How do I find the best lawyer for a sex offense charge in Massachusetts?
Answered by: J. W. Carney, Jr.J. W. Carney, Jr. and Associates Phone: 617-404-9683
Getting the best lawyer for a sex offense charge can mean more than one thing. It can mean finding a lawyer capable of successfully challenging the case against you. You could win in court or see the charges dismissed ahead of time. Alternatively, a successful defense could mean seeing the charges reduced. When prosecutors threaten heavy charges, those can carry life-altering consequences. It’s important to get those charges brought down to an appropriate level.
In either case, no attorney can guarantee results. Instead, you want to look for the signs of success. The most important of these are experience and a record of past successes.
Why is experience vital to defending against sex offense charges?
The right criminal defense attorney for you will have extensive experience handling sex offense cases. This doesn’t just mean experience with the charges leveled against you. It should also include experience with such charges as aggravated rape, sex offenses involving children, indecent assault and battery, indecent exposure, open and gross lewdness, and looking at child porn. This experience is important because sex offense cases often involve more than just the law and the evidence.
Sex offense cases tend to hit on social taboos. You want counsel who is prepared to tackle those taboo topics in front of a jury. This means staying on top of the trends in society’s outlook to sex offense issues. You want an attorney tapped into social movements. Any criminal defense attorney can parse the law, but to improve your chances at trial, you want a defense attorney who stays abreast of current issues. If your defense attorney does not have a deep understanding of these issues, you may not get a fair trial and due process. Your attorney must make sure the commonwealth faces its full burden. The jury must not be swept away by general shifts in the society at large.
Additionally, sex offense cases are different from other criminal cases because of the sex offender registry. People convicted of sex offenses may have to register as sex offenders, and it is important to register for the lowest level offense possible. If you are registered for a higher-level offense, then your picture, home address and work address will be available on the internet for everyone to see. That can have disastrous consequences for your reputation, employment and family. An attorney who has extensive experience dealing with the sex offender registry board will understand your options for reclassification to lower level offenses. At times, an experienced attorney may be able to help someone get the appropriate counseling and avoid registering as an offender altogether.
What are the stakes for sex offense charges?
The criminal consequences for sex offense charges in Massachusetts can include years of prison time, steep fines and registry as a sex offender. For instance, the criminal consequences for federal child pornography charges include a five-year minimum mandatory sentence.
Beyond the criminal consequences, people accused of sex offenses often suffer damage to their reputation. It is possible for sex offense charges to cause serious harm to your reputation before you even have the chance to defend yourself in court.
Is it possible to beat sex offense charges?
An experienced attorney can help you deal with both the legal and social aspects of your case.
On the legal side, a good attorney will fight to uphold your rights and challenge all the evidence. An experienced attorney will understand the value of a social media investigation and may use it to strengthen your case. It may also be possible to suppress evidence that other attorneys won’t expect can be suppressed. You want to make sure your attorney has a record of successful challenges.
On the social side, you want someone who understands how to deal with the media. This is especially true in high-profile cases. You can use the internet to research an attorney’s top cases. Then you can see what experience they have in dealing with the media and independent news articles.
Your case is not the time for rookie mistakes
If you ever face sex offense charges, you want an attorney who has a strong record of successfully defending these charges and who can see the big picture. Any criminal defense attorney can read the criminal code and review the evidence. It takes an experienced attorney to review the charges in light of changing social norms and to lead a jury past the taboo aspects of a case to the facts of it. It takes an experienced attorney to ensure you face the right charges and do not have to register as a sex offender for higher-level offenses. It’s your life, and when it comes to the legal and social aspects of the charges, you want an attorney who has seen it all before and is not going to make any rookie mistakes.
The answer is intended to be for informational purposes only. It should not be relied on as legal advice, nor construed as a form of attorney-client relationship.
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