The stigma of sex crimes is so significant that merely being charged with this type of offense—let alone being convicted of it—has the potential to ruin lives. The best way to protect your legal rights when facing sex crime charges in Columbus is to consult a criminal defense attorney promptly. Your defense attorney can explain your legal rights and ensure that they are safeguarded.
Exercising Your Legal Rights
When you’re taken into custody and arrested, one of your most important legal rights is the right to remain silent. You must provide basic information if asked, such as your full name. However, if questioned about the alleged crime, you should only respond to say, “I am invoking my right to remain silent.” It may not necessarily be sufficient to only remain silent, rather than informing the officers that you’re exercising your right to remain silent. There is a legal precedent in which the Supreme Court ruled that a suspect was taken into custody, but not arrested, may have suggested guilt through his behavior and failure to state that he was remaining silent. In addition to verbalizing your Fifth Amendment rights, you should inform the officers that you want to exercise your right to obtain legal counsel.
Working with Your Attorney
Your criminal defense attorney will do most of the work for your legal defense. However, he or she will need certain information from you. You can assist in your own defense by giving your defense attorney a list of potential witnesses who may contribute to your defense. Answer all of the lawyer’s questions completely and honestly; remember that anything you tell your lawyer is confidential. If you withhold information from your lawyer, this may place you at a significant disadvantage in court.
Complying with Pretrial Release Conditions
If you are bailed out or given pretrial release by the judge, it is imperative that you meet any conditions attached to your release. For example, a judge might order you to stay within a certain geographical location, avoid traveling to certain places, and avoid contact with the alleged victim.