Some of the most serious lifetime punishments today are reserved for what has truly become the “third rail” of criminal conduct in American society – sex crimes. (For those who have never lived near MARTA, a subway or other electrified train system, the third rail is the rail that provides the electricity to power the train. If you fall onto the tracks and touch the “third rail,” you are immediately electrocuted.) Being convicted of a wide range of Georgia sex crimes – from rape to sexual contact with an underage person, to child pornography charges, – can land a person in prison for decades or life and on the sex offender registry. The Atlanta sex crimes lawyers at Conaway & Strickler, P.C., understand there is much at stake and work tirelessly on your behalf.
Under Georgia law, sex crimes against children (persons under the age of 16) include child molestation, aggravated child molestation, statutory rape, sexual exploitation of minors and child pornography. Other sex crimes involve rape, prostitution, sexual battery and aggravated sodomy. Georgia’s sex crimes laws have some of the harshest penalties in the country with many carrying mandatory 25 years to life prison sentences without the possibility of parole. Prosecutors have relentlessly prosecuted these crimes over the last two decades even when they have little or no evidence except the outcry of the alleged victim. Even in cases with no physical evidence, contradicting testimony of the alleged victim or witnesses, and little investigation, some prosecutors will force these cases to trial due to pressure from the alleged victim, or for political and social policy reasons (the “me too” movement).
The history of sex crimes in America is one of the “pendulum of justice” swinging too far in the opposite direction over the past 20 years. A few decades ago, few sex crimes were prosecuted, as the victims – mostly women and children – were too fearful to speak out, or, when they did speak out, were not taken seriously by police and prosecutors. This was obviously wrong and unjust to victims of sex crimes. The problem today, is that the legal system has overcorrected itself, so that police and prosecutors are fearful of dismissing any case regardless of how weak the evidence or how unreliable the accuser’s story appears to be based upon the evidence in the case. The result is you have many law-abiding citizens who are arrested and prosecuted for sex crimes in Georgia. Most of our clients facing sex crimes charges are professional men and women who have never been in trouble with the law. Then, one day, they are accused of committing a sex crime with little evidence to support the charge and, many times, with a potential penalty of 25 years to life in prison. Obviously, if you or a family member or friend has been accused of such a crime, you are facing one of the most serious threats to your life and liberty imaginable.
Winning these cases involves thorough and complete investigation. The Atlanta sex crimes lawyers at Conaway & Strickler, P.C., work aggressively to defend those accused of any sort of sex crime. Examining the statements made by the accuser and other state’s witnesses, and learning about their personal and professional backgrounds is critical. Many of these allegations come from former family members during divorces, child custody disputes and other times of family stress. Rape cases today many times involve “dates gone wrong” where the accuser and accused meet on a date or at a party. Overzealous police officers and prosecutors generally handle “date rape” cases by taking the word of the accuser as gospel and completely discounting the denial of the accused. This is the opposite of past generations where the opposite was true – neither response is just. Thus, in today’s world your defense attorney has to do most of the investigation work to build evidence that “proves your innocence” despite the fact that the law says any accused person is innocent until proven guilty by facts and evidence. Your defense attorneys need to review medical evidence and the accuser’s statements, review the statements of other government witnesses, gather physical evidence overlooked or ignored by the police, perform background investigations into the state’s witnesses, and conduct forensic investigatory work into your case concerning digital data, computers, emails, text messages and the like, while looking at identity issues involving the collection and testing of DNA samples.
If you or a family member or friend has been accused of a sex crime, Conaway & Strickler, P.C., is here to work with you. Our goal is to clear your name and restore your freedom. Our lawyers are licensed to practice in all state and federal courts in Georgia. We look forward to sitting down with you and discussing your case.
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