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These cases may involve an adult victim who is known to you, a stranger, a girlfriend, an ex-girlfriend, a spouse (yes that’ s correct) or ex-spouse or other. These cases are fact specific and the laws that apply to each case may differ.
Please remember all conversations you make from the jail will be recorded in most circumstances and listened to by law enforcement. All e-mails, Facebook statements, letters and statements to friends may also be used against you.
What Not To Do
The investigators may tell you that you need to talk to them in order to:
1) Prove your not guilty, it was all a “mistake”;
2) They will ask if the minor victim lies, and if you say no, ask to explain, to them, your position as to what happened.;
3) They will tell you that you may be charged with something worse, so maybe you “accidentally” did something.
There may be other questions, but, although they claim it is in your best interest to talk, normally all you do is prove a portion of the case they need proving and cannot prove without your statement. The baseline is in your fear and panic from such a serious accusation. Your testimony may actually be the words that result in your imprisonment.
In summation, do not say anything to any law enforcement regardless of the pressure you may get from your spouse, family or friends.
You will want to explain or defend yourself to family and friends and may even put “your story” in e-mails, Facebook or some other communication. As bad as you want to do this, make sure that you talk to a lawyer first as you may see these again in court.
What To Do
If you are legally entitled, obtain a copy of the following of the victim (DO NOT CONTACT THE VICTIM EITHER DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY):
1) Diaries, Calendars, etc.
2) E-mails, Facebook pages or Twitter communications
3) Text messages (these are not normally saved by the carrier). Take a screenshot of the messages.
4) Keep all voice messages and have then recorded onto a voice backup.
If the victims parents or a parent is someone you are litigating against, such as a paternity action, custody, divorce or domestic violence injunction then do the following:
1) Keep all court pleadings (documents)
2) Keep all e-mails
3) Keep all voice messages -- Remember, you may have to have them recorded from your cell phone or IPad as they do not last forever in that medium. Great evidence has been lost due to a client’s failure to backup, timely, vital voice recordings
You need to go back five years and make sure that you gather every item including calendars, receipts, notes, pay stubs, plane tickets or any other evidence that will show, as close as possible, where you were at any given time. I recognize this is a pain. However, the victim has a broad latitude and does not have to state with specificity as to what day and time these actions occurred.
Get an attorney!
From reading the above, your should realize that the “do’s and don’t’s” are complicated and the above list is not all inclusive. You need to talk to an attorney as soon as possible. The Law Firm of Steven W. Bowden offers FREE Consultations.
Please call for a FREE consultation at (850) 898-9850.
Steven W. Bowden has defended numerous cases of this nature and is well aware of how you can protect yourself and how you can preserve evidence.
Call us now for a FREE Consultation(850) 898-9850