If you are charged with a sexual assault your entire life hangs in the balance. The laws regarding these offenses become harsher every legislative session. The rules of evidence are now relaxed in order to facilitate easier prosecution of these cases – as opposed to every other type of criminal charge. The laws regarding punishment are also the exception to the rule. Probation is being limited or eliminated for many convicted of these offenses. In the past, many defendants would plead guilty in order to receive probation and avoid the frightful possibility of being sent to the Texas Department of Corrections. Often justifiably frightened citizens will opt for the bird in the hand of probation in order to avoid even the possibility of prison – in spite of the fact that they professed their innocence. The presumption of innocence, one of our Constitutional birthrights, has been eviscerated in these types of cases. There are many who refuse to believe that anyone – especially a child – could make a false accusation. The experts employed by the State unfortunately often believe these very same ideas.
Sex Offender registration is required as a condition of conviction – even if you avoid prison. These registration and reporting requirements will often prevent you from getting a job, living in any decent community or even be anywhere in the vicinity of children. The majority of the time these requirements will hound you for the rest of your life. They are a prescription for failure. Many who were on probation or who served their time, are returned to prison for the slightest violation of what are often impossible requirements to follow.
You need to hire an attorney who is familiar with how the prosecution thinks, acts and prepares their cases and witnesses. You need to be ready for combat, and have someone you trust to champion your cause.
You need someone who stays current with the law, science and litigation tactics in these cases. Medical and psychological expertise can often be the difference in dissecting the states case, or in building a stout defense. Simply knowing the experts who might be able to aid your case is often the difference between winning and losing.
You will need a lawyer who knows the rules better than their opponent. Frequently, the prosecutors will not reveal evidence damaging to their case. You need someone who knows where to look for this evidence and how to demand that they follow the law in revealing any evidence, which may indicate the defendant’s innocence, or, just as importantly, which could undermine any of the states evidence or witnesses. Unfortunately, too many prosecutors are not familiar with their lawful obligations under the Constitution, case law, and rules of evidence and state bar rules regulating all attorney conduct.
Make yourself an informed consumer when you are forced to undertake a defense of your life.