False Allegation by Child or Other Reporter During Sex Offenses in Michigan
If you are falsely accused of child sexual abuse, neglect, exploitation, or endangerment, then you may feel fearful and overwhelmed. This is understandable and normal in the face of such an egregious allegation. There is a path forward, and the future for you and your family is unwritten and can be bright, vibrant, and alive with possibilities.
The approach to this situation requires aggressive and immediate action. You will want to work with an experienced and knowledgeable attorney. There are many options for how to handle the charges depending on the circumstances that have been alleged against you. The approach may include proving that you are innocent by demonstrating your statements are accurate and that the accuser is lying.
Grabel & Associates specializes in these sensitive, delicate, and highly nuanced sex crime cases. Performing the necessary due diligence, independent investigations, and thorough review of the evidentiary, factual, and legal circumstances are essential to success. However, applying the nimble skill and agile talent to take a case from the pages of legal pads to real life exoneration, acquittal and freedom require a unique set of tools that not all law firms have the capacity, attention, or formidable resources to accomplish.
Grabel & Associates has been developing winning strategies and innovative approaches to climb the razor’s edge to the pinnacle of possibility for more than 19 years. We are raising the bar for what clients should come to expect from representation. The path forward may seem uncertain, but once we illuminate the way ahead, it will gleam of potential, opportunity, and greatness for success.
Child Protective Services Investigations and Sex Crime Charges
There is an essential distinction between Child Protective Services investigations and sex crime charges because each will be handled by different investigating units and tried before different judges. However, both are likely to take place in circuit court unless the sex crime charges are for a misdemeanor. Child Protective Services will file a petition for removal and placement of a child or children after an investigation is completed if the case is placed in a category one.
A Child Protective Services investigation will begin within 24 hours of receiving a complaint and will be completed within 30 days. At the close of an investigation, the caseworker, with the approval of their supervisor, will assign a category designation from one to five. Five is the least serious and requires no further action, and one is the most serious and requires the Child Protective Services under the Child Protection Law to file a petition with the Family Division of the Circuit Court in the county where the child resides to have the child removed from the home.
The category designation is determined based on the findings from the investigation, and there are two primary criteria used in determining the assignment of a category. First, if there is a preponderance of the evidence that abuse or neglect of a child occurred, then the file is considered substantiated. Next, Child Protective Services uses assessments called structured decision-making tools to determine the safety and risk of future harm to the child. Please visit the Grabel & Associates web page on Child Protective Services Investigation Process for more information.
Sixth Amendment Confrontation Clause: Cross-Examination of Accusers
The sixth amendment right to confrontation is one of the cornerstones of a criminal defendant’s rights in the Constitution. The confrontation clause guarantees people accused of a crime to have the right to cross-examine their accuser during the trial. Therefore, making the most of a person’s sixth amendment right to cross-examine during a trial is imperative for revealing inaccuracies and mistruths of a deceptive accuser.
False allegations by a child or adolescent are always at issue in sex crime cases for multiple reasons. Unfortunately, child testimony regarding sex crime allegations is fraught with inaccuracies, mistruths, and a lack of awareness or comprehension. Anyone who has spent any significant time around children understands that children are both unpredictable and unreliable. They can come up with stories and generate incidents that never happened, and regardless of their circumstances, they can be counted on to be susceptible to influence and encouraged to please parents and authority figures.
As detestable as it may seem, people often manipulate children to be part of deliberate deception to incriminate an innocent person. The specific motivation for using a child to slander and accuse an innocent person is often unclear, but may include a financial, personal, or legal motive.
Casting doubt on the child is not necessarily the most fruitful path toward discrediting the testimony, and children are innocent even when lying because they lack the moral development or experience to understand the gravity of their consequences or the fact that they could be destroying an honest person’s life. Instead, one of the many options for successfully discrediting child testimony is to educate and remind the judge and jury that children are naturally susceptible to the forces of coercion and influence because children are natural people pleasers. Their natural tendency is to do and say what their parent or authority figure wants of them because children value approval and validation, especially from their caretakers and authority figures.
Repetitive questioning, coaxing, and rewards are all developmentally sound ways of telling the children what to say and how to say it.
Using a Polygraph Examination to Prove Innocence
One way to dissuade a prosecutor from bringing charges against you based on false accusations is to submit to a polygraph examination. The prosecution or police may even offer for you to take an initial polygraph examination. However, before you submit to a police administered polygraph examination, it is vital to make sure that you can successfully pass a lie detector test. Therefore, an efficient initial step is to take a private polygraph examination, so the result can be released to the prosecution only if you or the person you care about passes the exam.
Many places offer private polygraph examinations, but choosing the most qualified and reputable polygraphists is essential when deciding where to take a polygraph examination. You want to use a polygraph examiner that the prosecution knows and respects so that they will attribute more weight to the results. Grabel & Associates has worked with polygraph examiners and prosecutors in all 83 counties in Michigan and knows the most reputable and respected polygraph examiners in each area. Consequently, the best polygraph examiner in Kent County may not have much influence over a charge decision if you are being prosecuted in Wayne County.
After you or the person you care about successfully passes a private polygraph examination, it will be used to negotiate with the prosecution to drop or reduce the charges. It is not uncommon for a prosecutor to review the results and ask that the accused submit to the police administered polygraph examination.
It is crucial to appreciate that although polygraph results are not admissible at trial except in limited circumstances of motions to suppress evidence and post-conviction motions for new trials, that any statements of admission made during the course of a polygraph examination may be admissible at trial. Therefore, if an incriminating statement is made during a polygraph examination, it may be used against a person at trial even though the corresponding examination results showing truth or deception may not be used. However, polygraph examination results are highly useful in negotiation with the prosecutor.
Police polygraph examiners are astute and skilled at obtaining admissible evidence during a polygraph examination. Consequently, it is necessary to have an attorney review all questions before submitting to a polygraph examination. Additionally, Grabel & Associates insists on being present during any police conducted polygraph examination to ensure the client's rights are protected.
Polygraph Examinations for the Accuser
Another useful strategy for exonerating a person falsely accused of a sex offense is to offer the accuser a polygraph examination. Typically, Grabel & Associates offers to pay for any private polygraph examiner the accuser chooses to administer the examination. If the accuser refuses the exam, then it weakens their testimony, and if they agree, then they might fail. Additionally, Grabel & Associates has seen many incidents where, after being faced with a polygraph examination, the accuser admits that the allegations are false and they lied about the entire allegation. Consequently, offering a polygraph examination to an accuser can be a potent tool for exonerating a person and convincing the prosecutor not to file charges or to drop existing charges.
Grabel & Associates Approach to False Allegations
Grabel & Associates will work to prevent charges from ever being filed. If charges have already been filed, then the objective shifts to getting the charges dismissed or winning at trial. We will comb through all of the relevant facts, evidence, and law to produce the best defense available. Overall, the objective is to provide the best outcome possible for you and your family. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at 1-800-883-2138.