October 24, 2019 By Stephen Klarich

Winning a Sex Crime Case Begins with Winning Over the Jury

Every year in California innocent people are arrested and convicted of a sex crime charge based upon the testimony of just child pornography defenseone witness. That is, there is no DNA. There are no video recordings of the alleged crime. There are no alibi witnesses. Oftentimes, there are no eyewitnesses at all – save for the accuser and the defendant. Allegations of sexual abuse that happened months and even years prior are easy to make; yet difficult to disprove, since all you can basically do in response is to say that “it didn’t happen.”

In recent years laws have been passed the California legislature that has made it even more difficult for a person accused of a sex crime to receive a fair trial. These new laws include:

  • Rape shield laws; 
  • Laws that expand the evidence the prosecution can introduce against the defendant, 
  • The advent of the #MeToo movement that has seemed to anoint everyone that claims to be a victim a “victim” before the first witness has been sworn.

Obtaining a fair trial in a California sex crime case is becoming more and more difficult. Oftentimes, criminal defense attorneys are confronted with jurors that, as soon as they hear the case involves a sex crime, become judge, jury, and executioner. The presumption of innocence becomes meaningless in an instant.

This is why jury selection in these cases becomes so critical. The process of selecting jurors in a California sex crime trial is called voir dire – a French phrase that means to “say the truth.”

Your Wallin & Klarich criminal defense lawyer must: 

  • Speak the truth to the potential jurors to educate them about how bias can affect their view of the parties.
  • Get potential jurors to disclose biases they may hold, such as “children don’t lie,” “no one would make these things up,” and “where there’s smoke there’s fire.”  
  • Seek jurors willing to acknowledge that real life isn’t as easy as it’s made to appear on television.

Wallin & Klarich criminal defense attorneys, frequently confront several forms of bias in voir dire. These include “suspicion bias.” People are oftentimes suspicious of criminal defense lawyers. We are portrayed by the media as unethical and unscrupulous. We also confront “confirmation bias,” which is basically where people will pick and choose evidence that supports their preconceived ideas and either reject or heavily scrutinize evidence that does not confirm these ideas. Another form of bias we confront is what we call the “normative” bias; that is, jurors are biased against things that are not “normal” to them or within their experience – after all they’ve never been accused of a sexual crime.

The problem with these different forms of bias is that the law will not allow us to exclude every juror with a preconceived idea – especially if the juror assures the trial judge that he or she promises to be “fair” to both sides. No juror comes to a trial with a truly “blank slate.” This means your Wallin & Klarich criminal defense lawyer will undertake to show the jurors why your case is different from the other cases they envision. The ability to do this effectively comes from hard work, a mastery of the facts of your case and the law, knowledge of human psychology, and, most importantly, experience!

Contact Orange County Sex Crimes Attorney Wallin & Klarich

For over 37 years our law firm has provided outstanding and aggressive representation to thousands of clients facing sex-related charges. Whether our clients are being accused of child molestation, indecent exposure, lewd acts, oral copulation, prostitution or rape, Wallin & Klarich has been by their side as their trusted attorney.

If you or a loved one has been accused of a sex crime, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at Wallin & Klarich as soon as possible. We are committed to providing you with the personal attention you deserve and expect to help you overcome this difficult situation.

With offices in Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Los Angeles, San Diego, West Covina, Torrance, and Victorville, there is an experienced Wallin & Klarich criminal defense attorney available to help you no matter where you are located.

Call our offices today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (714) 386-7128 for a free phone consultation. We’ll get through this together.

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