Evidence in Sex Crime Cases
Sex crimes are some of the most serious offenses under North Carolina law. Not only does a conviction for a sex offense often result in a lengthy jail sentence, but it also subjects you to mandatory sex offender registration requirements. While these cases are extremely serious, they are also unique in that there is often very little evidence in sex crime cases. However, this does not mean that those facing these serious allegations should assume that the jury will get it right without a fight. Every day, defendants get convicted of rape and other serious sex crimes on little more than an alleged victim’s word. Thus, it is imperative anyone charged with a North Carolina sex crime fight the case on all fronts. At the Olsinski Law Firm, PLLC, our aggressive criminal defense attorneys have decades of experience representing clients facing all types of sex offenses.What Evidence Do Prosecutors Usually Have in a Sex Crime Case?
In any criminal case, there are a few different types of evidence prosecutors may have in their files. Perhaps the most challenging evidence to overcome from a defendant’s perspective is physical evidence. Physical evidence consists of any tangible evidence such as a weapon, DNA evidence, fingerprints, or the results of a rape kit performed on the alleged victim.
The next type of evidence in sex crime cases is testimonial evidence. Testimony evidence is brought into a trial through a live witness. The strength of testimonial evidence depends almost entirely on the credibility of the witness delivering the testimony. If a witness comes off as though they are hiding something or told different versions of the same story to different people or at different times, they may not be believable.Strategies for Dealing with Evidence in Sex Crime Cases
It’s an attorney’s job to identify a strategy that limits the importance of the prosecution’s evidence. How this is done depends on the type of evidence. For example, the admissibility of physical evidence can be challenged through a motion to suppress. A motion to suppress is a pretrial motion heard outside the presence of the jury to determine whether the evidence in the prosecution’s file is admissible at the trial. Commonly, motions to suppress physical evidence are based on claims that police officers illegally obtained evidence by violating the rights of the defendant, for example, by conducting a search without a warrant or probable cause.
Of course, you can’t suppress live witness testimony in the same way you can physical evidence. Thus, when it comes to testimonial evidence, lawyers take a different approach. One way to prevent the use of testimonial evidence is to keep it out entirely or limit its use through a motion in limine. A motion in limine may be premised on the fact that part or all of the witnesses’ testimony is irrelevant or overly prejudicial.
Perhaps the most common way of dealing with testimonial evidence in a sex crime prosecution is by discrediting the witness. A skilled sex crime defense lawyer can point out inconsistencies in a witness’ story or reasons why their testimony may not be truthful. For example, the alleged victim of a forcible sex offense will be interviewed several times before trial. If they told responding officers one story, detectives another, the hospital nurse another, and then testified differently at trial; the jury won’t know which version to believe.Have You Been Arrested for a North Carolina Sex Crime?
If the government charged you with a serious sex offense, it’s an overwhelming feeling, to be sure. However, it is essential that you don’t give up hope; there are many defenses to sex crime cases. At the Olsinski Law Firm, PLLC, our dedicated criminal defense attorneys have a successful track record of suppressing evidence in sex crime cases. When suppression is not an option, we rely on our keen cross-examination skills to challenge witnesses’ credibility. Regardless of the nature of the offense, your prior record, and the evidence in the prosecutor’s file, the Olsinski Law Firm, PLLC, can help. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation with a Charlotte sex crimes lawyer, give us a call at 704-405-2580. You can also reach our Concord criminal defense lawyers at 704-918-4747.