How Are Sex Crimes Investigated in Virginia?
A sex crime investigation usually begins when there is a complaining witness who calls the police or comes to the police station to file a report. From there a detective will be assigned to the case and will interview the complaining witnesses and any other witnesses that may have been privy to the information that is alleged by the complaining witness.
At some point, they will want to talk to the alleged perpetrator and they will very diligently try to get that person to talk to them without an attorney. They will try to assure that person they are just looking into stuff, they’re not sure what they’re going to do, and that they just want to know what really happened.
I can tell you that in almost every case they will try to talk to the alleged perpetrator of the offense before they decide whether or not they’re going to press charges because in many cases, the very best evidence that the government is going to have is going to come from the defendant’s own mouth and they know that. In many cases it is a “he said, she said” kind of thing and they need to know if they are going to have useful evidence that is going to come from the defendant’s mouth before they are going to proceed with charges.
Once they file charges, 99 times out of 100 people stop talking. It is before they file charges when people feel like they can still get out of it so they try to talk their way out of whatever it is that happened. In most of those cases they end up really damaging their case.
Why Is Hiring An Attorney Early On In The Process Important?
It is important to hire an attorney before the charge is even filed against you, because the police will almost certainly want to speak to the person who is being accused of this crime before they go ahead to file charges.
Any attorney that’s worth his salt will tell that person not to talk to the police at least until the attorney has had an opportunity to review the allegations against that person and determine whether or not it’s in that person’s best interest to talk to the police.
My standing rule almost without fail is that nothing good comes from talking to the police in cases like this. There are some exceptions, I suppose, where if the person has an alibi they can be verified for example or a person has some other airtight defense against that which is being alleged. Then it is a good idea to talk to the police and let them do their investigation in that regard. I had a case not too long ago where a person in fact did talk to the police after consulting with me and I was with that person when the interview took place. The result of that interview was that charges were never filed. Though there are instances when it can be a good idea but there are never instances where it can be a good idea if you do it without an attorney.