I have a lot of clients that come to me prefiling before they've been arrested. They know the police are investigating them for various reasons. Maybe the accuser told them. Perhaps the police came and told them. Perhaps they got a letter.
Whatever the case may be, it is possible to convince the police not to arrest you and pursue a sex crime case against you. But of course, when it comes to criminal defense, and particularly sex crimes, it is complicated because, technically, prosecutors are the ones who file criminal charges. The police can arrest somebody.
They can either make them post bail and go into court, cite them into court with a citation, or even send a letter trying to get them to come into court.
Then, they would give the case to the prosecutors, who are the lawyers like me on the other side – are the ones that are going to decide whether or not there's enough evidence to charge a case.
Another factor you have to consider is if you're under investigation for a sex crime and the police have finished their investigation, they have to take their case to the prosecutors.
Often, if it's a close case, the prosecutors will look at the case, and they're going to give it back to the police, saying, I'm not filing this case, and you need to do a further investigation. Our California criminal defense lawyers will look at this topic in more detail below.
Police Investigations in Sexual-Related Cases
There are circumstances where an alleged victim has given information to the police but has only given part of the story, which could be for various reasons. Maybe the person has a motive against you. Maybe there's a divorce going on, and they want you to get in trouble for a sex crime case to gain an advantage in the divorce.
Maybe there's something else going on that the police don't know about, so the police are taking only part of the story – not doing a thorough investigation and not talking to all of the witnesses and gathering all of the available evidence. Then, a lot of time, we can come in with our investigators – it's called private investigation – and we can get:
- statements from people.
In other words, we can show the other side of the story. Once the police see that, they realize that you have not committed a crime, and there's no reason to arrest you.
The one thing that becomes complicated about it is, in today's day and age, with all of the sex crime talk going around, all these situations where you have a bunch of people being accused of sexual assault and the political backlash that can occur if the police, prosecutors and judges don't deal with these cases.
So, what the police have been doing recently, they're taking almost everything to the prosecutors, this way they can cover themselves. Because if they do not file a case and something terrible happens in the future related to that case, that victim, that defendant, they can be blamed, and someone could say, you had the case.
Why didn't you do anything about it? But if they take it to the prosecutors and the prosecutors decide not to file it, and something happens in the future, that's not their fault.
They can say, wait a minute, we gave it to the prosecutors – they're the lawyers – we gathered information and gave it to them. If they wanted more information or wanted us to do something, they had to ask, and we would have followed through.
What are the Most Common Sex Crime Charges in California?
- Penal Code 311 PC – child pornography,
- Penal Code 647.6 PC – annoying or molesting a child,
- Penal Code 290 PC – sex offender registration,
- Penal Code 288 PC – lewd acts with minor,
- Penal Code 288a PC – oral copulation with minor,
- Penal Code 314 PC – indecent exposure,
- Penal Code 647(b) PC – solicitation of prostitution,
- Penal Code 243.4 PC – sexual battery,
- Penal Code 261PC – rape,
- Penal Code 261.5 PC – statutory rape,
- Penal Code 266h and 266i PC – pimping and pandering,
- Penal Code 288.4 PC – arrange a meeting with a minor for lewd purposes,
- Penal Code 288.2 PC – send harmful matter to seduce minor,
- Penal Code 288.3 PC – contacting minor to commit felony,
- Penal Code 236.1 PC – human trafficking,
- Penal Code 289 PC – forcible sexual penetration with a foreign object,
- Penal Code 647(a) PC – lewd conduct in public,
- Penal Code 647(J)(4) PC – revenge porn,
- Penal Code 653.22 PC – loitering for prostitution,
- Penal Code 653.23 PC – supervising or aiding prostitution,
Pre-Filing Negotiations with the Prosecutor
The bottom line is that when someone makes a sex crime allegation, the police will investigate it and take it to the prosecutors, but that doesn't mean the prosecutors are going to file every case. There are a lot of cases in that I'm able to convince the prosecutors and even the police that the case is bogus, that it's weak.
A lot of times, I've got police officers when I talk to them, and they say we're going to take it to the City Attorney for the District Attorney, but I don't think they're going to file it, based on the investigation you did, based on the information you gave us.
So, it depends on the circumstances of the case. My suggestion to you, though, is if you're being investigated for a sex crime, get an attorney right away; whether it's me or somebody else, you need somebody looking out for you. You need somebody strategizing and deciding:
- whether any evidence can be grabbed while it can be grabbed before the case is filed,
- whether or not a mitigation package needs to be sent to the prosecutors or police trying to convince them not to file a case in the first place.
These are all of the decisions that need to be made by an attorney. So, if you want the best, you've come to the right place. My name is Ron Hedding. If you're being investigated for a sex crime and don't want the case filed against you because you're innocent, pick up the phone and call.
Let my experience of working for the district attorney's office, working for a superior court judge, and working for people just like you since the early 1990's go to bat for you and get you the result you must have. The Hedding Law firm offers a free case review by phone or fill out the contact form.