Preparing a Vigorous Defense
When facing false allegations, the accused must be prepared to fight for their life. Because of the special nature of child sexual abuse cases, erosion of constitutional rights, determination of the child savers that you are guilty you must vigorously defend yourself and prove your innocence!
If an attorney says to “wait and see if you are indicted”…WALK AWAY IMMEDIATELY! The best time to get a dismissal is before a formal charge.
Prepare a Vigorous Grand Jury Defense to Avoid Prosecution
Many times the best method of winning a false allegation case is to defeat it before it officially starts. These charges are felonies and before the prosecutor can proceed, they must obtain a grand jury indictment. The grand jury is a screening panel of persons selected from the community to serve a six month term reviewing cases to determine if “probable cause” exists. If the grand jury finds probable cause , they will issue a ‘true bill” of indictment. The case then gets assigned to a trial court for disposition. If the grand jury issues a “no bill”, the case ends. The prosecutor has the right to present a case to another grand jury if one entered a “no bill”, however this is rare, and is usually only invoked in cases which have gathered media attention.
A falsely accused defendant has a golden opportunity to avoid an indictment by preparing evidence for the grand jury to review prior to its decision. The grand jury is controlled by the prosecution, and does not have to accept defensive evidence. It is customary, however, for the prosecutor to provide defensive evidence to the grand jury upon request.
The defense can provide the grand jury with information that might not be admissible at trial, such as polygraph results, character letters, and other forms of hearsay.
The defense can also provide expert witness reports and affidavits explaining the unreliability and tainted evidence obtained by the prosecution. Defendants and defense witnesses can be made available to testify before the grand jury, but the decision whether or not they are allowed to testify is up to the grand jury. Defense counsel is not authorized to be in the grand jury room when evidence is presented, nor is counsel allowed to make oral argument. The defense attorney can be outside the grand jury chambers and can prepare witnesses to testify.
Here are some common examples of evidence to build a grand jury defense packet:
A. Your Criminal History;
B. Honorable Discharge and Military Records;
C. Education Records;
D. Polygraph Results;
E. Polygraph Report;
F. Psychological and Personality Testing of Client;
G. A Factual Summary of the Defense Version of the Case;
H. Sworn Statements That the Alleged Victim Has Made False Accusations in the Past;
I. Legal Research and Case-law to Show Reason to Not Indict;
J. Good Character Letters;
K. Availability of Defendant and Others to Testify If Requested;
L. Recantations from Alleged Victims When Available;
M. Expert Witness Testimony & Affidavits Regarding the Tainted Evidence Which Comprises the Prosecutors Case; and
N. Test Results Showing the Accused Is Not a Child Molester or Pedophile.
If your attorney insists that pursuing a grand jury defense is a waste of time, FIRE HIM! Prepare a Vigorous Defense for Trial
If the grand jury indicts, then the case must be prepared for trial. It is rare for the state to dismiss a case once they have a grand jury indictment.
Selection of the jury is critical for a child abuse or sexual assault case. Potential jurors come into the case with strong emotional feelings regarding any allegation of abuse to a child. Your attorney must overcome the strong emotions the jury panel has against child abuse and focus their attention on being fair and acknowledging that false allegations are made. The jury panel must see that the only thing worse than child abuse is being falsely labeled as a child molester.
In addition, the attorney must educate the jury panel on how false allegations could be made. The panel needs to understand how a child can be coached through leading and suggestive interviewing techniques into making statements about incidents that did not occur.
The attorney must be well skilled in cross examination techniques for the states witnesses. This includes being ready to show deficiencies in the states investigation through a preconceived assumption of guilt shared amongst Child Protective Service workers, police, and so called experts. Cross examination is a skill that can only be obtained through years of trial practice itself.
The attorney must also be prepared to offer strong defensive witnesses. Contrary to many criminal cases, the accused must testify in a child abuse case if the defense wants an acquittal. Until the jury hears it straight from the accused mouth that the abuse did not occur, it will convict.
At Stuckle & Associates we have assembled a team of experts with over 25 years in defending false allegations of child sexual assault. Our firm has successfully represented clients at Grand Jury proceedings and obtained acquittals at Trial. Whether you are being investigated for sexual abuse, have been arrested or indicted, we are prepared to vigorously defend you in every stage of the criminal process. Contact Us to schedule a consultation.