While any criminal allegation or conviction will affect your life, being accused of a sex crime can have particularly serious and long-lasting implications. You have to worry about potential penal consequences, such as a prison sentence, and many other ancillary, yet serious consequences that are not court-imposed. To minimize the penalties you face – or eliminate them altogether – it’s vital to have an experienced criminal defense attorney represent you throughout every stage of your case.
A Lawyer Will Protect Your Rights, Even Before a Case is Filed
In many situations, law-enforcement officers will want to question you to seek a confession or to gather other evidence needed to indict you with a crime. As soon as you’re being interrogated in police custody, you have the right to remain silent and to have an attorney present for all future questioning. It is of the utmost importance that you invoke these rights and seek legal help at this time.
It’s also important to keep in mind that law enforcement will not always inform you that you are the target of an investigation. In some cases, they may tell you that they are simply seeking information about an incident or another individual, when in reality they are investigating your potential involvement in criminal activity. For this reason, you should retain an attorney as soon as police contact you in connection with the investigation of a possible sex crime.
Even Unsubstantiated Allegations of Sex Crimes Can Damage Your Reputation
While criminal defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in criminal court, it is not always so in the court of public opinion. Word of sex crime accusations can spread fast, as such offenses are often covered by the news media. Whether or not you are ever convicted of your offense, you may be associated with the allegations for years and may be shunned by your community.
Even an allegation of a sex crime can affect your ability to see your children. Though you have not been convicted yet, your child’s other parent can request that the family court take away your child custody1 rights as a precautionary measure while your case is pending. Family courts also have a lower burden of proof than criminal courts, so a judge may deny you custody or visitation even before you’re convicted. Obtaining custody rights again in the future can be an expensive and uphill battle.
A Conviction Could Affect the Rest of Your Life
If you plead guilty to a sex crime or are convicted at trial, it is likely that you will have to register with the Connecticut Sex Offender Registry2. This means that your name will be searchable by the public online and personal information and the sex offense for which you were convicted will be displayed. These days, many people check the sex-offender registry when they move to a new neighborhood or simply meet a new friend or potential intimate partner, so news about your criminal history can spread quickly in your community.
In addition, sex crime convictions can disqualify you for many jobs, including any work involving close proximity to children or caretaking of others. Many employers will not hire you simply because you have a felony on your record. Most sex crimes can never be expunged, so your criminal record can haunt you for the rest of your life.
If you have been accused of a sex crime in Connecticut, it is in your best interest to contact an attorney as soon as possible. At Koffsky & Felsen, LLC, we are committed to helping individuals facing criminal allegations obtain the best possible outcome to their case. We have the skill and experience required to minimize the long-term consequences of allegations of criminal misconduct. To schedule a consultation with one of our lawyers, call Koffsky & Felsen, LLC today at 203-327-1500 or send us an email using our online contact form.