Constitutional Issues in Alabama Sex Crimes Cases
In any type of sex crime investigation, law enforcement will attempt to obtain some type of statement from the accused. The main issue is the individual’s right to remain silent. Under the pressure of police scrutiny and fear that comes from being in the back of a police car, they may speak to the arresting officer.
An experienced sex crimes attorney will want to know what conditions the individual was under when or if they spoke to law enforcement. Making a statement to the police without the proper legal aid of a lawyer can create constitutional issues in Alabama sex crimes cases.
Consenting to Statements
An individual may be questioning the validity of any type of statement that may have been made. Other potential constitutional issues in Alabama sex crimes cases includes search and seizure questions. Sometimes there is a request that is being made without a search warrant or without a judicial order where the police agency wants to do an examination or, they want to take pictures of the accused’s body to see whether the scratches or abrasions of any type. They want to get a blood sample, hair sample, or something of that nature, so that is always an issue again of consent.
In the absence of a judicial order, the burden is on the government to show that those rights were knowingly and intelligently waved, that is the accused knew that the individual had a right to refuse. They knew that they did not have to consent to what they were asking them to do in absence of a judicial order. That is another constitutional issue commonly seen in Alabama sex crimes cases.
Special Rules for Sex Offense Cases
There are some special rules for sex offense cases as they relate to the testimony of the children. Many of the jurisdictions have a specialized location where they take younger people who are alleged to be victims of some type of sexual assault or sexual crimes. They will be interviewed in a different kind of setting than they would otherwise encounter in a police station, a courtroom, or a prosecutor’s office. The forensic people who actually conduct those interviews are allowed to testify.
In the court of law, when the accused is not privy to the conversation, that would be deemed to be hearsay evidence, but they make an exception. This typically means the forensic interview can re-testify to show consistency in one person’s story. The prosecution is trying to show a child’s story was the same as the initial police person who took the report. Oftentimes, it is because of the nature of child testimony.
Children are very easily lead, if a family member has been accused then the adult who that child relies upon for their safety and security has a great deal of influence over the child. Attorneys have found many instances of false reporting where the child has been prompted, improperly or even maliciously, to give false testimony against someone. This is where having recorded interviews becomes beneficial. It is important that any individual facing such charges reach out to a seasoned attorney to discuss possible constitutional issues in Alabama sex crimes cases.