What Happens After Accusations of Child Molestation?
Virginia Child Protective Services (CPS) pursues cases of alleged sexual abuse and molestation in addition to other types of abuse and neglect. If the organization determines the complaint is appropriate, they may open a full investigation. A caseworker may come to your home to perform a safety assessment. Before discussing anything with a caseworker or police officer, consult with a criminal defense attorney.
Keep in mind that CPS does not have to tell you who reported your case. Relatives, friends, neighbors, teachers, doctors, and anybody else can make a report in secret. One need only contact a hotline number to report a case.
If CPS sees fit to pursue your case further, they may submit it to the criminal justice system. You may be arrested and charged with a sexual offense.
Depending on the investigation and allegations, prosecutors may charge you with multiple crimes for a single offense. Prosecutors may drop some charges as a trial nears or after speaking with a defense attorney regarding the evidence available. Does Virginia Have a Statute of Limitations on Child Molestation?
For many sexual offenses, including rape and sodomy, no statute of limitations exists. For cases involving sexual battery or sexual abuse of a child under 15, the statute of limitations is one year after the child turns 18.
What Factors Do Courts Consider in Child Molestation Cases?
Many factors are pertinent to sex-related cases, including those involving child molestation. These include the age of the alleged victim, age of the accused, mental health status of those involved, relationship of those involved, and other aggravating factors.
What Evidence May Be Used in a Child Molestation Trial?
Court cases for child molestation must utilize evidence to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. While DNA is often used as evidence, many cases involving child molestation do not have DNA evidence. As a result, the prosecution’s case may rely more on circumstantial evidence than on physical evidence.
Some prosecutors rely on pointing out the signs of abuse in children. Signs of abuse may point out that a child was abused, but this does not indicate that you abused the child in question.
How Can You Defend Yourself Against Allegations of Child Molestation?
Anybody who has been arrested for child molestation in Virginia needs a criminal defense attorney. Sexual offenses are important to handle with the assistance of an attorney because they come with severe punishments. They also come with a social stigma.
An attorney helps to reduce the impact sexually-based allegations have on your life. Defense attorneys keep your legal case out of the public eye and do their best to ensure you can return to your life after the case is over.
What Should You Do Next?
Without a criminal defense attorney, you may not understand the best way to combat child molestation accusations. Even if the evidence presented in court is insufficient to provide clear proof of abuse, the jury may not know this if you don’t have a strong attorney to point this out.
Thomas, Adams & Associates, P.C., is experienced in handling a variety of criminal defense cases, many similar to yours. Call our office today to discuss your options for defense.