Florida Sex Crimes Defenses
Sex crimes are unique because the law heavily favors the accuser. As a result, an accuser’s past sexual history, mental health, or previous false accusations is not always admissible.
Therefore, the best defense against a sexual accusation is a good offense, which is to gather exculpatory evidence that calls into question the accuser's motives and credibility and that supports your innocence.
You may wonder why you must “prove your innocence” if the law presumes you “innocent until proven guilty.” The answer is simple; you don’t – but common sense dictates that you do so if you want to persuade the prosecution not to file charges, or a jury to acquit you.
It is always easier to persuade a prosecutor not to file charges because of conflicting evidence, than it is to persuade a prosecutor to dismiss charges they already filed.
Pre-Filing investigation yields tremendously useful information. If I obtain the information before charges have been filed I can present it to the prosecutor to show them they have a weak case that should not be pursued; as it is always easier to persuade a prosecutor not to file charges because of conflicting evidence, than it is to persuade a prosecutor to dismiss charges they have already filed.
Importantly, if the pre-filing investigation does not yield helpful information, I can develop a more appropriate defense strategy based upon the findings.
Pre-filing investigation involves two major components:
Investigating the Accuser
Unfortunately, false allegations of sexual misconduct are increasingly common in Florida courts and one of the primary reasons people find themselves being accused of a sex crimes.
Many an estranged parent or boyfriend (typically) finds themselves struggling with false allegations of sex abuse, molestations, or physical abuse. To compound the problem, law enforcement rarely disbelieves an accuser; and that is why it is so important to identify a possible motive to lie as quickly as possible.
Typical reasons for false allegations include:
- Manipulation of children by an angry parent, or
- Mentally ill parents influencing a child
Gathering Exculpatory Evidence
Gathering exculpatory evidence is one of the best ways that you can keep a prosecutor from filing charges. Three of the primary tools I use to obtain exculpatory evidence are:
Once a person accuses you of a crime, it is important to find out as much information as possible about nature of their accusation. This includes
- When did they say it happened?
- Where did they say it happened?
- Was there any communication devices involved?
- Whom did they confide in?
- Have they made any conflicting statements?
- The list goes on...
I routinely utilize a private investigator to locate witnesses, documents, or records that can answer these questions and hopefully find inconsistencies in the accuser’s account or time line that show they are fabricating their claims or falsifying the nature of their encounter with you.
Confidential Polygraph Examination
I advise almost all my clients to submit to a confidential polygraph examination. There are several reasons for this. Primarily though, while a polygraph examination may not be admissible in court, it is persuasive to prosecutors. So if the polygraph suggests you are truthful about your innocence, a prosecutor will be less likely to pursue charges against you on a weak case.
Additionally, if the results show you as being deceptive, I do not disclose the polygraph results to anyone. Instead I use the knowledge I gained to plot a more appropriate defense to your case.
Confidential Psycho-Sexual Evaluation
I also advise all clients facing a sex crime to submit to a Psycho-Sexual Evaluation. While a psychosexual evaluation cannot assess guilt or innocence; it is helpful in determining if a client has any sexually deviant tendencies, thoughts, or beliefs.
If the evaluation suggests you are normal, I can submit the results to the prosecutor and argue that the evaluation’s independent results are inconsistent with the charges being leveled against you.
On the other hand, if the results show you do suffer from a sexually deviant tendency or they come back inconclusive, I can use the information to chart a more appropriate defense for you that avoids exposing you to unnecessary scrutiny.
Contact Criminal Attorney Richard Hornsby
If you have been arrested or charged with a sexual offense in Central Florida, please contact Sex Crimes Defense Lawyer Richard Hornsby today.
The initial consultation is free and I am always available to advise you on the proper course of action that can be taken.