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After an individual is arrested for a sex crime in Denton, they will be taken before a magistrate who will examine the charges, their criminal history, and their ability to make bond in order to determine the bond amount. If an individual is capable of making bond, they will be released upon doing so. If they are not capable of making bond, they must remain in jail until their case is resolved.
Rights of an Individual
The most important thing that such an individual should know after being charged with a sex crime is that they have rights. A charge is not the same thing as a conviction. Primarily, they have the right to remain silent and the right to have an attorney present. At no point can these rights be taken away.
Additionally, an individual who has been charged with a sex crime should know that they are not required to freely or involuntarily provide information or evidence to the police. It is not their role or obligation to conduct the investigation. Therefore, an individual should seek the advice of an experienced attorney to provide direction regarding what is required of them during the investigative process.
Finally, such an individual should know that all statements they make or actions they take may be unintentionally self-incriminating. It is, therefore, important that the individual understands the full implications of any statements or actions before making or taking them.
Severity of the Charge
The classification of the charge will depend on the nature of the offense. For example, public indecency and prostitution are often charged as misdemeanors, while sexual assault and child pornography are often charged as felonies.
In Denton, like the rest of Texas, sex crimes cases are prosecuted very aggressively. If a case can be made against the defendant, then the authorities will attempt to make it, as there exists a strong public interest in deterring sex crimes in society. For this reason, prosecutors will often push for maximum sentencing.
Moreover, it is important to note that violent sex crimes will be treated even more seriously and with increased scrutiny. Often, such crimes will garner significant media attention, biasing potential jurors and hindering a defendant’s case.
Although these crimes are quite severe, most judges will treat sex crimes cases like any other cases. They will be impartial and fair, and will not make assumptions before being presented with all available arguments and evidence. While there are many factors that influence and complicate sex crimes cases, judges generally treat such cases with the impartiality they deserve.
Judge vs. Jury Trial
Whether a sex crimes case is heard in front of a judge or a jury is a decision that is up to the defendant.
Typically, defendants choose to have their cases heard in front of juries. However, sometimes, after examining the facts and speaking with an attorney, a defendant will choose to have a bench trial instead.
Primarily, the constitutional issues that may arise in a sex crimes case involve the investigation that is conducted during the case. For example, there are a number of constitutional issues surrounding the manner in which evidence is obtained, as improperly obtained evidence is not admissible in court.
A prosecutor will present any evidence that can support their case against the defendant, including statements made by the alleged victim, statements made by the defendant, statements made by witnesses, and any compiled DNA evidence.
However, although a prosecutor will present all evidence as if it is sound, evidence is often subject to faults upon closer examination. An experienced attorney can identify such evidence and press the prosecution on its claim.
When an alleged victim testifies, the jury is able to put a face to the name in the case. Sometimes, this can help the defense, but often it creates a sympathetic victim that works in the prosecution’s favor, making the defense’s case much more difficult to establish.
Benefit of a Lawyer
There is no restriction on when an individual can contact an attorney. If an individual is being investigated for a sex crime, they should contact an attorney as soon as possible in order to receive guidance and assistance on what to expect from their Denton sex crimes investigation.
Any time an individual speaks with the authorities, they risk making a self-incriminating statement that may later be used against them. For this very important reason, it is always best for an individual to have the experienced counsel of an attorney to guide them in all interactions with authorities. Without such counsel, an individual may hinder their own case.