Our firm specializes in the defense of sex offense allegations and the majority of these cases involve alleged child molestation offenses. These cases are unlike any other criminal case in that the key witness is almost always a child and there is rarely an eyewitness or physical evidence to either prove or disprove the allegations. Very few firms specialize in sex offense cases and our years of experience in this area has enabled us to obtain an overwhelming number of dismissals and acquittals for our clients. We work only with the leading investigators and experts in the field and will stop at nothing to win the case.
Our lead investigator spent 14 years in the DeKalb County District Attorney’s Office and most of this time was in their Crimes Against Children Unit where she investigated child molestation cases for the prosecution. As a result, she has extensive knowledge as to how these cases are prosecuted and what must be done by the defense to obtain a dismissal or acquittal. With her help, we are able to resolve many of our cases prior to indictment and some even prior to an arrest being made.
In addition to our standard investigation tactics, we approach our investigation in these cases with a focus on gathering any and all evidence that can serve to impeach the credibility of the accusers. When we refer to accusers, this will typically include not only the child but also his or her family members and friends. This entails securing DFCS records, information from social networking sites, computer records, cell phone records, school records, medical and mental health records, and beyond. Very often, there will be particular witnesses who know nothing about the present allegations but who can shed light on the credibility or motives of the accusers. These witnesses usually prove to be the most critical witnesses to our defense. We will canvass neighborhoods as well as locate any co-workers, relatives and acquaintances who may possess this information.
From a legal standpoint, these cases are unique in that they involve special rules of evidence and a particularized pretrial motions practice. For instance, under the Child Hearsay statute the prosecution is permitted to introduce hearsay statements made by a child under the age of 16. In every case, the police will send the child for a forensic interview that is either conducted by a police officer or a therapist at a Child Advocacy Center. This is the piece of evidence that is typically most relied upon by the prosecution to obtain an arrest warrant and to prove their case at trial. Poorly trained interviewers will often employ improper techniques and suggestive questioning that will then produce fabricated and false allegations by the child. It is all too common to see innocent people arrested and charged as a result of these interviews.
In every child molestation case that we handle, we work with one of the nation’s leading experts in the field of forensic interview techniques. Our goal in every case is to educate the prosecution (or a jury if necessary) about the proper way in which these interviews should be conducted and pinpoint just how the poorly conducted interview contributed to the false allegations against our client. Click here for a perfect example of how our expert’s testimony helped us prove that suggestibility and improper interview techniques led to our client being falsely accused of molesting his stepdaughter.
Also, if a case involves an alleged injury to a child, Georgia law allows us to conduct a pretrial deposition of the doctor who treated the child. This is a critical procedure in Georgia that is often overlooked by defense attorneys. We have obtained dismissals and acquittals in child molestation cases as a result of these depositions as we are able to uncover other causes of a child’s apparent injuries (click here for an example).
These cases also involve specialized trial preparation strategies and we will use jury consultants, focus groups, mock trials and any other resources that are necessary to win the case. Jury selection in child molestation cases is a delicate matter so having an attorney and jury consultant who are experienced with these trials can make all the difference.
For more information about our investigation tactics, pretrial motion practice and our use of experts and jury consultants, please click here. You can also visit Georgia Sex Offense Law, an online reference published by our firm that discusses legal issues affecting the defense of individuals accused of sex offenses in Georgia.