What Should I Do if the Police Question Me About Child Molestation?Published: Jul 03, 2019 in Criminal Defense, Sex Crimes Involving Children
If you are approached by the police who want to speak to you about a child molestation crime, your first step is to pause and consider what the police are asking. Do they want to come into your home, sit down, and ask several questions? Do they want you to come down to the police station? If there is any indication that the police want to interview you about a serious crime as a suspect, the best thing you can do is say that you are happy to cooperate, but first, you need to speak with a child molestation lawyer.
The next step is to contact a Houston child sex abuse lawyer from The Law Offices of Ned Barnett at (713) 222-6767, or through the online form to schedule a free and confidential consultation of your case.
Consider Why the Police Are Contacting You: Are You a Suspect?
If the police are calling or showing up at your home during an investigation into child molestation, consider why they want to talk to you. Do you know the victim? Are you ever responsible for the child? Do you know the alleged perpetrator? You should consider whether the police suspect you committed the crime.
If a child has accused a specific other adult, then it may be clear the police are looking for evidence against that individual. You may be one of many people the police want to talk to. They will interview family members, friends, teachers, day care workers, members of religious organizations, and more who know the alleged victim or alleged perpetrator. The police are looking for signs of abuse that adults missed at the time to build their case against the alleged offender.
When the perpetrator has not been identified, many people may be suspects, including yourself. If at any point you believe you are a person of interest, or the police clearly say or insinuate you are a suspect, you should immediately stop answering any questions. Tell the police you are happy to cooperate in the future after speaking with an attorney.
Have You Been Directly Accused of Child Molestation?
If someone has specifically accused you of sexually assaulting a minor or inappropriate sexual behavior with a minor, you need to contact a child molestation lawyer immediately. Any type of child sex crime needs to be taken very seriously, and you need to take steps to protect and defend yourself right away.
If the police contact you during a pre-arrest investigation, do not answer any questions and do not agree to go to the station with them. Politely tell them you need to speak with your attorney first.
If you have been arrested and booked into jail, an officer must inform you of your Miranda rights before questioning. Listen to these rights and invoke them. To invoke your right to remain silent, you must clearly do so. You can’t simply not talk. You can say, “I am invoking my right to remain silent,” or, “I will not answer any questions.” This should immediately be followed by the unequivocal statement, “I want a lawyer.” Once you specifically ask for an attorney, police questioning must stop until you are represented.
Do Not Talk to Anyone Else About the Allegations
After being approached by the police regarding a child sex crime, your first and only call should be to a lawyer. Though you may wish to confide in your spouse, you should not talk about the situation to family members, friends, or co-workers. Do not post about the circumstances on social media.
This is not to hide the situation. It is because anything you say publicly could be misinterpreted and used against you. Even something you say privately to someone you trust could then be told to the police and used to build a case against you.
The best way to protect yourself is to talk about the matter with an attorney who can advise on when to answer police questions, what to say, and how to handle related questions and comments in your everyday life.
Call a Houston Criminal Defense Attorney Right Away
When the police have made it clear you are a person of interest, or you feel you are being treated like a suspect in a child molestation case, you should never try to fix the situation yourself. You should never answer an officer’s questions believing you will clear up a misunderstanding. The best thing to do is to have a child molestation lawyer present during any police interviews to protect your rights.