Sex Crime Accusations
Usually, someone who has been falsely accused of a sexual assault wants to set the record straight, and is eager to talk to the police or Child Protective Service. Most people’s experience with police officers is limited to side of the road discussions regarding traffic violations, and television. To some, there appears little harm in meeting with a police officer. After all, isn’t a police officer just trying to get at the truth of an accusation?
Should I talk to the police?
Police officers are people. They make mistakes, and sometimes rush to judgment. The sad fact is, some police investigators are more interested in proving an accusation than in ferreting out the truth. You must be protected from those officers. Sometimes, in a sexual assault case, it is effective to talk to the police early in the investigation, but it would be foolish to speak to an officer without having a lawyer present. Your lawyer, if experienced, will know whether the officer investigating your case is acting objectively or is a “wolf in sheep’s clothing”.
Should I submit to a polygraph test?
Sometimes the first thing out of a Police Investigator’s mouth is the request that the accused take a polygraph. The officer implies that if the accused passes a polygraph, the investigation will be dropped. Many innocent people consider this a good deal. It’s not. First, polygraph tests are not admissible in any Texas court specifically because no expert can testify as to their reliability. A false positive means you will be presumed guilty by police and prosecutors.
Second, even if you pass a polygraph, there is no guarantee that your case will be dropped. We have had clients who were charged and tried after passing a police polygraph. The police polygraph examiner will not tell the tested person whether he has passed or failed. We know of one instance where an officer told an accused person that the polygraph results showed deception, when the opposite was true. The police officer then proceeded to interrogate the suspect for hours.
That is not to say that a polygraph is never useful to a person accused of Sexual Assault. Sometimes, we will polygraph our clients regarding specific allegations of child abuse. However, it is done under the umbrella of attorney-client privilege, and any failure is not shared with law enforcement. If our client clearly passes the polygraph, and it becomes clear after discussions with the officer that the results will push the officer into making the right recommendation, we will send the report to the officer or prosecutor.
Hire the right law firm!
The key point we wish to make in this web page is simply that if you are accused of Sexual Assault, Indecency or Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child, hire an experienced sex crimes lawyer to manage the police investigation. Despite your innocence, you can’t go it alone.