In rape and sexual abuse of child investigations, the detective will usually call the suspect to get her “side of the story.” After charges are filed, a defendant calls to ask me if the interview can be thrown out because the officer did not read her Miranda warnings. This is important for you to think about because as a child sexual abuse defense lawyer, you want to do everything you can to protect yourself before, during, and after the investigation phase.
Most people, because of crime shows, are very familiar with the Miranda warnings. But most do not realize that an officer does not have to read a suspect her Miranda warnings unless she is in custody. So, if the officer is questioning the suspect at her home, it is not likely that the officer needs to give any Miranda warnings.
If you are being questioned and are unsure if you are in custody or not, ask the officer if you are “free to leave.” If you are questioned without being Mirandized, but you were not in police custody, your interview is still admissible at trial.
If a suspect is in the back of a police car or at the police station, she is in custody fo purposes of Miranda and the warnings must be given before an interrogation begins. If the officer fails to issue Miranda warnings, the interview will likely be tossed at a motion to suppress hearing, meaning the prosecutor cannot use the interview at trial.
If, however, the defendant testifies at her trial and she says something different than she said in the police interview, the prosecutor will be allowed to use the interview to impeach her. By talking to police, a suspect is potentially compromising her case. Don’t talk to the police. The police are not your friend, even if they are acting like they are. The prosecutor won’t deal with your case more leniently if you talk, even though the police will tell you this. You can always talk later –with the assistance of an attorney– if there is something you’d like the prosecutor to know.
If you are ever contacted by a detective for an interview, ask for a lawyer. The police have to stop questioning you until a lawyer is provided to you. Don’t compromise your rape or sexual abuse of a child case because of something you say.
Rape And Child Sex Cases At The Investigation Phase In Utah
Being investigated for rape or sexual abuse of a child? Too many make the mistake of waiting to hiring a lawyer. This is the most critical portion of the case sometimes. Police officers often tell suspects they don’t need a lawyer and that telling their side of the story will curry favor with the prosecutor.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Giving a statement to the police locks you into a specific defense if they case goes to trial. You provide the prosecutor ammunition on cross-examination if you have spoken before. If your testimony varies at all from your interview with the police, the prosecutor will impeach you with the prior interview and tell the jurors that you are lying. And, the inconsistencies don’t have to be on major points. Something that you may think is insignificant may become significant at trial. Make sure that you ask for an attorney before giving an interview. You have a right to remain silent and the prosecutor cannot use that silence against you, such as “John Doe must be guilty because he refused to tell us his side of the story.” That is improper.
Once a rape or child investigation is completed, a warrant will go out and you could be picked up. A rape or sexual abuse of a child case is a high priority case for law enforcement and officers are going to focus on picking up these individuals once charges are filed.
If you have an attorney, most times the detective will work with your attorney to do a surrender. Before going into court, the “wheels are greased” and a release or bail reduction is already worked out. Remember, it’s easier to stay out of jail than to get out of jail.
Don’t make the mistake of waiting to call an attorney after the prosecutor decides to file charges. Hire a competent lawyer to help you through the process.
Free Consultation with Child Sexual Abuse Defense Lawyer
When the police are coming after you for child sexual abuse or rape crimes, call us for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States
Telephone: (801) 676-5506