to figure out who is doing the investigating. Sexual misconduct allegations can be investigated by a variety of agencies, law enforcement and social services, often at the same time. The most important and concerning investigation is of course the Police investigation - the one that can cost you your liberty and your future. If you are a suspect in a sexual misconduct investigation it is important to keep this investigation primary in how you respond to other investigators that may approach you. Before you talk to a counselor or a Pastor or to any investigator, talk to an experienced sex offense defense attorney.
Should you talk to the Police? Never if you are alone and not prepared for the conversation. Many lawyers will tell you to always refuse to talk to the police and to just wait out any investigation. We believe that is sometimes a poor choice and almost insures the person will fact a very serious charge in court. At the Meryhew Law Group our attorneys believe that there are times when a much more proactive approach makes sense. And that proactive approach can lead to a successful outcome to the investigation.
Our lawyers would agree that a person suspected of sexual misconduct should never give a statement to the police by themselves, period. There are too many ways that this interview can be used against you even if you are not guilty. But there are times when it makes sense to talk to the police after you have been fully prepared by your attorney. At the Meryhew Law Group we have a proven method of vetting our clients before considering a police interview, and in preparing them for that interview when it makes sense to do one.
Sometimes we will refer our client for a specific issue polygraph exam when we know what the allegations are in some detail. While this is not admissible in a trial, police agencies routinely use polygraph examinations in their investigations and usually will consider a well-done polygraph examination supported by the actual charts used by the examiner. The polygraph will not stop an investigation by itself typically, but it will often cause the investigators to look more closely and ask more questions in their investigation. At the Meryhew Law Group we work with a select group of highly regarded polygraph examiners whose results consistently pass peer review. Their conclusions and their examination reports are evidence that the police and Prosecutors will often respect.
Child Protective Services investigators are often conducted along with criminal investigations, but the investigation has a different focus—did a parent or guardian abuse or neglect a child? These investigations have a different standard of proof and much more relaxed investigation guidelines. Be very careful about talking to the Child Protective Services investigator about any allegations if you a suspect in a sexual misconduct investigation of any type.
Sexual misconduct allegations are often seen in the middle of contentious divorces and custody battles. At the Meryhew Law Group our attorneys work regularly with Family Law attorneys who represent our clients in dissolution, custody and parenting plans, protection order and other family law matters. We can help our clients find counsel who will actually advocate for them, rather than allowing their case to languish. And we work closely with those attorneys to make sure that the Family Law filings do not implicate or affect the criminal case.
Whether you did something wrong that the authorities can now prove, or whether you are falsely accused and fighting for your life, an intelligent and thoughtful response during the investigation of the allegations can make a huge difference to the ultimate outcome of the case. Other lawyers will tell you to call them when the notice of the court date comes in the mail. At the Meryhew Law Group we know this passive response is not always the best response. Call us today for a free initial consultation.