Basic Facts About Defending Child Abuse Allegations
The large majority of child sexual abuse allegations involve alleged victims who have “normal” medical examinations.
Contrary to common myth, a person can be convicted of child abuse solely on the word or testimony of the alleged victim, even if the alleged victim’s testimony is inconsistent and/or contradictory.
An aggressive defense strategy is imperative in child abuse cases. One of the most unique obstacles in child abuses cases is that you must actually prove that you did not commit the abuse rather than rely on the State not being able to prove that you did.
Court evidentiary rules have been relaxed on behalf of alleged child abuse victims, thus making it easier to convict the accused.
Contrary to common myth, defense lawyers are not allowed to “beat-up” or badger alleged child abuse victims when they testify on the stand.
Contrary to common myth, defense lawyers are not generally allowed to question an alleged child abuse victim about their sexual history due to the rape shield law.
If you discovered the complexities of defending child abuse related cases too late, and you have already been convicted, we still may be able to help.
We have dealt with competent appeals attorneys in virtually every state who have had success with child abuse related cases. Thus, if you have not selected an appeals attorney yet, we can help you find an attorney competent in the appeals stage of child abuse cases.
After you have selected an attorney, regardless of whether we referred him or her, we can, with the attorney’s consent and under his or her auspices, help identify and develop viable appeals issues, prepare for arguments, etc.
Defending child abuse allegations may be the toughest kind of case an attorney can have. Not only is there rarely any physical evidence or eyewitnesses, all states have enacted legislation making it extremely hard to defend such cases.
For example, hearsay not allowed in virtually any other case, except possibly murder under the right circumstances, has been elevated to the form of credible testimony, and exceptions have been made for its admission in child abuse related cases.
Compounding problems of defending child abuse allegations is the fact that the fields of psychology, psychiatry, medicine, social work, criminal investigation, and interrogation are intertwined with legal issues and all are rapidly changing. Often, when there is physical evidence, doctors and state “experts” will interpret the evidence as proof of an intentional injury caused by the defendant when the physical evidence may not really indicate intentional injury at all. The research and data, voluminous in nature, must be fully understood to be incorporated into a successful defense.
Unless an attorney devotes his or her practice extensively to defending child abuse related allegations, it is nearly impossible for him or her to review, analyze, and incorporate the data/research into a successful defense strategy, and to keep abreast of new research. As an experienced consultant in child abuse related cases, I will supplement and complement your attorney’s skills, will save countless time in research, and will offer unique strategies in defending each particular case.