Jacksonville Sex Crime Lawyer

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Jacksonville, NC Sex Crime Attorney

Sex crimes are some of the most fiercely prosecuted and heavily penalized crimes in our justice system. They almost always involve significant jail time. They will also likely mean having to register as a sex offender, which can have a tremendous impact on someone’s life, including their career options and even social life. When facing the consequences of a sex crime charge, a Jacksonville, NC, sex crime lawyer is invaluable to protecting your future.

It can be difficult to feel any sense of hope for how your situation will be resolved without upending your entire life. However, no matter what you are charged with, you are owed the full measure of due process. You have:

  • Rights that are meant to be observed
  • An opportunity to defend your case in court
  • The chance to avoid a guilty verdict and subsequent penalties unless a jury finds your guilt to be beyond a reasonable doubt

Silva, Kiernan & Associates, PLLC: Your Jacksonville, NC, Sex Crime Attorneys

The justice system can sometimes be overzealous. It’s critical that you have someone advocating for you and making the case that all your rights need to be observed. To do that, you need a skilled, experienced Jacksonville sex crime lawyer who understands all sides of the legal process and can defend your rights within it.

At Silva, Kiernan & Associates, PLLC, we fight to see that our clients receive a fair opportunity at a defense, regardless of the accusations. Justice isn’t done unless you are given every opportunity to get a not-guilty verdict.

Kinds of Sex Crimes

Sex crimes are those that involve non-consensual sexual acts. Some of the more commonly charged sex crimes include:

  • Rape – Unwanted sexual intercourse or penetration is one of the most harshly punished sex crimes.
  • Sexual Assault – Non-consensual sexual contact or behavior covers a broad range of actions that can be charged.
  • Sexual Harassment – Sexual advances that are unwanted could result in sexual harassment charges.
  • Child Sexual Abuse – Molestation or sexual exploitation of a child is one of the most damaging and severely punished forms of sex crimes.
  • Statutory Rape – Minors are not able to legally consent, so sexual actions with them are always illegal.
  • Child Pornography – Distribution, possession, or production of explicit images of minors can result in serious consequences.
  • Indecent Exposure – Exposing one’s genitals in public may result in indecent exposure charges.

What a North Carolina Sex Offense Attorney Can Do for Your Case

Sex offenses are some of the most complex cases to defend. One of the defining aspects of many cases is the question of consent, and that can be complex to prove or disprove. Additionally, it’s one of the most emotionally charged subjects for all parties involved.

Justice, though, requires looking past the emotional element and judging the demonstrable facts of the case. The complexity of these cases is one of the reasons why it’s absolutely critical that you work with a skilled, experienced criminal defense attorney.

Protect Your Civil Rights

One of the most important things that we can do for you throughout the legal process is to protect your rights. While many people are familiar with Miranda rights and your right to remain silent, it’s important to recognize that your rights apply before an arrest of any sort as well. If you’re being investigated, a lawyer can help protect your right to avoid self-incrimination and not be subject to unlawful searches. Our duty to protect your rights continues through the legal process, and we take every measure available to us to see that they are observed.

Investigate the Circumstances Surrounding Your Case

Early in the process, we conduct our own investigation of the circumstances that have led to charges being made against you. We try to identify all manner of evidence that may be helpful to your defense, including photos, videos, eyewitness statements, forensic evidence, and anything else that might be useful. Our experience can help us understand what kinds of evidence can be valuable to present before a jury.

Formulate a Defense

While we are investigating your situation, we start to understand what may be the right approach for your defense. It’s important to remember in these cases that the burden of proof is on the prosecution. It’s their responsibility to prove your guilt to the jury beyond a reasonable doubt. This means that successfully defending against the charges can be done by giving the jury reasonable doubt regarding the prosecution’s narrative and version of events.

Conduct Pre-Trial Activities

Our defense of you begins before the trial even starts. If there are any possible grounds for dismissal, we can attempt to make that happen. Even if that’s not possible, there may be the possibility of challenging some of the prosecution’s evidence as not being admissible if it was obtained unlawfully. Those and any other relevant pre-trial motions can be used to aid your defense in the trial.

Advocate for You in Court

In the trial, we act as your representative and advocate. We can challenge the prosecution’s narrative and put forth the strongest defense that the evidence allows. We can also try to defend against the effects of emotion on the proceedings and make the case that any judgment regarding the case must be made on a clear assessment of the facts.

Show Weaknesses in the Prosecution’s Case

One of the most effective methods of creating doubt is identifying problems in the prosecution’s case or weaknesses in their evidence and magnifying them for the jury to see. To do this well, we need to be able to think like the prosecution and understand what their case might look like. We need to identify those holes and prepare to exploit them.

Having been on that side of a trial before, at Silva, Kiernan & Associates, PLLC, we are particularly adept at anticipating the prosecution’s moves in a way that can only be understood by having been there.

Represent You During Sentencing and Appeals

Although we do everything in our power to get a “not guilty” verdict, it’s possible that even the most well-argued cases still end up with a “guilty” verdict. If that happens, our advocacy for you continues through sentencing, where we can make the case for a lighter sentencing. Afterward, too, if there is the possibility of appeals, our defense of you may continue.

What to Do If You’re Arrested in Jacksonville

If you’re arrested in Jacksonville, it’s important to realize that it can be an important window of time for your future case. Some of the things that you do in those moments can have a profound effect on the final outcome. There are three main things that you want to remember to protect yourself from making your case worse. They are:

  • Be Calm – Getting arrested can be an experience that often involves high tensions. It makes sense that you might feel upset, confused, frustrated, and frightened. It’s critical, though, that you don’t act on any of those emotions. It could lead to you saying or doing something that hurts your case or results in additional charges. Although it may be hard, you should remain composed and allow the process and system to work.
  • Say Little – Everyone around you will have their ears on guard for something you say that might later be used against you in court. It’s critical that you watch your words very carefully. Officers are trained in a variety of tactics for getting something useful to their cause out of you. Even small talk could be a tactic to cause you to let your guard down. You have a right to remain silent, and you’re better off exercising it.
  • Call Your Lawyer – Contact your lawyer as soon as possible, and continue to use your right of silence until they arrive. They can help protect your rights and begin the process of putting together your defense.

A Jacksonville Sex Crime Lawyer Who Can Protect Your Rights

Very few crimes are punished as severely as sex crimes. They are also some of the most difficult charges to defend against. It’s a normal reaction to be upset at the prospect of a sex crime, and there’s an instinctual desire to want to see that punished. These feelings can affect the judge, the jury, the prosecution, and anyone else involved in the court.

These feelings, though, are not an excuse for denying the rights of the accused, not giving them a fair hearing, and ignoring the judicial process. However, to ensure that everyone is continuously aware of this responsibility, you need a lawyer who is going to make that clear.

At Silva, Kiernan & Associates, PLLC, we understand how to make sure that the legal process is followed properly and that our clients are given every opportunity to challenge the accusations against them. Our experience as prosecutors gives us an understanding of how a courtroom works from both sides of the process.

If you need an Onslow County sex offense attorney who can put together an aggressive defense on your behalf, then contact us today to discuss your case.

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