How a Tennessee Criminal Defense Lawyer Investigates Sex Crime Charges to Build Your Defense
Being accused of a sex crime in Tennessee can completely turn your life upside down. Even if you are innocent, just being charged with such a serious offense can ruin your reputation, cost you your job, and destroy relationships with friends and family members. That’s why it’s absolutely critical to have an experienced Tennessee sex crimes defense lawyer on your side from the very start of your case.
At our criminal defense firm, we know that the best defense starts with a thorough investigation. We don’t just take the prosecution’s claims at face value – we dig deep to uncover all the facts. Here’s an inside look at some of the techniques we use to build the strongest possible defense for our clients facing sex crime allegations:
Examining the Accuser’s Background and Motives
One of the first things we’ll do is take a hard look at the background of the person accusing you. We’ll try to figure out if they have any reason to fabricate allegations against you – maybe you rejected their romantic advances, or they have some other axe to grind. We’ll look for any evidence of mental illness or emotional instability in their past. And we’ll check to see if they’ve made prior false accusations against others. Any of these factors could significantly undermine their credibility.
Looking for Corroborating Evidence
Sex crime allegations often come down to “he said, she said.” So we dig deep to find any corroborating evidence that might support your side of the story. We’ll interview potential witnesses who might have seen you and the accuser together before or after the alleged incident. We’ll scour social media posts and text messages between you and the accuser, looking for any digital footprint that contradicts their claims. And we’ll demand access to any physical evidence like rape kits that could prove your innocence. Lack of corroboration can punch major holes in the prosecution’s case.
Consulting with Expert Witnesses
Experts can provide specialized knowledge that debunks the prosecution’s accusations. A DNA expert might prove that biological evidence was contaminated, making DNA test results unreliable. A medical expert could show that alleged injuries are inconsistent with the accuser’s story. And a psychologist might explain how memory can be unreliable – causing even a sincere accuser to misremember key details. Skilled experts can demolish the prosecution’s entire theory of what happened.
Meticulously Reconstructing the Timeline
By piecing together your activities leading up to and after the alleged incident, we can look for gaps and inconsistencies in the accuser’s story. Credit card receipts, cell phone records, eyewitness accounts, and surveillance video can prove you were nowhere near the accuser at the time of the supposed crime. A flawed timeline can leave reasonable doubt as to whether the incident even occurred.
Looking for Prior Bad Acts by the Accuser
Tennessee law allows us to introduce evidence of an accuser’s own prior sexual behavior in some cases. So if they’ve falsely claimed rape before, or have a history of extorting others with false accusations, we can potentially expose that to the jury. Their own credibility problems could overshadow the case against you.
Seeking Access to Police and Prosecution Files
Police and prosecution files frequently contain leads that can bolster your defense – statements by non-testifying witnesses, investigator’s memos casting doubt on the allegations, and tips the accuser shared with police but left out of their official statement. We aggressively pursue access to all files related to the case under Tennessee discovery rules. Exposing contradictions between the accuser’s various accounts can undermine their believability.
Deposing the Accuser, Police, and Prosecutors
We’ll push to depose the accuser face-to-face under oath, which could expose new contradictions and lies in their story. And we’ll depose the police and prosecutors handling the case, probing for sloppy investigative practices or bias against the accused. Skilled questioning can elicit damning admissions pointing to your innocence.
Humanizing You to the Jury
If a trial is necessary, we’ll work extensively with you prior to trial to polish up your testimony – so you come across to the jury as a sympathetic, honest person incapable of such a heinous act. We’ll comb through every aspect of your background and character to find compelling facts showing you’re not a monster. Preventing the jury from demonizing you is critical to defeating the charges.
Negotiating with Prosecutors
Often the best result comes not through an outright trial victory, but through negotiations with the prosecutor’s office. We’ll leverage every weakness and contradiction uncovered by our investigation to push for outright dismissal of charges or a favorable plea deal. Many cases can be resolved to our client’s satisfaction without the risks and publicity of a trial.
As you can see, building the strongest possible sex crimes defense requires leaving no stone unturned. At our firm, we’ve successfully defended hundreds of clients facing sex allegations – from rape and child molestation to solicitation, indecent exposure and statutory rape.
We know how devastating and life-altering a conviction can be. That’s why we’re absolutely relentless in constructing the most ironclad defense case possible on our clients’ behalf. Don’t leave your future to chance. Call our office today for a free case evaluation, and put an experienced sex crimes defense lawyer to work protecting your rights.