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Child Sex Crime Investigation
The Texas criminal defense attorneys at the Law Office of David A. Breston have the skill, experience, and integrity needed to successfully defend clients charged with sex crimes. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you.
Texas Child Sex Crime Investigations
Normally, the first thing that happens when someone is accused is the following:
First the police are notified. Then the child and possibly his or her parent(s) make an initial report. In this report, the police are looking to make sure that a crime has been committed and that they have jurisdiction over the case. If they believe that a crime has been committed in their jurisdiction they will normally schedule an interview with the child with a forensic interviewer for Child Protective Services. In addition, the police will normally schedule a medical examination as soon as possible to see whether there is any physical evidence of abuse. Some Child Advocacy Centers or (CACs) have a medical clinic. Most of the time, there will not be evidence of penetrating trauma. But the medical examiner will probably testify that this does not mean abuse did not occur. In addition, the medical records may contain statements of the child as to where they were touched. Even though these statements are hearsay, they usually come into evidence at the trial because they are part of the medical records.
Then the child will be seen by an interviewer with Child Protective Services. Normally these interviews are video taped. Texas has Child Advocacy Centers or (CACs). These Child Advocacy Centers have trained forensic interviewers who normally conduct the interview. Normally, only the child and interviewer will be present for the interview. The interviews are supposed to be done in a non-leading way using non-suggestive techniques. After this interview, the child may be sent back to an investigator with the police department. The investigator may take another statement from the child.
After this initial investigation the police will normally take sworn statements from the Outcry Witness. Article 38.072 of the Code of Criminal Procedure allows the first person (who is 18 years of age or older) the child told about the allegations to testify in court. In addition, the police will normally take sworn statements from every person the child has discussed the allegations with.
After this part of the investigation, the police can then look for corroborative evidence. This is any evidence they think will prove the complainant is telling the truth. This evidence can include any of the following:
Telephone records, motel records, movies, books, magazines, letters, gift cards, lingerie, photographs, e-mails, school records of complainant showing changes in grades, unusual behavior in the person accused that they can document. Sometimes, the investigator may request a search warrant to search the home of the person accused. However, an investigator may try and search the home of the person accused without a search warrant. If someone who is in control of the home such the accuser’s wife will consent to the search, the police can search the home without a warrant.
Some police agencies in Texas will even have the child try and call the person accused while they are tape recording the conversation.
It is at this point that the person accused will be contacted by either law enforcement or CPS. After the police contact the person accused, they will take the information they have and see whether or not the District Attorney’s office will accept charges. If the district attorney is presented with more than one charge, they will normally accept the most serious and most recent charge. CPS is not a law enforcement agency. If they meet with someone who is under investigation, they can take their statement without having to read them their legal warnings. This is highly unadvisable. When the police meet with someone accused of this crime they will try and get a confession. If they can not get a confession, they will try and get other corroborative evidence. They may try and tell this person that they understand it was an accident and see what they say. In addition, the investigator will try and ask the person who is being accused why the child has made this story up. The investigator will try and gauge the persons reactions.
If charges are accepted, the person charged will have to post a bond. In addition, the court will normally require that as a condition of bond, the person not have any contact with the accuser and not have any contact with children under the age of 17.
If you hire David A. Breston he will want to meet with you and go over your case. You should never meet with an investigator without an attorney present. David Breston believes that in most instances it is best not to meet with the investigators. However, in some cases, meeting with investigators may be appropriate.
If the client agrees, Attorney Breston will have his client polygraphed before meeting with the investigator. Then, Attorney Breston will have his clients write a detailed statement as to what has happened. If a client agrees to take the polygraph, Mr. Breston will hire a polygrapher to conduct a test on his client. This examination is confidential. If the results show that the client accused of a sex crime does not show deception, then Mr. Breston will try and use this test to try and get the case thrown out. If the examination shows that the client does show deception, the results of the examination will remain confidential. If the client shows no deception on the polygraph exam, Mr. Breston may forward the statement and polygraph report to the investigating agency or sometimes sit down and meet with law enforcement.
There are many reasons why a person who did not commit a crime could fail a polygraph exam. Some people are not good candidates for polygraph exams because of neurological problems. Mr. Breston will not assume that you are guilty if you do not want to take a polygraph exam. Some clients feel that they should not have to take this exam since they did not commit a crime.
Even if someone does not take a polygraph, this does not mean that there case is not winnable, but generally it does mean that Mr. Breston will probably advise against meeting with the police or Child Protective Services.
For a free initial consultation with a sexual misconduct defense lawyer, call the Law Office of David A. Breston at 888-220-4040 or contact us online.