Attorney-Client Relationship in Somerset County Sex Crime Cases
When someone has been charged with allegations of sex crimes it can be very frightening and very intimidating. When someone is charged with a sexual allegation, there is a huge stigma attached to that and the person is automatically considered guilty by the public.
That actually can be true of a lot of different crimes, but it especially so with allegations of sex offenses. These allegations require the defendant to discuss some very personal and private information. It is a subject matter that is generally considered taboo by society.
Allegations of sex crimes can impact a person’s employment and their family life—everything is impacted. In Maryland, the large majority of sex offenses, if convicted, would automatically require a person to be registered as a sex offender. That can be more damaging than an actual jail sentence or prison sentence. Somebody who has their name on the sex offender registry is considered a pariah. For all of these reasons, it is vital to work with a local Somerset sex crimes lawyer when charged with sex crimes in Somerset County.
Importance of Working With an Experienced Lawyer
A defendant will want to look for someone who has experience defending against sex crimes charges. An experienced defense attorney is going to know exactly what the state has to prove for the allegations. They will have experience from previous cases with such things as the evaluation performed by a sexual assault forensic nurse.
A defendant will want to look for an attorney who has the experience of cross examining the state’s forensic witnesses or a sexual assault nurse examiner. Sometimes in sex offense cases, especially when they relate to children, there are some very specific hearsay exceptions that, if that evidence is allowed, can be incredibly damaging for a defendant. So a defendant would want to look for an experienced attorney who has previously handled those hearsay exceptions and knows whether statements of children will be allowed in.
To defend against sexual assault crime, it helps to have an attorney who understands the elements of the offenses and understands what the forensic evidence potentially could be. It is good to have an attorney who understands the rules of procedure and evidence. These things can only come with the experience of having represented other people in similar situations and having experience defending those cases.
Value of Attorney-Client Trust
It is incredibly important for a client to trust the attorney in these cases. The client has to feel comfortable enough to tell the attorney everything that happened and everything that might be relevant and even things that the client thinks are not relevant. The client should feel comfortable in doing that because the attorney–client privilege exists with those conversations and the attorney cannot disclose or share anything that the client shares in the course of that relationship.
It is important for the client to tell the attorney everything. This can be true for a lot of different types of crimes, but probably the clearest example of this is where the client perhaps has denied having a sexual relationship and has made that denial to his spouse or his girlfriend and every other person under the sun, but in reality there was a sexual relationship with the victim. The attorney needs to know that because it can change the nature of the defense from one of denying that the crime never happened to instead saying these parties were involved in a consensual relationship.
Role of Trust in Plea Deals
The accused person needs to be able to be completely open, because that is the only way that an attorney can give helpful assistance to a client in combating these sex crime charges. It is important for the attorney to be able to have a very candid conversation with the client especially when considering a plea deal. It is hard to engage in a successful plea negotiation conversation with the prosecutor if the client has held back anything from his attorney.
The client also needs to believe that the attorney would only recommend a plea if the attorney felt it was absolutely in the best interest of the client. The client needs to really trust and believe that the attorney is working for his best interest and whatever is recommended—whether it is trial or plea—is done with the interests of the client at heart. Without this trust there could be conflict between the attorney and the client.