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What to do when you are facing a sex crime investigation

Know what to do when the police come to your house asking questions can save you from going to jail.
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    December 06, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Knock knock. Who's there? The police, and we have a few questions.

Believe it or not, this is among the earliest, and most critical, steps to the typical sex crime investigation. It catches most people off guard, which is precisely the intent of the investigators.

Those who do not exercise their right to remain silent when the authorities come calling can unwittingly provide damning statements against their own interests. Are you prepared?

The police are not your friends. Do not give them a statement.

These days, sex crime investigations can be initiated against a person for many reasons. It could start with an adult filing a police report about a sexual assault, or a child making a questionable statement about sexual abuse to a teacher or doctor. An investigation can even start based on someone's internet conduct. For example, one popular police tactic involves posing as a minor or a prostitute in an online forum and then following up on anyone who makes potentially incriminating remarks. The authorities may track an IP address to a certain computer network, or discover that a certain email account is sending incriminating digital media.

Regardless of why the investigation is launched, the initial information alone is often not enough to secure a conviction. It must be confirmed and corroborated with other evidence. This is where more old-fashioned police work comes into play.

When officers call or visit at your home, do not misinterpret this as a fishing expedition because they lack sufficient evidence for an arrest. On the contrary, there are several law enforcement advantages to conducting an informal interview before making an arrest.

Once you are taken into police custody, you must be read your rights prior to being questioned; not so when you are voluntarily speaking in your own home. You may also feel more comfortable opening up in your home than in some authoritarian atmosphere. Gathered in your living room, perhaps sipping a hot drink, it can be easier for officers to convince you that they are only trying to "straighten things out" and get your side of the story, or that you can make things easier on yourself by being cooperative.

Police officers have a job to do, and it's a tough one. When a police officer asks you for a statement, he or she only has one motivation: to gather evidence against you. So, if you give them a statement, you are only helping them, not yourself. Exercise your constitutional right to remain silent. You can always give a statement later if deemed appropriate by your attorney.

Decline to comment, and get in touch with an attorney immediately

President Calvin Coolidge once said, "I have noticed that nothing I have never said ever did me any harm." Nearly a hundred years later, Silent Cal's sage advice still rings true. If police officers come to you for a statement, say nothing. Greet them, identify yourself, and politely -- but firmly -- insist that you never discuss legal matter without your attorney present. Ask them for a business card and tell them that your attorney will be in touch within a few days.

If you have already spoken to the police, it can be difficult to amend or correct a statement Whether your case can be salvaged will be determined by your attorney. If you are being investigated for a sex crime, do not answer any questions, and get in touch with a criminal defense attorney today.

Article provided by Nelson Criminal Defense & Appeals, P.L.L.C.
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