James Johnson, 32, was arrested and is facing charges of felony child molestation after law enforcement conducted an investigation surrounding an incident involving a girl younger than 14 years of age. The Petersburg, Indiana, resident was accused of molesting the girl in October.
Anytime you are facing criminal charges, especially for a felony crime such as child molestation, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side. These crimes carry serious penalties and even a plea agreement can result in substantial time in prison. This makes it imperative that you contact legal representation as early as possible. Crucial things can occur even early on in a case that could make a difference to the outcome.
Evidence in a Child Molestation Case
Sex crimes often involve forensic evidence from a rape kit and DNA, but may also be nothing more than the victim’s statement of the alleged crime. Investigations into sex crimes often begin with the police attempting to get the person accused of the crime to submit to a polygraph examination. These are not reliable and usually not admissible in a court setting as evidence. However, police will often try to get the accused to take one by saying that it could prove their innocence.
When the polygraph report shows inconclusive or indicative of deception, even though it is not admissible in court, it may be used to make the accused look guilty. Keep in mind, that you will not be able to prove your innocence through a polygraph, but instead, the evidence will be based on the credibility of the defendant and the accuser.
Penalties for Child Molestation or Sexual Misconduct
Sex crimes come with steep penalties and result in sex offender registration. For child molestation, the charges start at a level three felony but can elevate to a level one felony if the accused is over the age of 21. Sexual misconduct with a minor can be either a level four or level five felony if the accused is at least 21 years of age, child exploitation is a level five felony, and rape is a level three felony but can be raised to a level one felony if it committed by threatening or using deadly force.
Penalty ranges for these sex crimes is based upon the level of the felony and can be as little as six months in jail for a level six felony or as much as 40 years in prison for a level one felony crime. All of them may result in a fine of up to $10,000 regardless of the level of the felony charge.
Contact an Experienced Indiana Criminal Defense Attorney Today
Winning a child molestation case is not impossible, but it requires the experience and skill of a criminal defense attorney. The attorneys at Tanzillo, Stassin & Babcock, P.C. have the years of experience needed to investigate your case and craft the best possible defense strategy for your situation. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation.