Child Sexual Abuse Defense
If you are facing child sexual abuse charges, you must act quickly and decisively. Child sexual abuse attorney Timothy L. Healy will aggressively defend you from these devastating accusations in Tacoma and throughout Western Washington.
Child sexual abuse carries great stigma in society, and defending these charges requires quick action, a decisive plan, and a detailed investigation of the claim. If Child Protective Services, the police, or any other government agents seek to question you regarding your relationship with your child, it is in your best interest to refuse the interview and consult with an attorney. These agents do not have your best interests in mind, and are often bent on building a case against you. If you believe you may be suspected of child abuse, the time to talk to a lawyer is now. If you wait until you are arrested, or after you have given a statement, you may have already lost an opportunity to protect your freedom.
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Defending Against Child Sexual Abuse Charges
Child sex abuse cases often depend not on the child or the defendant, but on the conduct of third parties. Police and other authorities often use suggestive methods of questioning young children. Estranged spouses and lovers also can plant seeds of misconduct in the child’s mind, and can themselves level accusations of child abuse in an effort to extract some revenge against the defendant. Divorce and child custody disputes can turn ugly, with parents using these allegations for leverage in obtaining custody. Older children who are still minors may resent a parent, step-parent or boyfriend, and level unfounded accusations in order to harm another adult.
It is essential in each child sex abuse case to analyze the facts closely, and search for motives in third parties and suggestions that have been planted in child’s mind. Working with expert witnesses in child memory and child interviewing techniques can lead to valuable evidence of improper coaching of the child. It is also important for any experienced attorney to help minimize the public exposure of the charges and to address any political motive that may be driving the prosecution.
Child sex abuse charges are Class A felonies, and can result in very long sentences under Washington’s “Determinate-Plus” sentencing system. According to a 2004 study by the State of Washington Sentencing Guidelines Commission, on average sex offenders serve significantly longer sentences than those convicted of other felonies. Following release, anyone convicted of a sex offense in Washington is required to register under the Community Protection Act. Of course, beyond any sentence and registration lies the severe stigma and damage to reputation that a conviction of child sex abuse carries with it.
As an experienced sex crime attorney in Tacoma, I have substantial experience with child sex abuse cases, and have obtained not-guilty verdicts and dismissals of these charges in numerous cases.
Children represent our best hopes for the future, and are rightly valued and protected in our society. Often unable to protect themselves from misconduct by an adult, every year thousands of children across the State of Washington and America are sexually abused by adults. But in every case of alleged child abuse, there are at least two sides to the story: the story of the child, and that of the defendant. In virtually all instances, multiple third parties are also involved. Too frequently, the alleged abuser is deemed guilty in the eyes of society before any evidence is presented.