The law is supposed to presume that you are innocent until proven guilty. But that doesn’t mean that someone can’t falsely accuse you or that you couldn’t be wrongfully convicted. Even if you are acquitted of a sex crime, the accusation is enough to destroy your life.
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Sex Crime Investigations
Sex crime investigations in Columbus, Ohio, are complex. In the hopes of helping better prepare you for what you might face, we have included additional information below about who handles sex crime investigations, how to handle being questioned by law enforcement, and how to defend yourself if your case goes to court.
Who Handles Sex Crime Investigations in Columbus, OH?
Various government agencies play a part in sex crime investigations occurring within Columbus, Ohio. The Ohio Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation is there to help at crime scenes. It is their job to gather evidence to support the state’s case against you.
Some of the sex crimes they investigate include:
If you have been accused of a sex crime involving a child, you could also expect the Crimes Against Children Initiative to assist the Attorney General’s Office in their investigation. In Franklin County, the Special Victim’s Unit handles sex crime cases, domestic violence, and other sensitive crimes.
If you are accused of a sex crime in Franklin County, you can expect the Franklin County Prosecuting Attorney to handle your case.
Being Questioned in a Sex Crime Investigation
When someone reports a sex crime to law enforcement, it is usually the first time the responding officer has had any contact with the victim. This means that everything the police officer knows about the crime and the victim comes from themselves.
The Initial Interview
When a suspect is being interviewed, it is usually later down the line. When a suspect is questioned, the sex crime investigator will already have far more information than they did before the crime was reported. This might include the suspect’s criminal history and other evidence that could be used against the suspect.
This means that it is unlikely that police will question you until the investigator in question has a reason to believe that you have committed the crime in question.
At this time, the investigator will likely request a formal interview. Although investigators should always keep an open mind when interviewing potential suspects, this is not always the case for many people being questioned.
What Investigators Look For
The primary goal of the investigator of the Columbus sex crime in questioning you is to see how your answers align with that of the alleged victim. If your story does not match up to the victim’s, the investigator will need to figure out who is telling the truth. Here, you may be subjected to certain interrogation strategies that could be used to get you to confess to the crime in question.
You Always Have Rights
Never forget, you have the right to remain silent. And anything you say will be used against you in a court of law. When you are being questioned by law enforcement regarding a sex crime, don’t say anything without your attorney present.
Your lawyer can give you a better idea of which questions you should answer and which ones you should decline. This may be one of the only ways to protect yourself, depending on the types of evidence recovered.
Evidence Used in Columbus Sex Crime Cases
For the state’s prosecuting attorney to obtain a conviction in your case, they will need to prove that you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. To do this, they will need to present incontrovertible evidence to the judge and jury.
Some of the evidence that could be presented in any Columbus sex crime case include:
- Toxicology reports
- Shoe prints
- Tire marks
- Cell phone records
- Text messages
- Bodily fluids
- Other trace evidence
- Witness statements
- Security tapes
- Medical records
- Crime scene diagrams
- Computer evidence
- Other DNA
- Other non-forensic evidence
These are only a few of the different types of evidence that could be used against you. It is imperative that you have a dedicated sex crime lawyer in Columbus fighting for your liberties – the penalties of a conviction are high.
What to Do If You Are Falsely Accused of a Sex Crime
If you have been falsely accused of a sex crime in Columbus, Ohio, it’s time to act. As soon as you become aware of these accusations, it is imperative that you begin documenting your experience and any interactions you might have had with the person who has accused you of a sex crime.
It is important to be very detailed when writing down these events, as even the most minor detail could make all the difference in the outcome of your case.
Once you have documented any interactions with the alleged victim, it is important that you create a list of any witnesses there might have been to any interactions with the person who accused you. However, it is important that you keep this information between you and your sex crime lawyer.
Don’t Try to Explain Things Yourself
Many people who have been falsely accused of a sex crime believe that they can smooth things over by reaching out to the alleged victim. Never contact the person who has accused you of a sex crime. Do not reach out to them via text message or social media, and certainly do not discuss the details of the case online.
Keep Quiet & Call a Lawyer
When you’ve been falsely accused, you should never say anything to anyone other than your attorney. Don’t try to give the police an explanation or try to prove that you are not guilty if they show up to arrest you.
You should also not speak to your close friends or family members, as anything they say could be used against you in court as well. From here, your sex crime lawyer can help you start to work on your defense strategy.
An Ohio Sex Crime Attorney Can Help
Even being accused of a sex crime is enough to destroy your life. The penalties of a conviction are harsh. Not only could you expect to spend a significant amount of time in jail or prison, but you could also be required to register as a sex offender for the rest of your life. Don’t let these accusations ruin you. Get help clearing your name.
Contact an experienced Columbus sex crime lawyer at Luftman, Heck & Associates as soon as today. When you are ready to get started on your defense strategy, call our office at (614) 500-3836. Or complete our quick contact form, and someone will be in touch to discuss the specific details of your case.