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Issues Related to the Reliability of Child Testimony in Criminal Cases

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Issues Related to the Reliability of Child Testimony in Criminal Cases

Utah Sex Crime Child Testimony: Memory Issues

In many cases involving alleged sex crimes, prosecutors base their case on the testimony of key witnesses. Without this testimony, they might not even have a case. The testimony of key witnesses is required to establish what acts took place and that consent was not given.

State laws, court rules, and the Constitution of the United States guarantee that a criminal defendant is given the opportunity to confront these witnesses in a court of law. Defendants also have the opportunity to challenge the veracity or the reliability of the testimony. They also have an opportunity to object to the inclusion of certain witness’ testimonies. When these crimes involve children, there are unique problems that arise. The testimony given by minor witnesses has to strike a balance between the best interests of the child and the constitutional rights of the witness.

In this situation, a skilled criminal defense lawyer Salt Lake City is needed to guide defendants in the right direction. With a criminal defense lawyer Utah, you can ensure that your rights are protected if you are involved in a sex crime prosecution with a child witness.

A sexual crime lawyer will review the case of the state and find the best way to respond to any testimony against you.

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Addressing the Reliability of Child Testimony

Children present major difficulties for prosecutors when it comes to criminal cases. They might not remember details and they might not be able to understand the situation. They often respond to questions in an effort to please the questioner instead of face the facts. These could even be called false memories. Some of the issues to address include:

  • Competency requirements: Children need to be able to understand the difference between a truth and a lie. While children often know the difference beyond a certain age, they might need help communicating with the court.
  • The Rights of the Defendant: The Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution gives a defendant the right to confront his or her accuser in a court of law; however, a child might have issues related to memories of past traumatic events. Furthermore, juries often sympathize with a child.
  • Protection for Children in Prosecutions: There may be additional protections that apply to children who might suffer further trauma by testifying in sex crimes cases in the presence of the defendant. A skilled sexual crime lawyer will be able to navigate these waters carefully.

These issues can be challenging to navigate which is why every defendant accused of a sex crime involving a child must rely on the help of a sex offense defense lawyer Utah.

Respond Effectively to Child Testimony in Utah Sex Crimes Prosecutions

If you have been charged with a sexually-related offense in the Salt Lake City, Utah area involving a child, then you need the assistance of a criminal defense lawyer Salt Lake City. At Wasatch Defense Lawyers, we specialize in sex crime defenses in Utah. We will work tirelessly to reduce your charges, keep your out of prison, keep you off of the sex offender registry, or even get the entire case dropped. Contact us today for a free, confidential case review.

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