Ask the average person what they would do if they were accused of a crime and they would likely say that they would hire a criminal defense lawyer right away. However, too many people have wound up inside of a New Jersey state prison because they did not hire a lawyer right away or they hired the wrong one. It appears that when the pressure is on and they are faced with a child molestation allegation, they just need to talk. It seems like most don't realize why they should get a lawyer and what they could do for them.
One common issue I hear often is that if they get a lawyer, the police will think that they are guilty. Of course, no one has ever been arrested simply because they hired a lawyer. What they don't realize is that law enforcement and anyone else associated with the case likely believe they are already guilty anyway. What they also fail to realize is that they have no idea what they are doing and handling any aspect of this case alone is a very bad idea. If you are still convinced, talk to your lawyer about how many cases he or she has had. You will likely find that the vast majority of the cases where the defendant has hired them before arrest have avoided charges whereas the vast majority of people that were arrested did not have a lawyer beforehand.
Every case is different so it is impossible to say exactly what the lawyer will do. In short, the lawyer will cast doubt in the mind of the State so as to prevent you from getting arrested. In some cases, this involves getting information without giving any information. Anything your lawyer says cannot be used against you. Thus, your lawyer can give information without really giving the State anything they can use to prosecute you (in general). Your lawyer can also get information from the State to see where their investigation is and how he or she can assure that it never leads to an arrest.
One of the tactics your lawyer may choose to utilize is a polygraph test. While polygraph tests are not admissible in court in New Jersey, this doesn't mean you should just jump at the chance to do it. If this is going to be an option that is used, the first thing one should do is to utilize a private polygraph examiner to see how the client will do. I have seen clients swear up and down that they are innocent just to bomb the private polygraph. Clearly, this would not have helped them defeat the State's case. Thus, it may be better to not give a polygraph then to give one that they fail.
Another issue is to use a parallel litigation to prevent an arrest. For example, they may be a family court proceeding such a custody complaint or a DYFS case (now known as DCPP). Information gathered from these cases may be used to sink the State's case. Of course, it helps to find an attorney that has experience in handling all of these areas (which can be hard to find). Otherwise, you'll have to hire several lawyers to handle the different aspects of your case. This could not only be expensive, but getting everyone on the same page could be difficult.
In conclusion, if you are faced with a child molestation allegation in New Jersey, hire an experienced lawyer ASAP to ensure that you are protected.
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