Stamford Sex Crimes Court Process
Most sex crimes in Stamford are felonies and are treated severely throughout the court process. The only time a person will see a misdemeanor sexual assault charge is sexual assault in the fourth-degree when the victim is 16 or older. Even then, the court process associated with such a charge will be incredibly complex.
To properly combat a charge against you, it is crucial that you contact a lawyer as soon as possible. An experienced Stamford sex crimes attorney will be able to help build a case to effectively challenge any potential penalties you may be facing.
Hearing the Case
Whether sex crimes are heard in front of a judge or a jury is something that the defense attorney and the person will decide based on the facts of the case. If the allegations are disturbing, they may choose to go with the judge, but if the person being charged is credible and there are helpful facts for the defense, a jury could be better. It is both fact specific and a personal decision.
It is always the defendant’s right to have a trial by jury if they want to, and if they want to waive that and have a judge, they can do that as well.
One constitutional issue that may arise during the court process for a Stamford sex crime is the confrontation clause in Connecticut that any defendant being charged has the right to question anyone saying anything about them.
For example, if a victim who does not want the case prosecuted told their mother something, and the mother ended up making the police report, the defendant has the right to question the person making the allegations.
Sometimes this occurs when the person does not want to take the stand and the state is not able to proceed without that evidence against them, because they are not able to confront the witness. It is one of the more common issues that arises in the Stamford sex crimes court process.
Severity of the Crime
Sex crimes in Stamford tend to be very serious and are prosecuted aggressively. This is because the prosecutors are trying to protect the community. There is an idea that if people are charged with this once, they are generally dangerous or might act similarly in the future. Because of that stigma, these crimes are usually prosecuted aggressively.
These crimes are treated even more severely when there is force or some kind of violence. The complaining party typically will want vigorous prosecution more so in that instance.
The penalties that will be dealt depend on the facts of the case and the specific proceedings associated with the Stamford sex crimes court process. However, with a sexual assault crime, if it is a true sexual assault where the state thinks they can prove it, they are going to be looking for at least some jail time. Maybe not the maximum sentence but some period of incarceration.
Witness statements are typically presented as evidence during the sex crimes court process in Stamford. Many times, it will be the complaining party or the alleged victim. There might be DNA evidence, a witness from the hospital who may have been involved, and the police who took the initial report. That would be someone who would write a report and testify if the case went to trial.
Many times, it ends up being one person’s word versus another person’s word when presenting witness testimony during the court process for a Stamford sex crimes case.
It could come down to the credibility of the witness, especially when talking about a more serious sex crime. An individual needs an experienced lawyer to know how to use that witness to preserve the defense without being too aggressive with someone in that situation.
Treatment by a Judge
Judges treat these cases very seriously. They take the same stance of prosecutors in wanting to protect the community. They want to make sure that the person charged has gotten treatment before they are released or out in the public.
If the individual has the potential to be found guilty, they want to know if they have completed treatment or some kind of evaluation to make sure that they are safe living within the community.