Readers of this blog are well aware that those who are accused of a crime are innocent in the eyes of the law until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. While this is certainly a basic piece of the foundation on which our society rests, it does not seem to apply in some instances. In particular, sex crime accusations are treated harshly. Michiganders facing such allegations may find themselves facing judgment in the court of public opinion before ever stepping into a court of law.
A Public Safety Officer may be dealing with this now after he has been accused of molesting a female relative. According to reports, the accused individual violated his younger relative in Kalamazoo, and alcohol was allegedly involved. The accused individual is facing similar charges in a different county, which, if convicted, could carry significant penalties, including years behind bars.
No matter what the public thinks, though, every criminal defendant is guaranteed certain rights. One of those rights is the right to a jury trial. This is where the legal system's, "innocent until proven guilty" mantra comes to a crossroads with public opinion. Jury selection can be a difficult process, and one that many defendants do not consider. Nonetheless, it can be crucial piece of one's defense strategy and, ultimately, the outcome of the case.
Therefore, those accused of a sex may want the assistance of a criminal defense attorney who is skilled and experienced with trial law. He or she can work in an attempt to ensure the jury selection process winds up favorable, all in hopes of avoiding prison sentences and other harsh penalties. But, the ultimate decision of whether to consult a defense attorney rests solely with the accused.
Source: WIN 98.5, "Public Safety Officer does it again," John McNeill, Aug. 27, 20115