If you have been charged with (or are being investigated for) the sexual assault of a child, you need the assistance of an experienced sex crime attorney, and you need it now. Facing such a charge alone is both frightening and extremely risky. Since the consequences of a conviction are serious, it is critically important that your legal rights be protected at every step of the way. San Bernardino and Riverside child sexual assault attorney Gregory H. Comings can help you formulate an appropriate defense strategy for your situation.
Having handled sex crime cases involving minors for over a decade, Attorney Comings knows that many false accusations (not to mention wild exaggerations of innocent interactions) are made each year. Since there is a social stigma against people accused of sex crimes in which children are involved, it may be difficult to fight these charges. It is not, however, impossible to win a child sexual assault case or, in the alternative, work out a plea agreement to a lesser crime.
Upon undertaking the representation of a client accused of this crime, one of the first things that a child sexual assault lawyer in Riverside or San Bernardino will do is review the prosecution’s evidence to find possible holes in its case. After all, the State of California must be able to prove each and every element of the offense with which it has charged the defendant beyond a reasonable doubt, or else they may not be convicted of that crime. For example, with regard to the crime of sexual battery, the prosecutor must be able to prove that the defendant touched the victim’s intimate parts against the victim’s will, while the victim was restrained, for the defendant’s sexual gratification or arousal or with the intent of abusing the victim. While “beyond a reasonable doubt” does not require that every possible shred of doubt be removed from the jurors’ minds, it does require that they be convinced of the defendant’s guilt within a certain degree of moral certainty.
If, for example, the State’s only proof in a given case is a “mandatory report” of abuse from a member of a profession (such as teaching) that requires those who suspect that a child has been abused to make a formal report to the authorities, the State’s case may quickly fall apart. A teacher’s testimony is likely to be excluded as inadmissible hearsay evidence. Without testimony from the child or a medical expert who examined them, a conviction may be difficult to obtain.
Additionally, any evidence obtained in violation of a defendant’s constitutional rights may be excluded at trial. Under the “fruit of the poisonous tree” doctrine, the State may not introduce evidence at trial if that evidence is tainted by a constitutional violation. Thus, a confession obtained without advising the defendant of their right to remain silent or their right to the advice of counsel may be inadmissible, as may physical evidence obtained in violation of the defendant’s Fourth Amendment or due process rights.
California law is tough on sex offenders, especially when minors are the alleged victims. A lengthy term of incarceration, hefty fines, and other penalties like inclusion on the sex offender registry may take away the defendant’s freedom and ruin their reputation. A conviction of a sex crime may also make it very difficult to find employment and housing, and it may interfere with other opportunities, such as higher education or military service. As an experienced San Bernardino and Riverside child sexual assault lawyer, Gregory Comings can work zealously to level the playing field against the police and prosecutors. He can make sure that your rights are not violated, and he will do everything in his power to seek a favorable outcome for his clients. To schedule a consultation, call 951-686-3457 or contact us online. In addition to child sexual assault, Attorney Comings also assists people who need a child pornography attorney or representation against charges of other sex offenses.