A great deal of the workload performed by McMillan Criminal Law relates to sexual offending. In every case which runs to trial we expect an acquittal because we know that can be achieved.
Just last year this firm ran three jury trials for clients charged with the most serious of sexual offences, and in all of these cases our clients were acquitted.
Changes to the law in both States in relation to sexual offences over the past few years have eroded a lot of the historical protections afforded to someone charged with that type of offence. Matters that could once have been raised to demonstrate that an accuser should not be believed have been neutralised by operation of the law. That means these types of allegations, which are often easy to make, are now more difficult to defend.
It's important to make sure you have a criminal defence lawyer with courtroom experience in these matters, or you could be facing jail time.
For example, in trying to make a case against an accused person, the police will often utilise evidence gathering techniques that exploit the accused person's relationship with a close friend or loved one. This may result in the accused person one day participating in what appears to be an innocent telephone conversation with that friend or loved one, only to find out later on that the content of the telephone conversation has been recorded by police and they are interpreting it in a manner which they say shows the accused person's guilt.
Another concern for someone accused of sex offences is that the penalties for a lot of sex crimes have dramatically increased. For example, jail is no longer a sentence of last resort for someone charged with possession of child pornography offences. The new penalty regimes also impose on those convicted of a lot of sex offences, obligations to disclose their personal details and address to various parties well after they have concluded their sentence.
Added to that, the public's attitude to some allegations of this type borders on hysterical. The consequences of that can be seen in everything from neighbourhood vigilantism to difficulties in finding an arguably impartial jury. Often times if the accused person is a parent, the government will step in and remove the accused person's children from their family home on the basis of a mere allegation of this nature.
All up, now more than ever before, a person charged with a sex offence is facing some enormous challenges. These challenges are too much to face alone, and must be treated properly right from the start. Anyone who hears that they are accused of an allegation of this type (regardless of whether or not the police are yet involved) should immediately contact an experienced criminal lawyer. The manner in which the matter is handled at the very beginning invariably has a huge impact on how the matter will turn out in the end.
Contact us today if you have been charged with a sex offence.