As a criminal attorney who defends people accused of
Megan's Law offenses such as child molestation, Internet
predation, child endangerment, wrongful sexual touching,
child pornography, luring and aggravated sexual assault
upon a child, I am frequently asked, "How can you
represent somebody who did such a thing?" The answer is
that I enjoy it.
To begin, it is important to remember that criminal lawyers
endorse neither the crime nor the alleged criminal. Our job
is to examine, and then challenge or discredit, potentially
incriminating evidence produced by the state against our
client. This is the only way to ensure that the police and
the courts give everyone the full protection of our legal
system. We prevent them from convicting defendants until
after the state has proven guilt beyond a doubt.
Our sexual offense clients are flesh-and-blood people to us,
not mere names in a newspaper article or faceless
monsters. They may be anyone. Male or female. A pillar of
the community or a scofflaw drifter. A first-time defendant
or a repeat offender. Some earn millions of dollars, others
are unemployable. But they are all people who are very
afraid, and rightfully so. We understand that. Our sexual
offense clients are not just numbers and statistics any more
than their alleged victims are. They are someone's child,
parent, aunt or uncle, brother or sister, best friend or
neighbor. Each is entitled to the protection of the
Constitution. In Megan's Law cases, even that protection
The vigorous defense of an alleged child abuser, internet
predator, or child pornographer not only protects the
defendant's Constitutional rights, it protects the
Constitution itself. Experienced defense lawyers look for
defects in the government's case violating a person's rights
and allowing unreliable evidence into the case. Did the
defendant have an attorney at all critical stages? Were all
searches and investigations legally performed? Was the
arrest Constitutional? Was a confession voluntary and
informed? Was there entrapment? These protections are
not loopholes through which guilty defendants might slip.
They are fundamental protections built into our justice
system that help ensure the fairness of a prosecution and
the validity of a verdict.
People accused of child sex abuse are in particular need of
these protections. Despite the Constitution's declaration
that they are innocent until proven guilty beyond a
reasonable doubt, in reality they are presumed by almost
everyone to be guilty, even before the evidence is known.
Friends stop calling. Family members keep their distance.
Employers downsize them. Customers go elsewhere. Once
a person is charged with a sex crime, his life will never be
the same, even if no evidence is ever produced. No other
crimes are like this.
Representing alleged sex offenders is a defense attorney's
special challenge. A Megan's Law defendant may have
committed reprehensible acts. Perhaps he didn't. The
prosecution will work hard to prove that he did. The
defense will scrutinize and analyze that proof. We will
present it in the light most favorable to our client. We will
voice his every defense. But defense lawyers do not judge
defendants. Juries do that. We just ensure that the
Constitution continues to work... Our pleasure.