Sex Crime Investigations in Maryland
Sex crimes in Maryland often have intensive and long investigations performed by police, medical, and forensic experts. Local law enforcement officials in Maryland and all across the country are taking these offenses very seriously, and are thus extremely diligent in their investigations. As a result, it is important to have an experienced sex crimes attorney that is aware of the Maryland investigative process. An attorney can be by your side to ensure all of your rights are protected during the investigation and you aren’t being taken advantage of by police.
The Investigation Process
In most cases, an alleged sex crime victim goes to the police or hospital and indicates that she or he has been raped or violated in some way. A nurse or a doctor performs an evidence gathering exercise to preserve the evidence. That triggers the involvement of the police department, and a detective from the sex crimes unit is assigned. The detective will usually talk to the alleged victim, any witnesses. and anyone accused or named by the alleged victim.
Within most police departments in Maryland there are special divisions trained and dedicated to investigating sex crimes and abuse cases. Additionally, forensic experts and doctors review the evidence from a rape kit at a hospital. In most cases, the prosecuting attorney has reviewed the evidence as well.
Investigations prior to arrest are very common in sex crime cases, especially when the victim is a minor or young child. Sex crime cases are taken very seriously. The investigation is pursued vigorously because sex crimes are difficult to prove without corroborating evidence. Once the authorities arrest someone they often have a lot of information and evidence leading to the arrest.
Important constitutional issues that can arise in Maryland sex crimes investigations include evidence gathered without consent from the defendant or accused. Interviews are particularly important. If a person is accused of a crime or may be accused of a crime, the authorities interviewing that person may create some constitutional issues if the person was not instructed to have an attorney present at the time of the interview.
Importance of an Attorney
An experienced lawyer understands the investigative process and can ensure the rights of the accused are preserved. Maryland sex crime investigations involve a large number of interviews with the witnesses as well as extensive gathering of physical evidence. Much of the information gathered is given voluntary, however, occasionally police officers will overreach the accused rights. Getting in touch with and retaining an attorney who is knowledgeable and has years of experience under his belt can work against this. Contact an attorney as soon as possible to make sure they can build a strong defense and guard against constitutional violations.