Virginia Sex Crimes Investigations
Virginia sex crimes investigations are typically done by the detectives in the local police departments. A decision on whether to investigate can happen in a couple of different ways, such as if the individual or the parent of a child make a complaint to the police or if a complaint is made to child protective services, who, after their investigation, will recommend to the prosecutor’s office that criminal charges are sought.
Investigators are typically looking for evidence such as admission on the part of the accused that they have done something wrong. Often, it is the case that people begin talking and giving statements to investigators where they unwittingly say things that are viewed as incriminating or inconsistent before they have any idea that those statements will be used against them in court.
The tools and tactics most often used to collect this evidence are interviews either by police officers or detectives or, even in some cases, investigations by child protective services. Those interviews are often presented as being friendly attempts to gather information or to get both sides of the story, but actually are attempts to get the accused to incriminate themselves through their statements making it important a Virginia sex crimes lawyer is contacted immediatly.
Agencies or Divisions Involved
Sex crimes investigations in Virginia are typically handled by virtually any police department in the locality that the alleged crime took place. However, most of them have a special unit or task force that has the specific purpose of investigating crimes of this nature. These are typically seasoned investigators as opposed to patrol officers.
The other division that handles the heart of the investigation is the child protective services, who often do a completely independent investigation, that frequently forms the basis of the criminal charges and are used as evidence against the accused during trial.
Prior to Arrest
Investigations are very common prior to arrest in sex crime cases. Oftentimes, a complaint arises because a person, or a parent of the person, makes a complaint that sex occurred with them against their will, or that there was consensual sex that occurred with a minor.
Typically, the police’s first step will be to get the accused to admit either that they did something against another person’s will or to get them to admit that they had consensual sex with a minor. People frequently do not understand that consent is not a defense to many kinds of sex crimes and they unwittingly make admissions to the police before they had an opportunity to talk to a lawyer about whether they should talk to the police or not, making their defense very difficult.
Hiring a Lawyer
The nature of sex crimes makes it important to hire an experienced sex crime lawyer because it is a very complicated and nuanced area of law, not only in the sense that the legal concepts part is difficult and can be challenging even to someone who is experienced, but also the kinds of evidence that are brought forward. Additionally the tactics and techniques that are used to challenge or undermine that evidence are not ones that are found in every kind of criminal case. This makes it extremely important that a person charged with sex crimes speaks with a sex crimes lawyer in Virginia who has extensive experience in all of these matters.