This page related to: wrongly accused on child sexual abuse; social workers; miranda rules, molested child; competent legal help.
SO YOU HAVE JUST BEEN ACCUSED OF A CRIME:
HOW TO AVOID HAVING YOUR HEAD IN THE WRONG PLACE
You have just been wrongly accused of some misdeed, child sexual abuse, rape or some other nefarious act. You know you did not do this and you want to cooperate with the authorities (police and/or social workers) because you want to show them you are innocent. Therefore, if you have not already done something foolish you may not be able to resist making a string of errors unless you get wise.
The first thing you need is an attorney. Not just any attorney will do, but an attorney, even a poor one is better than none. Speak to nobody without your attorney present.
Beware the pretext call from an alleged victim, an estranged spouse, or somebody else wishing to discuss the allegations with you. The typical pretext call is typically well scripted with a police detective writing down things for the alleged victim to say or ask. The calls are being recorded to be played in court as a “confession.” This is a scam used by police detectives to get around the Miranda rules. It is used to devastating effect. You do not have to admit you did anything on the phone, just something that can be used to claim it is an admission. Words can be distorted and misinterpreted; something you feel is just an attempt to reason with the person is likely to be seen differently by an emotionally manipulated jury. If a cop says it is a confession, 99.9% of jurors will believe it is. Your only chance for survival is to simply hang up the phone. I know you want to defend yourself, but this is an area in which you simply cannot win. I have seen thousands of cases where there would never have been charges filed but for the things that came out of the client’s mouth. It is hard for most people, but Americans especially, to know when to shut up. Once accused the ONLY person you should speak to about the issues is your lawyer!
An issue that comes up on the false accusations discussion list repeatedly is how cases are complicated by not acting soon enough. The last thing most people want to hear is that defending themselves is going to cost $30,000 right at the gate. Who in their right mind wants to spend that kind of money? Especially when there are those who promise, they can help you for a fraction of that.
There are others on the net who “call” themselves “consultants” on these cases and they sometimes offer advice very similar to ours, but at a lower price. People can call themselves whatever they like. In some cases, what you get for that lower price is 75% or less of what we do. Typically their tactics are comprised of incomplete testing, no real prep for the testing, and tossing the test results even when they are good into the air and hoping that they work. One “investigator” believes he can “prep” people for his idea of testing. The problem is that because of this several of his clients have been criminally charged where they otherwise would not have been charged. Most of the time the investigator he gets away with it. Nevertheless, in a growing number of cases he is not. Another uses some of the testing we do, and then turns it over to a local attorney who could not correctly spell the test names last week. The result is that the tests prove ineffective and the process to be a waste of money. Then I am brought in to try to fix things when the testing has been exposed and rendered almost useless. You need to understand that it is more than just getting the testing done, it is in knowing how to use it and when to use it and how to use it. For all the good intentions in the world, using the cheaper deals is usually more expensive.
“If you want nice, fresh oats, you must pay a good price for them.”
“If you do not mind that they have been through the horse once, then they come cheaper.”
John Ruskin, 18th century English Philosopher
Why is all this important to you? Even if your case is a civil case, if you screw things up or a poor lawyer does, you may find bad decisions cast in stone. Most lay people do not understand how the law works and maintain childish notions of how “justice” operates. Let’s work with that civil case for a moment. You do the things wrong, have a poor lawyer. The court finds that you molested your child. Your lawyer mishandles an appeal and the time to appeal lapses. Most folks like you think that when you get new information or new advice that you can just go back and clear everything up now with the truth. In most states once a decision has been made and time for appeals closed, the decision becomes “the law of the case” and it can never be changed regardless of the evidence. The false accuser can admit it in open court and stick their tongue out at you. The decision is “the law of the case” and cannot be changed regardless of anything. The courthouse door is locked for you.
Many schemes for handling these cases have come and gone over the years, only one has proven to work almost universally, and it is the case outline we use. In almost 30 years it has proven to be the most reliable and effective one going. It is expensive and sometimes not the most fun to have to go through. However, if you could have the knowledge of thousands of cases you would know it was the real cheapest way to attack problems like yours.
You are walking into an area where you are playing Russian roulette. For all the claims of people saying they have records of accomplishment to match ours, the truth is they do not. We can lead you to the water, but we cannot make you drink it. I know when I speak to you that you do not want to hear about spending $15,000 on testing when others say they can get it done for $1,000. Moreover, that it is “up-front.” I can only appeal to you to do the right thing.
You need good competent legal help right away. Getting the right lawyer makes all the difference in the world to how much you eventually spend and the outcome of your case. Nobody comes close to the A-Team.
Yes legal costs are high. There are "cheap" legal services out there. You can find lawyers who will take on a false allegation case for as little as $500. The problem is that at the present time a number of legal assumptions are working against you. The first one is that "ALL" allegations are true. Another is that "Children NEVER lie." And then you compound the problems with the professional prostitutes that nearly always find abuse. They are what are called "Validators" professionals who can take any statement from a child and twist that into absolute evidence of abuse. Then they have medical workers who will take even the absence of any medical findings and proclaim that the lack of finding is "consistent with abuse." Of course that isn't the real problem. The real problem is the juries who hear things like "consistent with abuse" and convert that into a mistaken belief that there IS medical evidence of abuse.
So in order to counter this oppressive atmosphere the first thing an accused needs is an attorney who knows how to handle this kind of case. You can pick a guy 2 hours out of law school for $25 an hour. Of course he is going to be legal "road kill" and so are you. Some people have argued with me on the Internet that "ANY" lawyer will do, that "ANY" psychological expert will do. They have loudly claimed that; "All lawyers and psychologists have exactly the same training." The sad part is that many people believe that. “Why pay thousands of dollars for a high priced expert psychologist to do testing for you when you can have "anyone" do the testing and then bring in a big gun to just testify as to the results of the other guy's testing?” Let me answer that:
It is a violation of professional ethics for a psychologist to offer testimony based on testing that he or she did not perform themselves.
All psychologists do NOT have the same training. Not even close to it.
Many kinds of testing require specialized training and certification.
Not all lawyers are the same. Some lawyers know traffic law. Some know personal injury.
Also with medical doctors these people would suggest that you have your brain surgery done by a podiatrist. Because they also are medical doctors.
Would you want a doctor an hour out of medical school to do your quadruple by-pass surgery?
The state uses prosecutors that “specialize” in abuse or sex cases and experts that they regularly use. Why should you have less? The suggestion that you hire “just anyone” is suicidal advice. The belief that you can get away with just any lawyer because all lawyers have the same training or all psychologists have the same training is a suicide pact. In the first instance all lawyers do NOT have the same training, and neither do all psychologists.
No matter who you hire to work on your case you are faced with a situation dealing with the usual hundreds of man hours spent on the case by the state by their expert lawyers and expert witnesses documentation (transcripts of statements, reports) etc when you have no time to read them. No time for taking depositions. Unless you like "trial by surprise" you’ll want a bit more effort on your behalf. If you want to wait until the trial to find out the evidence against you fine. You'll go to prison, but fine! If you want to wait until the state's experts have testified, fine. Oh, did I tell you when you find a problem during a trial; you do NOT get to ask for a time out?
So doing your case is going to take time. Hours and hours of time making sure you know the opposition's case better than they do and that you have an answer for every one of their claims. Otherwise, expect that jury of your peers who believe that "EVERYONE WHO IS ACCUSED DID SOMETHING!" to send you away for a very long time. When any workman worthy of his hire does his job he is spending time on your case. You have to pay for that. Too many people attack the people trying to help them because they charge so much. I get that. Here is a deal, don't send me anything about your case, don't talk to me about it and I won't charge you a penny! If you actually want me to help you, and want me to spend time on your case, then I charge for it. And I like any professional work on a base hourly rate. How much I or anyone decent working on your case will charge is directly related to how much time we book on your case. Like every professional. Don’t ask me to cut corners because that is what kills your case.
Yes the costs are unfair when you are falsely accused, but not because the professionals are unfair with you, the unfairness is on the part of the false witness and often state malfeasance. You need, however, to understand that as unfair as this system is, all others are worse. You would not want to live under a socialized legal system. Actually that socialized legal system IS available to you right now in America. We call it the "Public Defender." Ignore that 95% of their cases are plea bargained (they don't like to take cases to trial). Also ignore that of the cases the PD's take to trial, 98% result in convictions. Forget that with a PD it is unlikely you can have ANY experts at all. If you get a doctor, he's likely to be an alcoholic on the impaired physicians list or something akin to that. As pointed out elsewhere the big budgets for the PD's come in capital punishment cases. There they get as much as $3,000 for everything. Depositions, court reporter, transcripts, investigator, experts and the PD himself. WOW! Yes, in countries with socialized legal systems they have near a 99% conviction rate. And in them you generally don't get an appeal. Still want to complain about OUR system?
(I have had several PD office take issue with the above statistical statements. When asked to prove them wrong from their own records they had to back down because these claims are generous to them.)
Alan Dershowitz on the Larry King show had the greatest answer to a caller on this subject I have ever heard. The caller was complaining that O.J. Simpson "bought" his acquittal, that justice was for sale in America. Dershowitz' retort was: "money can't buy justice, but a lack of money does buy INJUSTICE!"
I can't tell you how many cases I have seen in almost 30 years of work where "discount" lawyers have not understood the cases and allowed evidence that wasn't really evidence to contaminate cases and allowed their clients to be convicted. I have seen too many cases where lawyers allowed testimony that a child's hymen "grew back" with not even the slightest glimmer of understanding that hymens do NOT grow back! What your lawyer or expert doesn't know CAN INDEED kill you!
No — the A-Team are not the "Counts of Discounts." We don't use cheap easily discredited wannabe experts. If you want somebody to half-ass your case, I suggest you get somebody else. Remember, those who CAN…. DO… those who CAN'T make wild claims and write books!" When somebody tells you he will do EXACTLY what I do for 25% of what I charge, there's a reason why he’s so cheap! The short answer is that you get at least 75% less!
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