Los Angeles Sex Crime Defense
If you or a loved one is accused of a sex crime, your first step is to get an experienced defense attorney.
Because of public policy, as well as potential safety concerns, sex cases tend to move quickly, & focus on the perspective of the reporting party.
Therefore, it can be extremely important for your attorney to promptly provide defenses and/or exculpatory evidence on your behalf, so the District Attorney has a balanced perspective of the case.
George Kita has handled many sex crime cases. His background at law enforcement and prosecution agencies provides clients a thorough understanding of the investigation process, and can prevent them from making critical mistakes during the investigation.
Are you facing a sex crime case? Don't try to resolve this on your own. Call Mr. Kita, and learn suitable strategies for you, at 213-400-5355.
Los Angeles Sex Crime Investigation Process
Sex crime cases include a wide variety of allegations: sexual assault or battery, indecent exposure, sex crimes against children, internet crimes, solicitation, as well as prostitution violations, to name a few.
And many allegations of these types trigger extraordinary responses because of safety concerns, as well as fear of prosecution for not making a police report (based on mandatory reporting statutes).
Any sex crime allegation is serious and requires immediate legal representation.
Sex cases often receive extensive publicity, and are robustly pursued in Los Angeles County. In fact, in cases where child abuse is suspected, there is criminal liability if you are subject to Mandatory Reporting Laws & fail to promptly report it.
Thus, police investigations are oftentimes set in motion, by a teacher or principal initiating contact with police, even in marginal cases.
Recently, the legislature added athletic coaches, computer technicians, and photograph processors to the list of persons who must make a report if they suspect abuse of a child, including sexual misconduct.
False Allegations of Sex Crimes
An even scarier scenario involves false allegations stemming from child custody disputes, visitation disagreements, or other personal disputes.
Even if an allegation is without a reasonable factual basis, there are significant repercussions which may stem from this, including loss of employment, modification of custody/visits with your own kids, public embarrassment, as well as substantial costs to fight the false charges. Once a person is publicly accused, the challenges can be daunting.
In my experience with the justice system for more than 20 years, I think it is extremely important for sex cases to be processed systematically.
Rather than police quickly jumping to conclusions about a case, with public statements and assumptions, caution should be the primary consideration from the start.
Once the proverbial bell is rung in sex crime cases, the damage is done, even if the allegations turn out to be mistaken.
If I didn’t do anything wrong, why do I need an attorney?
The short answer is that if you attempt to represent yourself and make an incomplete or inappropriate statements, you may cause an investigation to be built against you.
If I have a client facing a sex charge, I am the buffer between the client and police. I often initiate contact with the investigating detective. This is especially true if my client is facing a false allegation.
At the early stages of the investigation, I may need to quickly provide evidence which corroborates my client’s innocence, rather than allow him or her to face the onslaught of negative public outrage. These cases tend to develop quickly, and it is important for a lawyer to be ready to respond to each stage of the investigation.
In all cases where my clients are facing accusations of this nature, I want to emphasize to police to proceed with care. I also want to be informed at each stage of the investigation, whenever possible. However, I will not allow any police interview of my clients unless or until I am comfortable with the state of the investigation.
Sex Crime Cases in Los Angeles
Each step of the Los Angeles sex crime investigation should be discreetly and carefully made. Once any immediate safety concerns are addressed by law enforcement, police investigators should cautiously proceed, interviewing possible witnesses or involved parties.
This initial investigation should attempt to bring to light any bias, motive, or similar issue which would tend to suggest that the allegations were not substantiated. In my experience, it bolsters the veracity of an investigation to evaluate the important details prior to speaking to the news media about sex crimes.
Once the investigation is complete by police, a sex crimes lawyer may want to address specific issues with the detective, which could be helpful to their client. The detective will usually have an opinion about the veracity of the case at this time.
This opinion will usually be taken into account by the LA District Attorney’s Office when deciding whether to file or reject charges in the case.
Thus, it is also important for a lawyer to keep a line of communication open with the DA’s Office, which could promote a helpful dialog during this decision-making process. It is also important to explore the issue of bail, and make arrangements for that contingency if it is a possibility.
If the case is rejected for filing, the legal representation may have saved the client from irreversible personal harm, as well as harm to family and friends of the accused.
If a sex case is filed, an effective attorney will explore all viable defenses, engage a private investigator to assist with an independent investigation, and prepare the client for court and trial. Sometimes, a good working relationship with the government agencies will allow the client to be processed in a less public and intrusive manner, minimizing negative collateral consequences.
The stakes are high, and your lawyer’s efforts will be extensive, because depending on the sex charge, a sentence may involve jail or prison, as well as PC 290 Registration.
Penal Code section 290 Registration
If the client has the opportunity to resolve a sex case at court, an initial concern will be whether the client would be required to register as a sex-offender pursuant to Penal Code section 290.
Because of the extraordinary harmful consequences of this requirement in many sex cases, I carefully review the options for any plea offer with the client, keeping in mind that the 290 requirement means lifetime registration as a sex offender.
Because of the significant consequences of these cases, it is important to have a thorough understanding of the potential consequences of a plea agreement, as well as the dangers and/or advantages of going to trial.
Learn options for your case. Call George Kita, today, at 213-400-5355!
*Disclaimer - Results in sex crime allegations depend on particular details/applicable law of each case.