Based on allegations in Pennsylvania, Bill Cosby will face trial for sexual assault. According to an article in the Washington Post, the criminal judge in Cosby’s case issued a ruling that the prosecutors in his case had enough evidence to submit his case to a jury. Even though Cosby has faced many allegations of sexual assaults from multiple women, this will be the first he will be tried for if the case actually goes to trial.
When someone is arrested for a sex charge in Duval County, the State Attorney’s Office will assign the case to a particular prosecutor. That prosecutor will be in the Special Assault Division, commonly referred to as “SAD”. Once assigned, that prosecutor must make a decision about what happens in the case. This part of the process is called pre-filing. The prosecutor will look at all of the reports and speak to the detective, witnesses and alleged victim. This is the most critical part of any case. The benefit of hiring an experienced sex crime lawyer in Duval County is that the lawyer will meet with the assistant state attorney before they make any decisions about the case. The criminal defense lawyer can also accumulate evidence that the police missed or were not interested in.
If the prosecutor elects to file the sex case in Jacksonville, a defendant has a few options. The accused can fight the charge in court. Their sex defense attorney will get all of the reports generated in the case and any video and audio recordings taken. At that point, depositions will be scheduled. Depositions are where sworn testimony is taken of any and all witnesses in the case, including the person making the allegations. Almost anything can be asked at depositions, even if those questions cannot be asked in a trial. Once all the depositions are completed, the case will go to trial.
Another option is to negotiate with the prosecutor on the case. If the evidence against a defendant is strong, some people elect to get the best possible disposition in the case. If the defendant does not want to go to trial and does not want to negotiate, the only other option is to enter a plea of guilty to the judge. In many sex cases, this may not be a viable option because minimum mandatory sentences apply to many sex charges, which means that judges do not have discretion to go under the minimum time proscribed under Florida law unless the prosecutor waives that time.
If you or a loved one needs a criminal defense attorney in Jacksonville or the surrounding area, call The Mussallem Law Firm at (904) 365-5200 for a FREE CONSULTATION. Our Jacksonville Sex Crime Attorney, Victoria “Tori” Mussallem, is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.