The mere accusation of a sex crime has the power to destroy families, cause job loss, and can follow the accused for the rest of their life, regardless of guilt or innocence. That being the case, it is extremely disheartening that as criminal defense attorneys, we have seen numerous cases of false claims of sexual assault out of anger, revenge, attention-seeking, and regret. No matter how ludicrous the claim, once a “sex offense” has been alleged, the state will generally proceed aggressively and with prosecutorial blinders in place. Prosecutors do not operate on the assumption that a woman would falsely accuse a man of sexual assault. Even when the allegation seems unbelievable, they do not want to risk failing to prosecute a valid case and be held accountable later. Regardless of the specific motives of the accuser, the grim reality is that this type of false accusation happens with alarming frequency, and it is not a scenario that you, as the defendant, should face alone.
We have seen cases where false accusations by females have emerged only after the accuser learns of infidelity by the accused. We have also seen cases involving claims of sexual assault due to regret and remorse over things done consensually with the accused. In one such case, a woman claimed that every act of oral sex over the course of a year was “forced” and “without consent.” We’ve seen cases where it was claimed that the 50th time she had sex with the accused it was forced and without consent and then admit to having consensual sex with the accused 50 more times thereafter. No matter how unbelievable the claim, the State will usually proceed all the way to trial before running the risk of dismissing the wrong case. If charged with an offense like this you will be in for the fight of your life—get the best, most experienced, and most aggressive criminal lawyer you can find.
Cases of date rape can be very complicated, and the lawyers at Decker & Jones are very knowledgeable in this area of the law. We will take swift action to question the validity of the charges and create innovative legal strategies should a trial become necessary.
Children may also falsely accuse an adult in their life of sexual assault or inappropriate sexual contact. Though it is more unusual for a child to intentionally lie about such matters, it isn’t terribly uncommon for a child to adopt stories or impressions of others as their own. Children may be coached or improperly influenced by another adult when fabricating sexual allegations. Children are highly impressionable—especially when influenced by an adult who has great power in their lives—and they may even come to believe that their story is true when it is not. As criminal lawyers, a tragic scenario that we encounter is when false accusations come from young children, often between the ages of three and nine years old, who have been adversely affected by unstable circumstances, such as a divorce or a highly contentious custody battle. All too often, parents will disparage the other parent in the presence of a child, and in an attempt to garner attention or favoritism, the child jumps in with disparaging accusations of their own.
Even if a child’s claim of sexual assault has obvious credibility problems, families and lives are often ripped apart before the state investigates the veracity of such claims. From the outset, the entire system proceeds under the presumption that the accused is guilty and the child needs protection. The Department of Human Services, the District Attorney, and even most judges will regard the safety of the child with the utmost concern and will take immediate action before a trial is even set. These actions can be immediately devastating to the person who has been accused—in such a circumstance, a father of six can easily go to a father of none overnight without much, of a hearing on the matter.
False accusations of criminal sexual behavior by a child create tremendous turmoil for the accused, the accuser, and all of those who care for them, not to mention the battle that ensues with authorities. The key to success in such a case is to hire the right experts to successfully expose the flaws in the story to the prosecution so that the allegations can be dismissed. Unfortunately, these cases will almost always go to trial because the accused is not in a position to plead without suffering serious consequences, such as the possibility of lifetime supervision and registration as a sex offender. At Decker & Jones, our attorneys take these cases as seriously as we would a homicide because of the life-long stigma and consequences involved. The only way out of these charges for an innocent person who has been falsely accused is to convince state authorities and then, if necessary, a jury that that the accusations are false and unreliable given the psychological factors at play.
Child pornography charges will be prosecuted by the State with vigor. In cases involving accusations related to children, it is extremely difficult to find a judge, prosecutor, or jury who will presume the accused is innocent. Therefore, it is essential to make every effort to achieve a dismissal in order to avoid a risky trial. At the same time, these are the hardest cases to plea bargain. Our criminal attorneys will scrutinize every piece of evidence and call in experts who can assist us in finding the weaknesses in the prosecution’s case. We believe every client should receive the benefit of a thorough investigation, regardless of whether the case goes to trial, so we conduct a full investigation to ensure that we have the most bargaining power possible when dealing with the prosecutors.
There are those accused of sex offenses who do have a serious problem and require help and intervention. The research on low-risk sex offenders and the rate of recidivism is encouraging in that it suggests rehabilitation is often achievable. Other research suggests that some level of offenders can never be rehabilitated, which is the prevailing philosophy behind lifetime sentencing laws for sex offenders in Colorado. In cases where the accused has admitted to committing the sexual offense, the matter then comes down to the level of risk that the person presents to the community, as well as which type of treatment best protects the community by preventing a recurrence. It is just as important to have representation when the accused admits to wrongdoing as it is to have representation when the accused did not commit the crime. In either case, lives are on the line.
Any allegation of a sex-related crime is extremely perilous to the accused because Colorado judges are allowed to impose sentences that have no clearly defined endpoint. For example, a defendant who receives a sentence of two years to life should understand that they will be incarcerated for a minimum of two years with no defined maximum, and any sentence will be followed by parole. However, parole is almost impossible to achieve for convicted sex offenders and when it is granted, it is usually a rigorous lifelong program.
The criminal defense lawyers at Decker & Jones have represented clients in a wide range of cases, including but not limited to sexual assault, date rape, nonconsensual sex, indecent exposure, prostitution, and Internet crimes such as luring or child pornography. Our team is highly experienced with charges alleging sexual misconduct and we urge you to contact an attorney immediately if you have been charged with or are being investigated for a sex-related offense.
To benefit from nearly three decades of combined legal experience that is available at Decker & Jones, simply fill out the convenient online contact form or call our Golden or Denver offices at 303.279.1586. When you contact Decker & Jones to schedule a free initial consultation and learn about the legal options available, your call will be returned within two hours. We accept credit cards and can also create payment plans for our clients in need. Contact Decker & Jones today for a free consultation.