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Accused of a Sexual Offense

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The right to privacy is not directly addressed in the U.S. Constitution, but the Supreme Court has established that U.S. residents generally have a "reasonable expectation" of privacy at least when they are in their home. Included in that expectation is the right to be left alone. However, that does not necessarily mean that the government does not have the authority to require residents to report their official personal address. Anyone with a drivers license is even required to report to the Department of Transportation within 30 days any time they change their residency. And for those who have been convicted of a crime, reporting requirements are even more strict. Those on probation or parole for a criminal conviction could be required to report regularly, but not typically when they have only been accused. However, those accused of a sex offense may already have a privacy issue.

Conditional Bond Release

Depending on the material case facts, bond could be excessive and difficult to meet for many of the accused.

The first issue sex offense defendants must deal with is being released from custody. Depending on the material case facts, bond could be excessive and difficult to meet for many of the accused. Even cases based on technicalities such as online contact can be problematic when bond is assessed. And then, when the defendant can post bond, the court can place restrictions on their movement and require regular reporting until the case is adjudicated. This stipulation alone can impact individual privacy.

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Public Awareness

Media outlets typically report any type of sex crime arrest as a matter of priority. While they may claim to be helping keep a community safe while at the same time grabbing viewer or reader attention, the accused has an immediate public awareness privacy problem. This can be especially true with landlords who know of the charge and can generate cause to evict the defendant from their residence. Additionally, media outlets do not report follow up when a case is settled unless the defendant receives jail time. The arrest alone for sex offenders is sometimes worse than the case finalization, and a pending court decision could also impact obtaining employment during the interim.

Public Record and Personal Privacy

While an arrest on sex offense charges does not necessarily establish a criminal history, it is still a matter of public record until the case goes through court. Additionally, even when a case does not result in a conviction, the record of the arrest will still exist unless their legal counsel petitions the court for expungement of all case information after the fact. This is a step that many defendants do not realize without effective and comprehensive representation from an experienced sex crime attorney who can help your case thoroughly from start until finish.

These are just a few of the ways being accused of a sex crime can impact the privacy of the accused. The perception of the particular crime is one that always gets the attention of the public, and many of those accused face problems from the very beginning following the arrest. And those with a prior criminal history regarding personal behavior experience even more issues. Having a general criminal defense attorney may not be the most effective method of fighting charges either, and especially when a public defender is assigned. It is important to consult with an attorney who has handled these cases previously.