El incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat – the burden of proof is on he who declares, not on he who denies. Unfortunately, this Latin maxim, considered as the founding principle of the presumption of innocence clause, is often taken for granted, particularly when someone is falsely accused of something as damaging as sexual abuse. Here are some tips that a sex crimes attorney in Houston might give a client facing accusations:
Ask for an arrest warrant and/or search warrant
Don’t be terrified if there are police officers knocking on your door for your arrest; ask them for an arrest warrant. If they have nothing to show you, it is possible the police may not have a lawful right to arrest you. Nevertheless, you should not argue with or resist a police officer. Just go along quietly and know that you have an absolute right not to speak with police. You may be required to tell police who you are and where you live, but you do not have to answer any questions or make any statements. Likewise, if police wish to search your home, office, hotel room or vehicle, they usually must have probable cause or a search warrant. Ask the police to show you the search warrant. Regardless of whether the police can show you a search warrant, you do NOT have to give the police verbally or written permission to search your home, office, hotel room or vehicle. You can simply tell police that you do not agree to a search. (However, even if you are 100% confident that police are conducting an illegal search, do not argue with or physically obstruct a police search. Let your attorney make your argument later in court.) In most cases, police who search and then seize items from your home, office, hotel room or vehicle will generally leave you with a written inventory list of the items seized. Keep your copy of the list someplace safe and give it to your lawyer later on. For more information on how to handle a police encounter, visit www.how2refuse.com.
Look for a lawyer
After you have asserted your rights and made a smart decision about whether to talk with police or agree to a search, bolster your legal protection by hiring a qualified and experienced lawyer. Put on your thinking cap and get the most trustworthy Houston sex crimes lawyer you can find. Even if you know in your heart that you are innocent, never attempt to take on a case this serious with anything less than the best criminal defense lawyer you can find.
Know the law
After you’ve contacted your lawyer, you have to learn more about your rights and what the law has for you. As an article from YouBlawg.com points out:
Even though you may not have gone to law school, you should still have a good idea of what legal ramifications are related to your case. Ask questions and be closely involved with the process. Don’t leave everything up to the attorney.
Prepare for trial
With the help of reliable attorneys like those from the Scheiner Law Group, P.C., gather character witnesses who could testify that you are a peaceful and law-abiding person. Character witnesses may also testify about relevant character traits that show you are not the type of person who would commit the crime of which you are accused.. Finally, in an appropriate case, your attorney should prep you for possibly testifying in your own defense at trial. Be sure to follow your lawyer’s advice and keep away from actions and words that may only serve to incriminate you or cast you in an unsympathetic light.
Be sure to learn as much specific information as you can from your attorney, including the legal aspects of your case – such as what the age of consent in Texas is. Ultimately, your single greatest protections in the criminal justice system are the prosecution’s burden of proving each and every element of its case against you beyond a reasonable doubt, as well the fact that the burden of proof never shifts to the defendant. The presumption of innocence alone may be enough to acquit you. A good attorney knows how to make the most of these advantages in court.
(Article Excerpt and Image from What to Do When Falsely Accused of Sexual Assault, YouBlawg.com, August 25, 2013)