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GEORGIA CHILD MOLESTATION DEFENSE LAWYERS

Top Child Molestation Defense Attorneys in Georgia


What is Child Molestation?

Child molestation is prohibited under Georgia Code § 16-6-4. For physical child molestation, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that:

  1. The defendant committed an immoral or indecent act;
  2. The act was committed to or in the presence of a child under 16 years old;
  3. The act was done with the intent to arouse or satisfy the sexual desire of the defendant or the child.

Under Georgia law, each touching of each area of a child’s body constitutes a separate effect. Therefore, one incident of touching can result in a defendant being charged with multiple counts. If the offense involved either physical injury or sodomy (oral or anal sex), the defendant will be charged with aggravated child molestation, which is a more severe offense.

For child molestation committed by electronic communication, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that:

  1. The defendant used an electronic device;
  2. The defendant transmitted an image of a person engaging in, inducing, or otherwise participating in an immoral or indecent act to a child;
  3. The child was under the age of 16;
  4. The act was done with the intent to arouse or satisfy the sexual desire of either the defendant or the child. 

A first-time offender will receive 5-20 years in prison, as well as receive counseling while incarcerated. A repeat offender for child molestation will receive 10-30 years in prison, or the state may give notice that they intend to seek a punishment of life imprisonment. If convicted of aggravated child molestation, there may be a life sentence or a split sentence involving at least 25 years imprisonment followed by probation for life. 

The best way to defend yourself against criminal investigations or charges is to hire a lawyer as soon as possible. Contact us today to discuss how we can help your case.

Defense Against Child Molestation Charges

To defend against child molestation charges, the defense team will seek out evidence which shows that the child is either lying or not telling the whole truth. This involves establishing a reason to fabricate the allegation, or showing that the allegation was not actually possible.

The government will attempt to gather evidence to corroborate the child’s allegation and make the defendant appear to be the type of person capable of committing such an offense. They may do this through obtaining search warrants, recording statements made by the defendant, having the child undergo a forensic interview, and interviewing people close to the defendant and the child. The defense team will work to poke holes in the government’s case and produce evidence showing the allegation to be false.

The defense lawyer will file pre-trial motions that seek to exclude evidence that the government will try to use at trial. This will undermine the state’s case, and in some instances, result in the case’s dismissal. Pre-trial motions include:

  1. Motion to Suppress Evidence – If the government’s evidence was obtained due to a faulty search warrant or search, a criminal defense lawyer will file a motion to exclude such evidence from trial.
  2. Motion to Suppress Statements – If law enforcement improperly obtained a statement from the defendant, a defense lawyer can file a motion to exclude the statement from trial.
  3. Motion to Exclude “Prior Bad Acts” – A defense lawyer will file motions to exclude evidence of alleged improper sexual conduct in a defendant’s past from trial.
  4. Motions to Exclude Prejudicial Evidence – A defense lawyer will file a motion to exclude highly prejudicial evidence, such as sexual paraphernalia found at a defendant’s home, a prior conviction, or other evidence that does not directly concern the child’s allegations against the defendant.
  5. Special Demurrers – If the indictment provides a very broad date range, it can be difficult to establish an alibi defense. If the evidence shows that the government can narrow the range, the defense can file a special demurrer arguing that the indictment should be dismissed.

Other pre-trial motions the defense may file include a motion to dismiss based on the statute of limitations, a general demurrer, and a motion to exclude government expert witness testimony.

The defense team will also explore potential trial defenses. These include:

  1. A motive to lie – A defense lawyer may hire an investigator to look into social media accounts, talk to people who know the alleged victim’s family, and review old text messages and emails. This can help establish any issues within a family, monetary motivations, and other potential motivations to lie.
  2. Inconsistent statements – a child or other witnesses may provide inconsistent statements, which the defense team will use to question their credibility.
  3. The child’s school, DFCS, and counseling records – The state often neglects to obtain the child’s school, counseling, and DFCS records. The defense will file motions for these records, which may contain recantations, inconsistent statements, behavioral issues, and family issues.
  4. Expert testimony attacking forensic interviews – The state will likely rely heavily on the child’s forensic interview. However, such interviews are often unfairly conducted, with the interviewer leading the child, using inappropriate techniques, or failing to explore alternatives about what really happened. The defense will hire an independent expert witness to critique the state’s forensic interviewer and to explain why the interview could have provided inaccurate results.
  5. Expert testimony attacking the child’s credibility – The defense’s expert will testify as to whether the child’s statements are consistent with the average child of the same age. If they use words and phrases not typically used by children of the same age, they may have been coached by an adult to say certain things. Additionally, if the child cannot provide contextual or sensory details, or uses improper contextual details, this evidence can be used to indicate that the child is fabricating the allegations. 
  6. Expert testimony tracking DNA or medical evidence – If there is medical evidence or DNA evidence linking the defendant to the alleged time, the defense can help the jury understand why the evidence is either wrong or does not indicate the defendant’s guilt. 
  7. Character witnesses – The defense will call family members, close friends, significant others, and employers to testify to show the jury that the defendant would never harm a child. 
  8. Negative character witnesses – The defense may also call witnesses who can testify to the child’s reputation for lying or not telling the whole truth.
  9. Prior false allegations – If the child has falsely accused others of molestation in the past, the defense lawyer will work to find these allegations and present them to the jury. 

Top Criminal Lawyers in Georgia – Contact Us Now

Our Georgia criminal defense lawyers fully understand how to defend against child molestation charges. We have won dismissals, obtained reductions, and received sentences of straight probation for individuals charged with child molestation offenses across Georgia.

If you or someone you know is facing a child molestation charge in Georgia, contact us now for immediate help.

Contact Johnson/Citronberg, PLLC
(703) 684-8000