Local law enforcement take sex crimes very seriously in Fairfax, Virginia. As a result, they conduct thorough and sometimes lengthy investigations. There are many aspects law enforcement look into when conducting a sex crime investigation, from DNA evidence to witness statements.
A Fairfax sex crimes lawyer is well-equipped to aid an individual who believes he or she is being investigated for, or has already been charged with, a sex crime. Call today to schedule a free initial consultation.
At our law offices, we have extensive experience defending clients against sex crimes charges. Over the years, clients have sometimes been blindsided by sex crimes investigations. Below, we answer a few common questions about how these events tend to occur.
Investigations are common prior to official charges because sometimes complaints of sexual assaults do not necessarily happen at the time the crime happens. It is not unusual for there to be a delayed report and so, the urgency or the safety issue of apprehending someone might not necessarily be feasible for the police to make an arrest, they might not have enough evidence, so it would take some time to develop that evidence or develop the identity of their perpetrator depending on whether it’s stranger case or a known party offender.
Investigations are probably most common with child sexual abuse cases. These types of cases would be more likely to have a lengthy investigation phase because the complaining witness being a young child might not necessarily be particularly credible. Law enforcement would have to get corroboration of allegations of sexual abuse in any case, but specifically if it is a child that’s alleging it.
How sex crimes are investigated depends on how the complaint comes before law enforcement. There is a mandatory reporting statute in Virginia that requires some public servants to report allegations of sexual abuse of minors.
Also, the complaint can come from a 911 call in which officers are actually brought to a scene and there is a complaining witness who’s alleging that he or she was sexually assaulted, or it can come through a hospital or through a non-emergency police phone number. Then, the police get involved and they interview the complaining witness.
Depending on if the crime scene is still available, they will secure the crime scene and collect evidence. The complaining witness will be taken to the hospital to get a sexual assault nurse examination, which is a full medical exam and evidence collection tool for law enforcement in order to gain evidence such as DNA evidence or hair or sperm, things of that nature that could corroborate the complaining witness’ story or lead to the identity of the perpetrator.
Next, the investigators will figure out what they are dealing with and then see if they can identify a suspect. They will try to locate the suspect and if they have enough evidence to arrest him without a statement, they will get an arrest warrant, arrest him, and then interrogate him to try to get a statement from him.
Because law enforcement takes their job very seriously and is very aggressive in investigating these cases and charging people to the full extent of the law. Therefore, if you are suspected of being involved in or perpetrating a sex crime, then you are going to need legal counsel.
There is no question you are going to need legal representation, so it is crucial to seek out that representation early and take advantage of that precious time prior to arrest.
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