I hate to think of how often I have advised a client to give out our card when contacted by law enforcement detectives in connection with an investigation in lieu of volunteering information. While cooperating with law enforcement authorities may seem like a noble and worthy goal, it is not self-evident how the information proffered will be used. You cannot assume that because your criminal defense attorney is not present, that any rights you have with respect to the disclosure will be protected or that because you have cooperated as requested, you will not be subject to criminal indictment at some later time. Further, the investigator or the state’s attorney working with her may have a theory of the case that doesn’t mesh with your conclusions about what may have occurred. As a result, they frequently condense the facts they believe support their theory, summarize it in a statement, and request that you sign it. You may not feel okay about signing it, but decide to do it anyway. You may be thinking, what’s the worst that could happen?
Sexual assault laws vary between states, but it generally refers to crimes where the offender forces a victim to endure unwanted touching of a sexual nature. The crimes range from groping to attempted rape and everything in between. All states uniformly prohibit sexual assault, although the definitions of these crimes are different. The laws are similar in their goal, but their wording, structure, and what the laws cover are extremely variable.