credibility dictionary definitionFor years, people accused of child molestation have turned to our criminal defense team's expertise and experience to protect their futures and good reputations. Defending a child molestation charge is an extremely specialized area of criminal defense that requires a multi-disciplinary approach and understanding. Simply being arrested and accused of child molestation can carry devastating consequences to a person’s family, career, and reputation. These are potentially life-altering charges. You need an attorney who’s handled these cases before—not once or twice, but 20, 30, 50 times over (and, yes, we’ve handled WELL over 100). If you don’t, you risk an outcome you and your family will never fully recover from.

False Accusations Are Routinely Believed by Law Enforcement

It’s amazing how easily these serious and life-altering allegations can be made, and even more surprising is how quickly and strongly law enforcement believes the allegations. Law enforcement is trained to believe the accuser and discount or justify any problems with their story. They are trained to take a child’s statement in a certain way, in a certain setting, to minimize any possible inconsistencies in a child statement. Police willingly and purposefully look past outrageous stories, stories with inconsistencies, stories that are illogical or physically impossible, and stories where there are obvious motivations to lie.

Unfortunately, for many of our clients, the unchallenged and unexamined word of the accuser is enough to get them charged. As we’ve said, this type of accusation alone is enough to stop your life in its tracks. Law enforcement cares only about making their case against you. As soon as they hear the accusation, they immediately take the position that you are a liar and a child molester. They believe the accuser, and they want to make sure you are charged, arrested, and labeled a child molester.

Don’t Sit Back and Wait for the District Attorney to Decide Your Future

Our approach in these cases is to take the offensive immediately and focus on our investigation. Focusing on gathering any and all evidence that we can use to either attack the accuser's credibility or explain possible motivations for making false allegations. You have to get that evidence while you can, while records still exist. You can’t afford to sit back and wait for the District Attorney to decide your future, or you’ll find yourself arrested, charged, and labeled.

The first question a DA or a jury will want to be answered is “Why would a child make up these kinds of allegations?”  You’d better be able to answer that question. And in these cases, that means focusing our investigation on the accuser’s family and friends as well. In no other type of criminal charge do the accuser’s family members play such a pivotal role, as there are often varying levels of family dynamics at play with different and competing motivations that lead to false allegations. Our investigation will focus on obtaining DFACS records, school records, medical records, computer records, cell phone records, mental health records, and information from social networking sites. We’ll talk to witnesses, including those who may not know anything about the present allegations but can shed light on possible motivations for false allegations or help in attacking the accuser's credibility. These witnesses can be neighbors, co-workers, relatives, acquaintances, or classmates of the accuser.

Why Children Make False Allegations

False allegations must be defended aggressively and with an understanding of multiple disciplines. We have defended cases where we have convinced police officers, detectives, DFACS workers, district attorneys, judges, and even juries that a child’s allegations of child molestation aren’t worthy of belief. Often, there are other issues at play with a child’s false allegation. Domestic disputes involving divorce, child custody, visitation rights, child support, alimony, and property division can often be the motivation behind false allegations of child molestation. Sometimes children with behavioral, developmental, or disciplinary issues falsely accuse others of child molestation for sympathy, attention, or deflect from something they’ve done. Improper or inadequate training of police, investigators, therapists, or medical personnel can lead to failing to reveal when a child has made false allegations. In the worst of cases, improper or inadequate training can actually create the false accusation. Our criminal defense team has extensive experience with these issues and understands what to look for when reviewing and investigating these claims. 

These Cases Have Unique Rules of Evidence

These cases are unique. They involve their own rules of evidence which leads to specialized pretrial motions practice. Normally, absent a specific exception, hearsay is not allowed in a jury trial. However, in a child molestation case, the Child Hearsay statute allows the prosecution to introduce hearsay statements made by a child under the age of 16. This specific rule of evidence has actually affected how law enforcement investigates these cases. In every case, the police will send the child for a forensic interview that is typically conducted by a therapist of the investigating officer (depending on the jurisdiction) at a Child Advocacy Center.

The statement given during this interview will become the key piece of evidence in the case. It will be relied upon by law enforcement to secure an arrest warrant and by the district attorney to prove their case at trial. You need an attorney who’s familiar with this type of interview and the specific training the interviewer has received to analyze and attack not only the statement but also the interview itself.  For example, a poorly trained interviewer will tend to use improper techniques that lead to suggestive questions and, as a result, false allegations by the child. Very often, it’s these false allegations from a suggestive interview that lead to people being arrested and charged.

Our Experience Is Your Best Defense

To combat these types of investigative techniques, we work with leading experts in the field of forensic interview techniques. This allows us to analyze every statement with an eye toward finding improper interview techniques and suggestive questioning, and as a result, false allegations, and then educate the district attorney or a jury to demonstrate the unreliability of the statement itself.

Our criminal defense team’s approach of immediately going on the offensive allows us to leverage every possible opportunity and, depending on when we come into a case, prevent a client from being arrested, avoid indictment, or resolve the case in a way in which they can avoid incarceration or registering as a Georgia Sex Offender. However, with these types of charges, it’s not always possible to avoid trial. Once we’ve exhausted every opportunity to resolve the case short of trial.

We Prepare and Fight When a Case Goes to Trial 

Once a trial becomes necessary, our team defends our client with preparation that leaves no stone unturned, proven persuasive techniques in the courtroom, and the most skilled investigators and the most trusted experts. These cases involve specialized trial preparation strategies, especially concerning the selection of a jury. We use jury consultants and focus groups to maximize our understanding of the case’s strengths and weaknesses and sharpen our focus regarding the type of juror we want.

Our clients have included teenagers, corporate executives, teachers, grandparents, stepparents, and coaches. Each client and each case is different, presenting their own challenging sets of facts, but our criminal defense team’s approach and commitment to protecting our clients remain the same. 

If you or a loved one has been charged with child molestation, you need to contact an experienced and dedicated Marietta Sex Crime Lawyer today. Child molestation charges can be life-altering and inflict permanent damage to a person's life, liberty, career, and reputation. 

Get the Information You Need to Start Fighting Back Today

Contact us today, so we can begin to develop your defense and start working to help you get your life back as soon as possible. Criminal charges are SERIOUS—a potentially life-altering event in a person’s life. Typically, criminal charges don’t define one’s life, but Child Molestation isn’t a typical charge and has the power to do just that. Right now, the DA’s office is working on your case, and in their version, you go to prison as a convicted child molester. Don’t let someone else write the ending to your story. Speak to a Marietta sex crimes lawyer today.

Brian Hobbs
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