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Defense of Sexual Assault Allegations in Texas

Posted by attorney Brandon Hudson

“Sexual Assault" encompasses everything from a simple touch to forced sex. The allegations can vary in degrees of seriousness. The San Antonio or Bexar County prosecutors will take all allegations of sexual assault seriously and consider them trustworthy from the outset. Accordingly, charges of sexual assault will be prosecuted and individuals will be arrested even in cases where the evidence may appear weak or questionable.

In San Antonio and Bexar County, when a child less than fourteen years of age makes an allegation of sexual assault, another charge of indecency with a child or solicitation of a minor may be charged as well. These charges criminalize sexual contact with a person under fourteen, whether it was consensual or not. Consent is generally not a defense to one of these charges.

Many sexual assault cases are of the "he said – she said" variety. Most sexual assaults consist of an allegation by a complainant only, with no eyewitness or corroborating evidence. Most people believe that such an allegation must be true. After all, why would someone ever make up such a thing?

People do make up false charges and the motives can be easily detected or hidden deep within the mind of the accuser. Sometimes the obvious examples are jealousy, revenge, attention, and divorce. Sometimes, no motive is apparent. Such allegations can be made by adults or by children. Children’s motives are wide ranging and can be difficult to ever uncover without a proper investigation. A child may have been subject to influence by an older person with a motive or a well-meaning child advocacy center that has influenced the child by poor investigative procedure. Or it may be based on something the child has seen, heard, or experienced somewhere else.

To properly prove that a person has been wrongfully accused, the lawyer must possess good cross-examination and trial skills, a thorough investigation must be completed quickly, all witnesses interviewed and medical records evaluated. The lawyer should be able to walk into the courtroom with the confidence that he or she knows the case inside out and better than anyone else in that courtroom.

Case preparation will look for inconsistencies within the testimony of a witness, inconsistencies between two separate pieces of evidence and lack of evidence in the medical examination conducted right after the alleged attack.

We look for evidence regarding behavior that is questionable in light of the allegations. This type of evidence may relate to behavior before, during, or after the alleged incident. Previous sworn testimony that reveals a lie may be found in CPS reports or doctors notes. Lies may be revealed in what was said in earlier testimony, court proceeding or to investigators. It is very important to scrutinize what was said to the police during the investigation, or what was said to someone else such as another witness, a friend, a relative, or a doctor. The exposed lie is a powerful weapon that can make some cases be dismissed without even having to go to trial.

These are a few examples of the difficulties that often exist in a case where sexual assault is alleged. However, each case is unique and a cookie-cutter approach should never be applied when building a defense.

Such cases require a San Antonio criminal defense lawyer that is specialized in criminal law and has handled many sex crime related cases. It is imperative that the attorney and the client work closely together early so an investigation can bring all the relevant facts to light and the best possible defense can be presented and a victory can be achieved.

Additional resources provided by the author

Daniel & Hudson is a San Antonio law firm comprised of Texas Board-Certified lawyers who specialize in criminal defense. The accomplished legal team has over 40 years of combined experience and have been named “Best Lawyers in San Antonio” for five consecutive years. The attorneys at the firm have an arsenal of tools and experience to use when defending the accused and using these skills, they strive to obtain the best results possible for each and every client they represent.

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